The MUHC has initiated a building programme of $1.58 billion to construct a new super hospitals‟ complex on the site of the Glen Yards and to upgrade existing facilities. Among the buildings on the new site will be the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Research Institute of the MUHC. This latter building will contain research facilities for both adult and pediatric medical research and will specialize in Translational Biology and Evaluative Research. The total research function of the MUHC is quite vast. There are currently 65 separate physical spaces/buildings that contain 300 individual labs in the MUHC system, one of which is the Penny Cole Lab. In total there are 600 researchers and nearly 1200 graduate and post-doctoral students working in these labs. The fund raising target for the whole programme is $300 million, $200 million for new buildings and $100 million to upgrade existing facilities. John Rae of the Power Corporation is the Chair of this campaign entitled “Best Care for Life”.
Knowing the importance of this building programme to Montreal, the Cole Foundation initiated discussions with the MUHC Foundation to see how the Cole Foundation could help. In the past, there has been a pattern of donations from the Cole Foundation to support equipment purchases for the Penny Cole Lab. Drs. Nada Jabado and Janusz Rak who work in this lab have teamed up on a new project involving stem cell research. They state in their request for funds, “The stem cell niche is where leukemic cells arise and seems also to be the route to the spread and sustenance of other pediatric cancers. Therefore understanding the regulation of the stem cell niche will help better treat several cancers, including leukemia where this is the primary home of the malignant cell.”
In its brief to the Cole Foundation, the MUHC Foundation recognized that the current thrust of the Cole Foundation is the world of research in pediatric leukemia and related diseases with the Cole Foundation Fellowship Programme, and the request for proposals from the Montreal Inter-university Pediatric Leukemia Research Working Group chaired by Dr. Pierre Boyle of the Universite de Montreal. With the Penny Cole Lab being integrated into the new Research Institute Building and with Dr. Janusz Rak, the Jack Cole Chair in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology working in the Penny Cole Lab, there is a synergy and complimentarity for providing funds for this project.
In consequence, the Cole Foundation has pledged to give $1.5 million over a 5 year time period to the Pediatric Research Institute in the new MUHC Research Institute at the Glen Yards. This gift will be given in the following manner:
- $300,000 in 2008
- $300,000 in 2009
- $300,000 in 2010
- $300,000 in 2011
- $300,000 in 2012