Dean On Campus Blog

A homecoming for a medical hero

homecoming-medical-heroTuesday was a big day at Queen’s University.  Principal and vice-chancellor, Daniel Woolf announced the names of six Canadian medical heroes who will be inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) on April 24, 2014.  For the first time, Queen’s University and Kingston will host this national event at the Rogers KRock Centre.

As co-chairs of the 2014 Induction Committee, vice-Principal (Advancement) Tom Harris, and I are delighted about the exceptional nominees that we will honour next April (and one in particular – be sure to read to the end of the list):

Dr. Max Cynader, CM – (Vancouver, BC) – A world-renowned neuroscientist in the area of vision and brain development. His scientific discoveries, biotechnology companies, and community outreach have led to new treatments and improved public understanding of the importance of brain health. He was the Founding Director of the University of British Columbia’s Brain Research Centre and established one of Canada’s foremost neuroscience research communities.

The late Dr. Walter Mackenzie, OC – (Edmonton, AB) One of Canada’s great builders of academic medicine, who transformed the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine..  A visionary leader, Dr. Mackenzie foresaw the concept of academic health centres and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

Dr. T. Jock Murray, OC – (Halifax, NS) is a world leader in Multiple Sclerosis and neurological research, resulting in major advances in the understanding of MS.  He founded and directed the MS Clinic at Dalhousie University and is a pioneer in the holistic approach of medicine. A noted leader in societies and associations at home and abroad, Dr. Murray was a member of the Presidential Working Group on Disability formed by and reporting to President Clinton in 1996.

Dr. Ronald Worton, OC – (Oakville, ON) – A trailblazer in disease gene discovery, Dr. Worton discovered the causal gene for Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. This seminal breakthrough in medical genetics resulted in greater understanding of the disease and revolutionized diagnosis and patient care He was the first CEO and Scientific Director of The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, one of Canada’s premier health research institutes.

Dr. Salim Yusuf – (Hamilton, ON) – has transformed the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease with the impact of his research saving millions of lives around the world.   Dr. Yusuf has revolutionized thinking of clinical trials resulting in improved overall standards and quality of health sciences research worldwide. He established the Population Health Research Institute at Hamilton Health Sciences, and developed a global strategy for cardiovascular prevention.

And, nearest and dearest to the our community is…

Dr. Adolfo de Bold, an alumnus of Queen’s University who completed his graduate studies here. He received his Masters of Science 1971 and PhD in 1973 in experimental pathology. Dr. de Bold was also an esteemed faculty member in Queen’s Department of Pathology. In 1981, at a lab in Hotel Dieu Hospital, he discovered the cardiac hormone atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). This is considered one of the most important contributions to cardiovascular discoveries of the last half-century. For the first time we understood that the heart is more than a simple muscle – but a complex endocrinologic organ.

Dr. de Bold attended the announcement with his wife Dr. Mercedes Lina deBold (who also has a PhD from Queen’s). He spoke very fondly of his time in Kingston. His words illustrated the value of living, learning and working in at such a close-knit campus and community. He told us how he studied and then taught across the street in Botterell Hall, how all five of their children we born a block away at KGH, and how only a few blocks away he made a game-changing breakthrough at Hotel Dieu.

What I didn’t know beforehand, is Dr. De Bold took a big leap of faith in coming to Queen’s. In 1968, after meeting a Queen’s faculty member in Argentina, he decided to move (9,000km!) to Kingston with only a one-year contract as a research assistant. He enjoyed his work here as an R.A. so much that, well…the rest is history.

To wrap up this lengthy post, I would like to thank Principal Woolf and the Honourable Senator Hugh Segal who are the honourary co-chairs for the 2014 Induction. My very sincere thanks go out to the volunteers who are working very hard to make the 2014 ceremony a showcase for our community in the national spotlight. It will be an inspiring event and encourage all Kingstonians to consider attending, sponsor a student or best of all; purchase a table.  You can find out more directly from The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, 519.488.2003, or email:

If you have any thoughts on Dr. De Bold or our “heroes” in healthcare, please respond to this post. Better yet, drop by my office at the Macklem House…my door is always open.


P.S. – here is a video that we produced that sums up how excited we are about all of this!

Medical Heroes


2 Responses to A homecoming for a medical hero

  1. Brian Hennen says:

    I’m pleased to see Queen’s hosting the Candian Medical Hall of Fame in 2014. In particular, the induction of Dr. Jock Murray is especially deserving considering his breadth of contributions in clinical medicine, education, research, academic leadershop and vision which I have been privileged to observe. His continued efforts in medical history research, medical humanities,wise counselling,and role modeling so many ways of contributing to society as a physician are remarkable. Brian Hennen, Queen’s Meds ’62.

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