Creation of the National Bank Research Chair for the Treatment of Brain Cancer

Sherbrooke, 10 January 2007 - 

To prolong the lives of people with brain tumours

Thanks to a $1 million donation made by National Bank during the Ensemble campaign, Université de Sherbrooke today announced the creation of the National Bank Research Chair for the Treatment of Brain Cancer. The Chair is held by Professor David Fortin of the Neurosurgery Department of the Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé (FMSS), who will conduct research to prolong the lives of people with brain tumours.

The research conducted by the National Bank Research Chair for the Treatment of Brain Cancer will help improve the chemotherapy treatments used to slow the growth of this type of incurable cancer. Professor David Fortin and his team have already made a major breakthrough in this area and are optimistic. As he explained, “With the support of the Chair, we will be able to push our research even further so as to offer an exclusive targeted therapy for treating these aggressive lesions.”

“Research gives us the hope that we can offer a better quality of life to those affected by brain cancer,” stated Daniel Poissant, Vice-President – Sales and Personal Banking at National Bank. “We consider it our responsibility to support causes affecting the health and well-being of members of the community.”

“Financing is essential to the progress of research in this field. The Bank’s financial contribution will help support the work of Professor David Fortin, who has developed a revolutionary form of chemotherapy that is enabling patients to survive an average of three times longer than with traditional treatments,” concluded Roland Provost, Vice-President – Commercial Banking at National Bank.

Pierre Labossière, Associate Vice-Rector, Research at Université de Sherbrooke, stated that the new Chair was part of a broad strategy to develop cancer research at Université de Sherbrooke. “The scientific breakthroughs made by Professor David Fortin will have a significant impact on the lives of people affected by this disease. This is a tangible demonstration of how our teaching staff is leading the way, with innovative, cutting-edge research methods, towards a healthy society.”

Professor David Fortin, Neurosurgeon and Neuro-oncologist

An internationally reknowned surgeon specializing in the treatment of brain tumours, David Fortin is Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery Department of the Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé (FMSS) of Université de Sherbrooke. He is the only neurosurgeon and neuro-oncologist in Canada, and also heads the neuro-oncology clinic at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS). Professor Fortin perfected and implemented a revolutionary procedure at CHUS known as the blood-brain barrier disruption technique. This leading-edge technique, which has already benefited many patients, enables cancer-fighting medications to reach the brain tumour in sufficient quantities to be effective. Each year, an estimated 2,500 Canadians are diagnosed with brain cancer, a highly aggressive form of incurable cancer.

The National Bank Chair for the Treatment of Brain Cancer will be part of the CHUS Neuro-Oncology Department, which boasts a combination of expertise in diagnosing and treating cancer and state-of-the-art equipment, including the gamma knife and positron emission tomography. The Chair benefits from an exceptional clinical and research and training environment.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group that provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management, as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has more than $116 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,972 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA: TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at
www.nbc.ca.

Leadership of the Ensemble campaign

Headed by Henri-Paul Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Ensemble campaign brought together five leading institutions in the fields of healthcare and education, Université de Sherbrooke, the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), the Centre de santé et services sociaux – Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS), Hôpital Charles LeMoyne in Longueuil, and the Séminaire de Sherbrooke. Under powerful, unifying leadership, the Ensemble campaign was a resounding fundraising success, thanks to the commitment of tens of thousands of individuals, volunteers and donors.

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Information: 

Caroline Morneau, Communications Officer – Health
Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke
819-820-6868, ext. 12581; Caroline.Morneau@USherbrooke.ca

Lucie Danis, Development Officer
Fondation de l’Université de Sherbrooke
819-821-8000, ext. 63650; Lucie.Danis@USherbrooke.ca

Denis Dubé, Director – Public Relations
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: 514-394-8644