In a past life, I was a university student in biochemistry at McGill University. Toward the end of my degree, there were talks that entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Francesco Bellini (who played a big role in Biochem Pharma, the maker of 3TC, an important drug for treating HIV) would give money to build a brand-new biological research centre at McGill University. The year was 2002.
Fast-forward to mid-2008: the Bellini building and the adjoining Cancer Pavillon (see website) were just completed. This week, my friend’s lab just moved from the McIntyre (also known as the McMed), a thirteen-story high building inaugurated in 1965 and used by the Faculty of Medicine, to their new facilities in the Cancer Pavillon.
A “bridge” was built on the mountain slope between the old McMed’s 7th floor Cancer Centre and the newly-built Cancer Pavillon. For someone who hasn’t been to this part of the edifice for almost six years now, it was a little surreal to find this passage through what probably used to be one of my professor’s lab.
The interior’s finishing remains to be completed, but people are starting to work in the Cancer Pavilion already. The buildings are essentially going to serve for scientific research. They will certainly help boost McGill.