By Sharon Gray
A major gift from philanthropist Elaine Dobbin to Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine was announced May 23. This significant donation is being made in support of medical education and genetics research at Memorial. It has been made in the name of Mrs. Dobbin’s late husband, Dr. Craig L. Dobbin.
In recognition of this gift, Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor, announced that the university’s new centre for interdisciplinary research in human genetics will be formally named the Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre. This centre is scheduled to open in Memorial’s expanded Faculty of Medicine in 2014.
The announcement was made to a packed audience at the main auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine. Among the special guests for the event were Mrs. Dobbin and Harry Steele, a longtime friend of the late Dr. Dobbin. Keith Hutchings, minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, also attended and spoke at the event.
The gift will support undergraduate student bursaries, graduate student scholarships, two post-doctoral fellowships and a research fund in the Faculty of Medicine.
“It is through the generosity of philanthropists like Elaine Dobbin that we are able to develop the facilities and resources required to attract the highly qualified people we need to drive innovative research and development in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “This gift is an investment in our future, and will continue to position Memorial – and this province – as a global destination of choice for talented academics, students and staff. I thank Mrs. Dobbin for her generosity.”
Dr. James Rourke, dean of medicine, said Mrs. Dobbin’s important commitment to the Faculty of Medicine will support scholarships and genetics research, particularly in the areas of autism and pulmonary fibrosis.
“Her gift will fund the people who do the thinking and the work to convert our new building and equipment into great research.”
Dr. Rourke said the gift from Mrs. Dobbin means the Faculty of Medicine “will have the capacity to do more of the interdisciplinary research that focuses on the unique needs and opportunities for health research in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre and the expansion of the medical education program of the Faculty of Medicine will be housed in a new six-storey building adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre. The Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre will be housed on levels three, four and five, with space on level six shelled in for future research.