Dr. David Rosenblatt, former Chair of McGill Department of Human Genetics, joins the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation Board of Directors

June 25, 2014 – The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of a new board member, Dr. David Rosenblatt, MD, Dodd Q. Chu and Family Chair in Medical Genetics.

Dr. Rosenblatt is a Canadian medical geneticist, pediatrician, and professor in the Departments of Human Genetics, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he was the Chairman of Department of Human Genetics from 2001-2013. As chairman he was deeply involved in developing the pedagogical aspects of the department, ensuring the medicine of the future will be well-served by the researchers of today.

A world leader in multiple facets of human genetics, including research, clinical practice, and education, Dr. Rosenblatt and his collaborators have identified the genes for five disorders, leading to a more complete understanding of vitamin metabolism and better approaches to detect carriers and diagnose these disorders. Dr. Rosenblatt directs one of only two referral laboratories in the world for patients born with metabolic diseases related to folic acid and vitamin B12.

Not only is Dr. Rosenblatt an expert in the laboratory, he also cares deeply for the wellbeing of patients. With his wife Linda Chernin-Rosenblatt, he participates in the twice-weekly event, Cedars CanSupport Tea@2. Mrs. Rosenblatt has been bringing people together at the Montreal General and Royal Victoria Hospitals of the MUHC in a unique and cozy environment in support of cancer patients and their families for the past seven years. While she is an extraordinarily talented baker with a generous heart, Dr. Rosenblatt enjoys sharing his love of music and the joy it brings to others.

CGCF Board Chair Sandra MacPherson commented: “With his tremendous expertise, generous spirit and incredible enthusiasm for human genetics, Dr. Rosenblatt will bring a true community connection to the Board as we work to grow the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation.”

Over the past three years, CGCF has granted more than $810,000 in research funding, provided more than $657,000 in MD/PhD scholarships and given more than 380 high school students the opportunity to work as a Gene Researcher for a Week.

“Each of these programmes is providing funding to students and researchers that have valuable ideas, but find it difficult to receive funding from other sources”, explained Ms. MacPherson. “Dr Rosenblatt is so well respected, and connected in the human genetics community he will enable the Foundation to stay current with the needs of the community and ensure our funding continues to be targeted to the areas of greatest need.”

Biography of Dr. David Rosenblatt

Holder, Dodd Q. Chu and Family Chair in Medical Genetics

Professor, Departments of Human Genetics, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Biology McGill University

Chief, Department of Medical Genetics, SMBD Jewish General Hospital

Director, Medical Genetics Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

David S. Rosenblatt is a leader of basic and clinical research and education in human genetics in Canada and internationally. He has made major contributions to our knowledge of inherited metabolic diseases, particularly in the genetics and treatment of defects of the vitamins folic acid and vitamin B12. As Chair of the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University in Montreal from 2001-2013, he built an outstanding department that has achieved international prominence both for research, and also for the education of basic and clinical scientist, clinical and laboratory physicians, and genetic counsellors. He has served as President of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of Medical Geneticists of Quebec. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and Correspondant étranger of the Académie Nationale de Médecine of France

About the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation

The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation (CGCF) is a registered Canadian charitable organization, formed in 1999 to raise much-needed funds for medical genetics research in Canada.

The CGCF shares a vision with Canada’s leading medical genetics researchers who are working to identify and understand the genetic alterations that contribute to genetic disease. The Foundation’s primary goal is to raise funds to enable Canadian scientists to discover cures and treatments for genetic diseases.

In addition to awarding annual research grants, the Foundation recognizes the importance of mentoring Canada’s future scientists and hosts the annual Gene Researcher for a Week program aimed at providing unique educational opportunities for high school students across the country. The Foundation also supports networking opportunities in which scientists can exchange ideas and work cooperatively, linking advances in different disease areas. Specifically, the CGCF supports the annual Canadian Human and Statistical Genetics Conference in partnership with the CIHR Institute of Genetics.

Canadian scientists are world-leaders in gene discovery and genetic research and have discovered genes relating to hundreds of disorders, including cystic fibrosis, juvenile diabetes, muscular dystrophy, dyslexia, Huntington disease, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease and epilepsy. Through active fundraising, the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation can continue to support Canadian scientists and their contributions to human genetics research.

July 3, 2014