Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“I had better use the rest of my life.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
2001 Inductee

Dr. Charles Scriver

Born: 
November 7, 1930, Montreal, Quebec
Education: 
MD - McGill University
In 1961, Dr. Charles Scriver founded the DeBelle Laboratory in Biochemical Genetics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital to study genetic disorders in children. His discovery of hereditary forms of rickets in children followed his lobby for the addition of vitamin D to marketed milk in Quebec to eradicate the nutritional cause of rickets. This significantly raised society’s awareness of the genetic causes of the disease.

In addition, Scriver developed and instituted a method of examining the blood of newborn infants to screen them for a number of inherited biochemical conditions, such as PKU and hypothyroidism, allowing early and effective treatment.

Beyond his continuous methodological evolution from biochemical genetics to DNA analysis to research in silico (in computers), Dr. Scriver played a lead role in exploring the wider social issues which accompany this research. Over his long career, he taught students and advised colleagues in a uniquely stimulating and supportive way.

Among Dr. Scriver’s many awards are his appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985 and Companion in 1996, and numerous honorary degrees.