“Wherever he has been needed, Jacques Genest has gone.”
Early in his career, the Quebec government tasked Dr. Genest with investigating the methods of European research centres. Inspired by their multi-disciplinary approach, Dr. Genest returned to Quebec and established his first laboratory at Hôtel-Dieu. His objective was to bring together scientists and researchers from various fields while supporting the training and development of clinical researchers, as modelled by his European counterparts.
In 1964, he became Director of the Department of Medicine at the University of Montreal and Dean of Medicine at McGill University, garnering the support he needed to establish the Centre médical Claude-Bernard in 1967. Known today as the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, this institute persists as a leading research centre with five research divisions, including a Bioethics Research Centre inaugurated by Dr. Genest, that is recognized internationally as an authority on the social and ethical aspects of medicine.
A career advocate for the important role of strong clinical research in the advancement of medicine, Dr. Genest mentored hundreds of medical researchers, encouraging many to obtain postgraduate degrees and to continue in careers of clinical research. His impact on medicine in Quebec, throughout Canada and internationally has been recognized with various accolades and awards, including twelve honorary degrees.