The notable donation to support McGill University’s renowned genomic research and education programs from UK alumni and long-time donor Victor Dahdel is a catalyst for progress in genomics research. Thanks to Mr. Dahdah’s gifts totaling over $30 million, McGill will launch Victor Philip Dahdah Institute of Genomic Medicine. Today’s announcement, which coincides with McGill’s annual Homecoming Celebrations, concludes more than a year of bicentennial celebrations and transformative expressions of philanthropic support in honor of McGill’s 200The tenth Anniversary.
McGill has long been a pioneer in Canada and North America in the increasingly vital areas of RNA and genomics research. Mr. Dahleh’s investment will enhance the university’s international leadership in genomics, while enabling the institute to expand its high-impact research programs, invest in top talent, and train the world’s next generation of scientific leaders.
Professor Christopher Manfredi, interim director and vice-chancellor of McGill University, said. “Mr. Dahlah’s support will be a catalyst for advances in genomics research that will improve health outcomes for communities around the world. Mr. Dahlah’s commitment to crafting a healthier future through research is truly inspiring.”
Next-generation drug discovery research
The institute will harness the multidisciplinary expertise and research infrastructure across McGill Colleges to implement a full-spectrum approach to genomic medicine, which draws on information from all a person’s genes and how they interact to inform an individual’s clinical care. McGill researchers will lead impressive research aimed at developing advanced diagnostic tools, targeted therapies, new drugs and preventative vaccines. In addition, the Institute’s integrated social science pillar will draw on expertise across the university to lead important research on the ethical, political, and legal implications of genomic medicine.
“It is a great honor to contribute to the world-leading genomics program at McGill University,” said Mr. Dahdalah. “I feel strongly that genomic medicine is the key to preventing, one day treating, and treating many diseases that affect lives, families and communities around the world. I am proud to be part of this important effort to improve health around the world.”
In coordination with the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and its affiliated hospitals within the McGill University Health Center, the Institute will work to increase opportunities for clinical interventions in high-priority areas where McGill is already an established leader – such as cancer, neuroscience, mental health, chronic inflammatory diseases and infectious diseases including Covid -19.
“Mr. Dahlah’s generous gift provides important resources to help us attract influential young scholars, students and interns from around the world and create the conditions for these scholars to pursue their research activities and have a global impact on public health,” said Mark Lathrop, Director of the Institute. The gift will also provide important support to increase additional grant funding for the Institute.
Training students from diverse backgrounds
The institute’s training program will focus specifically on training students from low- and middle-income countries, a particularly important objective of Mr. Dahlah, who has directed many of his philanthropic efforts towards providing scholarships and training opportunities to disadvantaged students at world-class universities, including the London School of Economics.
Likewise, Mr. Dahdal’s investment in genomic medicine at McGill is an extension of his exceptional legacy of supporting innovative global health and health science research in Canada and internationally. He previously provided more than $20 million to establish the Dahdah Institute for Global Health Research at his home university, York University in Toronto. He is also a long-term supporter of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, the British Heart Foundation, and Asthma + Lung in the UK, where he has contributed to groundbreaking research in cardiovascular disease and cancer, including mesothelioma.
“Mr. Dahdeleh McGill shares his commitment to driving innovation in genomic medicine on a global scale to improve diagnosis, treatment and preventative health care,” said Philip Gross, Deputy Deputy Director of Research and Innovation; Professor, Department of Biochemistry; and founder and co-leader of the McGill Center for Research on Complex Traits. “With his support, the institute’s researchers will build new partnerships and deepen existing relationships with leading genomics programs internationally, particularly in the UK, where McGill already works closely with researchers at Oxford University and Imperial College London, and Japan, where we share a joint doctoral program with Kyoto University.” .
About Victor Dahdah
Victor Dahdaleh is a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, and his philanthropic work around the world has supported education, health-related research, and social and economic development. Through the Victor Dahdah Foundation, he supports several scholarship programs for disadvantaged foreign students to study at top universities, opening the door to higher education in parts of the world where opportunities are limited. In addition, he has supported some of the world’s top medical research centers, including several university health schools, providing much-needed funding for areas such as cardiovascular health, neuroscience, global health, and policy issues.
McGill’s largest benefactor from the UK, Dr. Dahdaleh has long been an active volunteer and supporter of the university. For nearly 30 years, he has been Treasurer of the UK-based McGill University Trust, which supports programs and initiatives across McGill, in particular McGill University Trust Scholarships for UK students wishing to study at the university. In 2007, he joined the William J. Clinton Foundation and went on to establish the Victor Dahdaleh-Clinton Foundation Scholarship Program, which now provides 32 scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from low-income countries, forever. In 2016, he established the Victor Dahdaleh Chair in Neuroscience to support an integrated approach to the study of chronic brain diseases, including neuroscience, psychiatry, and rehabilitation sciences, among other disciplines. More details about the philanthropic work of the Victor Dadahlha Foundation are available over here.
Dr. Dahdah is the owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of DADCO [est. 1915]It is a privately owned investment, manufacturing and trading group. He is also an Honorary and Governor Fellow of the London School of Economics, a Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Prize, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Aluminum Institute, and a past President of the British Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is the best MD university in Canada. McGill has been consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher education with research activities covering three campuses, 11 colleges, 13 vocational schools, 300 study programs and more than 39,000 students, including more than 10,400 graduate students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world, and its 12,000 international students make up 30% of the student body. More than half of McGill’s students claim that their first language is not English, including nearly 20% of our students who say French is their first language.