Understanding the body and disease process Cells, Genetics and Genomics

Cells are the smallest units of life and are often called the "building blocks of life". The study of cells is called cell biology or cytology. Genetics refers to the study of genes and their role in the traits and conditions that are passed from one generation to the next. Genomics describes the study of all of a person's genes - the human genome.

Researcher Educator
  1. 1913

    After a number of years in medical practice, Dr. Oswald Avery pursued medical research

  2. 1920

  3. 1923

    Dr. Pierre Masson's early research led to the publication of his classic text "Les Tumeurs Humaines"

  4. 1930

  5. 1940

  6. 1940s

    At McGill, Dr. Charles Leblond found the opportunity to attempt his autoradiography experiment again, this time using an isotope with a longer half-life

  7. 1944

    The Journal of Experimental Medicine published the breakthrough discovery of Avery, MacLeod and McCarty

  8. 1948

    Drs. Barr and Bertram made a ground-breaking discovery later referred to as the Barr body

  9. 1950

  10. 1953

    Along with his student Yves Clermont, Leblond discovered the first mammalian stem cells

  11. 1953

    Watson and Crick discover the structure of DNA

  12. 1955

    With Dr. K.L. Moore, Dr. Barr developed the buccal smear test, a non-invasive method of gathering human cells from the lining of the mouth for genetic testing

  13. 1956

    Louis Siminovitch joins the Ontario Cancer Institute

  14. 1960

  15. 1960's

    For the next 15 years, Drs. McCulloch and Till pursued stem-cell research

  16. 1961

    Till and McCulloch published their original paper describing stem cells in Radiation Research

  17. 1963

    Ernest McCulloch and James Till published their findings in "Nature"

  18. 1969

    Dr. MacLennan began his studies of the SR—a calcium storage and release compartment inside muscle cells

  19. 1970

  20. 1970s

    Michael Smith focused his research on the human genome and on developing methods to sequence DNA molecules called oligonucleotides

  21. 1971

    Dr. Worton returned to Canada and joined the Department of Genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto as Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory

  22. 1979

    Dr. John Bienenstock was one of the first to identify the T cell-dependent mucosal mast cell as a major effector cell of parasite gut immunity

  23. 1979

    Dr. Michael Hayden established the 1st Huntington’s Disease Clinic in South Africa

  24. 1980

  25. 1981

    Dr. Eaves co-founded the Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency

  26. 1984

    Known as the “holy grail” of immunology, Dr. Mak discovered the structure of the T-Cell captor for antigens

  27. 1985

    In 1985, Dr. Worton began a ten-year term as Geneticist-in-Chief at the Hospital for Sick Children

  28. 1986

    Dr. Pawson developed the concept of signaling proteins and identified the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain as the prototypic protein-interaction module

  29. 1986

    To facilitate increased scientific collaboration, Dr. Hayden established the Canadian Collaborative Network on Predictive Testing for Huntington's Disease

  30. 1988

    Along with Dr. Michael R. Hayden, Dr. Worton developed the concept of the Canadian Genetic Disease Network (CGDN)

  31. 1989

    The discovery of the CFTR gene defective in cystic fibrosis was published in three foundational papers

  32. 1990

  33. 1990

    The Human Genome Project began

  34. 1996

    As part of an effort to translate scientific discoveries into commercial products, Dr. Hayden established NeuroVir Pharmaceutic

  35. 1997

    Dr. Finlay and his team published a seminal paper that showed Salmonella resides inside host cells during infections

  36. 1997

    The Finlay Group showed how enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) injects its own receptor into host cells

  37. 2000

  38. 2000

    A great mentor, Michael Smith hand-picked Marco Marra to succeed him as Director of the GSC

  39. 2000

    Learning from the success of the South Africa Clinic, Dr. Hayden founded BC’s first Huntington’s Disease Clinic

  40. 2001

    Connie Eaves became the first researcher in Vancouver to commence investigations of human embryonic stem cells (ES) and human induced pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS)

  41. 2002

    Dr. Finlay co-founded Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company to facilitate shifting lab work into accessible products

  42. 2003

    At the height of the SARS outbreak Marco Marra and his team of researchers successfully sequenced the SARS coronavirus, providing a basis for both vaccine development and diagnostic testing

  43. 2004

    Along with Dr. Bruce Carleton, Dr. Hayden created Genotype-Specific Approaches to Therapy in Childhood

  44. 2005

    David MacLennan published his research on the Ca2+ATPase in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 1970

  45. 2010

About the CMHF

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances health in Canada and the world, fostering future generations of health professionals through the delivery of local and national youth education programs and awards.

Educational Program CTAs