Discovery and innovation in cancer research occurs every day at The Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC). For the past 50 years, McGill University and its team of world-renowned cancer researchers have been making exciting breakthroughs that are helping to unravel the mysteries of this devastating disease. In 1965, the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) – now the most frequently used antigen for diagnosing cancer – was co-discovered by McGill investigator Dr. Phil Gold, who in 1978 became the first director of the McGill Cancer Centre. In 2008, the Centre was renamed the Goodman Cancer Research Centre in recognition of major benefactors Rosalind and Morris Goodman.

Today, the GCRC is an internationally recognized Centre of excellence for cancer research. Its team of 28 investigators, and more than 270 trainees and support staff, are driving discoveries that contribute to the worldwide effort to understand the molecular pathogenesis of the most prevalent and aggressive forms of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic, gastric, lung and colorectal cancers. The impact of these discoveries and the resulting clinical advances that emerge from this research are made possible due to the development of strong national and international collaborations, dedicated and rigorous training programs, and state-of-the-art technologies.

The inter-disciplinary cancer research is supported by many prestigious grants held by the GCRC’s scientists and by the generosity of our donors. A critical element to the success of the GCRC is the ability to attract and train the best young scientists, who themselves, will lead future efforts to improve our ability to effectively treat cancer.

Over the years, the partnership with the Défi Canderel, and the continuous and unwavering support of this important initiative by Jonathan Wener, has become a cornerstone of the Center’s strategy to pursue excellence in cancer research. Funds raised by the Défi Canderel have contributed directly towards 1) high-risk-high-payoff research projects where preliminary data is generated and subsequently used to secure competitive grants, 2) recruitment of new faculty members with dynamic and cutting-edge research programs, 3) trainees’ stipends that ensure their time can be entirely dedicated to research, and 4) supporting trainees’ travel to national and international conferences to present their research findings.

The funds raised by the Défi Canderel since 1990 and donated to the Goodman Cancer Research Centre have supported 15 Innovative Research Awards, 483 Travel Awards, 105 Studentships and 42 Fellowships.

"Investigators at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre are incredibly fortunate to have support from The Défi Canderel run for cancer. These donations are used to fund students and post-doctoral fellows that pursue research focused on understanding how cancers grow and spread, and their work lays the groundwork for new ways to treat cancer in the future. Having access to Canderel Studentships and Fellowships allows researchers at the Goodman to attract and retain bright and dedicated trainees that drive the advances we are making in understanding this disease."

Peter Siegel, PhD
Research scientist & Associate Director, Goodman Cancer Research Centre
Associate Professor, Departments of Oncology and Medicine, McGill University

"As a result of Canderel’s generous contribution to the Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC), I have been awarded the highly sought-after 2015 Canderel Postdoctoral Fellowship. This award is of particular importance to me, as I strongly support the purpose and message of the Défi. The sense of teamwork towards the common goal and the community spirit are tangible to that which we experience within the laboratory every day. This teamwork is essential in the quest to discover novel therapeutics and striving towards discovering a cure for cancer."

Joseph Pogson, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Goodman Cancer Research Centre

Founded in 1947 as a non-profit organization, the Institute is a clinical cancer research & teaching center. The institute plays an important role in many aspects of cancer study, and is recognized as an excellent trans-rational research center. This type of work bridges all gaps between fundamental and clinical research. The ultimate goal is to take the results discovered in the laboratories and translate them into clinical protocols. The members at the Institute are leaders in their fields of research in breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. The centre has published numerous scientific papers, and has received many prestigious grants, ranking them among the very best in these research fields.

Since 1997, the The Cancer Institute of Montréal falls under the same category as foundations, and as such is able to benefit from private donations. They distribute these funds to all their scientists, allowing them to put in place various academic programs for all the team members.

Défi Canderel has been their longest supporter, and for 27 years has consistently donated large sums of money to the Institute. The Défi plays a very important role within the centre which has come to rely upon the annual donations from this vital partnership.

On November 4, 1998, the board of directors of the institute unanimously adopted a new resolution formalizing Canderel Scholarships as part of the institute. These bursaries are awarded to Master’s or Bachelor’s degree students through an internal competition. Another giving category is the Canderel Excellence Scholarships which are awarded as a recognition of excellence to students who receive highly competitive national and international bursaries. Since 1998, millions of dollars have been invested into these types of bursaries. This major investment is important to assure that the continual efforts made by young scientists towards research continues. In addition, and thanks to other donations made by Canderel, the Institute is able to invest in other cancer research at the CRCHUM (The University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre), for scholarships in excellence, grants for innovative research and for the purchase of state-of-the art equipment.

"The contributions from the annual Défi Canderel fundraising campaign for my doctoral study project was key to the success of my work, enabling me to dedicate all of my time to cancer research. Défi Canderel’s commitment to novel research and to understanding the importance of giving without constraints, allows scientists to use the funds where they are best needed. This very open-minded approach has helped assure the continued advancement of research in the knowledge and understanding of immunotherapies for cancer."

Marjorie Allison Bergeron, M.Sc.
Doctorate Student

"Since my arrival at the Montreal Cancer Institute in 2009, my research project, which intends to show the mechanisms of the progress of prostate cancer, has been funded by Défi Canderel. The unconditional support has enabled me, as it does many of my colleagues, to conduct quality work in our research."

Yannick Huon, M. Sc.
Doctorate Student