McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

$3 million investment boosts nephrology research in Hamilton

Published: March 7, 2007
Announcement of Amgen Canada Chair
Announcing the Amgen Canada Chair in Nephrology are (from left to right) Kevin Smith, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton; Dr. David Churchill, Medical Director, Nephrology, Amgen Canada Inc.; Dr. David Russell, associate professor, Department of Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University; Dr. Peter George, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University; Dr. Daniel Billen, vice-president and general manager, Amgen Canada Inc.; Rob Donaldson, President, St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation; and Dr. John Kelton, Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University.

A new partnership designed to further enhance one of the Hamilton’s largest and most renowned medical research programs, has been announced by McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Amgen Canada Inc.

A $3 million investment in basic science research from the Canadian division of Amgen, a leading human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry, will result in the establishment of the Amgen Canada Chair in Nephrology. Nephrology is a medical specialty focused on the study of the kidney, its structure, function and the diseases and ailments that can affect its proper functioning. 

"Each day, as many as 14 Canadians learn their kidneys have failed and over 17,000 Canadians are currently on dialysis," said Dr. David Russell, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University and Director of the Division of Nephrology at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.  "St. Joseph's and the Division of Nephrology are delighted to join Amgen Canada and McMaster University in creating a research chair that will combine our expertise in clinical and basic research with Amgen’s outstanding record as a biotechnology company dedicated to helping people fight serious illness."

"Amgen is committed to furthering research and innovation in Canada and is delighted to provide an endowment to support St. Joseph’s Healthcare’s exceptional Nephrology program. At Amgen Canada we focus on therapies that have a beneficial effect on people suffering from grievous illnesses. And we place a strong emphasis on studying disease in patients, not just in a lab," stated Dr. Daniel Billen, vice-president and general manager at Amgen Canada Inc.

"It is wonderful that we can make this announcement during Kidney Month in Canada," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences. "The nephrology division of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine based at St. Joseph’s has consistently received accolades for its achievements, and Amgen’s commitment will ensure we continue at the head of the pack."

Nephrology is one of the fastest-growing research programs for McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Father Sean O’Sullivan Research Centre. The addition of this new research chair will position Hamilton as one of the largest hospital-based research centres performing both clinical and basic science research into the causes of and treatments for kidney disease and dysfunction. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is a fully-accredited teaching hospital and academic health sciences centre affiliated with McMaster University.

Recruitment initiatives for the inaugural holder of the Amgen Canada Chair in Nephrology have begun, with the goal of securing an internationally renowned researcher for the position by the summer of 2007.

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