McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Chair established for professor who set gold standard for health research

Published: May 9, 2008
Brian Haynes
Dr. Brian Haynes
Michael Gent
Michael Gent

During 33 years at McMaster University, professor Michael Gent led the group that established the international gold standard for doing the best quality medical research, particularly clinical trials.

As a result of the global reputation for high quality research, McMaster has a popular graduate program in health research methodologies and attracts millions of dollars in clinical trial research each year to investigate the effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures.

Today the professor emeritus returns to campus from his home in Scotland to celebrate the creation of an endowed chair in his name, the Michael Gent Chair in Healthcare Research at McMaster University. The prestigious position, endowed with $2 million, will be held by the chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the first chair holder is a former student of Michael Gent, Dr. Brian Haynes.

Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences, said that important advances in medicine rest completely on the quality of how the research is done.

"Under Michael Gent’s direction, McMaster established the premier clinical trials research group in the country, creating a model for combining peer-reviewed research with enlightened university-industry research. He addressed questions important from both academic and commercial perspectives."

Gent joined the new Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 1969, attracted by the excitement and vision of the team creating the new medical school. He was a mentor to many faculty members who are now well-known medical researchers.

Haynes said: "The Michael Gent Chair will bring prestige to the department, given the research accomplishments of its benefactor, and it will provide enduring funding to strengthen the faculty of the department."

Michael Gent's contribution led to the creation of the professorship in his name in 2004. He has made another significant donation to complete the funding to convert the professorship into an endowed chair, which again has been named in his honour.

"Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics is an exceptional department with international recognition of its many innovative contributions in research, education and clinical practice," said Gent.

"I always said I would never leave McMaster, so I am greatly honoured to continue my association with the department by having my name remain here on the endowed chair."

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