The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and its Research Institute (RI-MUHC) inaugurated a jointly built research institute at MUHC’s Glen site in Montreal, Canada, in February 2015.

The Glen site is claimed to be one of the most innovative academic health centres in North America. It is located at the centre of three vibrant neighbourhoods of Montreal city, Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Sud-Ouest and Westmount in Quebec Province.

The research institute is part of MUHC’s Redevelopment Project at the Glen site. It offers biomedical and research facilities, featuring renovated labs and redesigned care units designed to facilitate fundamental research for establishing the MUHC as a world-class centre of excellence in patient-centric medicine.

MUHC’s current research institute is due to be moved to the Glen facility by the end of February 2015.

RI-MUHC Glen site development

“The laboratories and clinical research facilities at Montreal General Hospital (MGH), which houses one-third of the research institute’s community, will be modernised to provide better research facilities for investigators at MGH.”

In order to establish MUHC as a cutting-edge centre of excellence, RI-MUHC adopted a strategic plan that includes a new programme-based framework to guide its future research activities.

Building a state-of-the-art research institute at the Glen site is the first step towards achieving this objective.

As part of the plan, the laboratories and clinical research facilities at Montreal General Hospital (MGH), which houses one-third of the research institute’s community, will also be modernised to provide better research facilities for investigators at the MGH.

Construction details of the RI-MUHC research institute in Montreal

Construction works at the site began in June 2010 and the research building was completed in the third quarter of 2014.

The research centre is a five-storey building comprising two towers with a central atrium. It is located in Block E on the south-east side of the Glen site.

The facility covers a 450,000ft² total area and is connected to the hospital building by a suspended walkway.

Facilities at the RI-MUHC research institute

Research activities at the RI-MUHC research institute are housed in two main centres, namely the Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) and the McConnell Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIM).

These two centres, together with other clinical research units at the site such as the Centre for Outcome Research and Evaluation (CORE), are expected to take research at the MUHC to the next level.

CTB is located in Block E on levels S1-3 of the research building and houses 110 biomedical scientists.

It conducts fundamental research and features 105 lab modules, 210 equipment alcoves, 29 equipment rooms, 18 freezer rooms, seven tissue culture units, seven radioisotope labs, 14 cold rooms, seven glass washing rooms, and a state-of-the-art technical platform.

The CIM is integrated with the hospital and is located on level four of blocks B and C of the Glen site. It will be used by more than 250 clinical and evaluative researchers to conduct research and clinical trials to discover new treatments.

In addition, it houses three clinical research pods with a total of nine beds (eight for adults and one for children), an imaging and functional platform, offices and support spaces.

The state-of-the-art equipment at the RI-MUHC includes a CT scanner, a fluoroscopy machine, two nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, mass spectrophotometers, and microscopes, including confocal microscopes.

The technological platforms are equipped with clinical proteomics, immune phenotyping, cellular imaging and histopathology core facilities.

Other facilities for research staff include conference and team rooms, a large amphitheatre with a 200-seat capacity, staff locker rooms, lounges, kitchen, offices and student work rooms.

MUHC’s redevelopment project at the Glen site

Spread across a 43-acre area, the Glen site is intended to bring ambulatory services and world-class teaching, research and patient care under one roof.

The site features facilities for the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Cancer Centre and the MUHC Research Institute. It includes 20 operating rooms, 154 paediatric and 346 adult single-patient rooms, space for visitors, and two parking garages to accommodate 2,859 vehicles.

The Glen site is scheduled for opening in April 2015.

Contractors involved in the MUHC project

The design-build contract for the Glen campus was awarded to McGill Health Infrastructure Group (MHIG), which is a consortium of SNC-Lavalin and Innisfree.

Under the 34-year public-private partnership (PPP), the consortium is responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining the Glen campus. The MHIG will maintain the campus for 30 years once it is operational.

Financing for the project

The redevelopment project at the Glen site was jointly funded by the MUHC and MHIG. For the research institute, the MUHC invested a total of $320m. Of this, $220m was allocated for construction and design, and $100m for research equipment and personnel.

Funding was secured from the government of Quebec ($100m), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI, $100m), MUHC ($70m) and donations to the MUHC foundations through the Best Care for Life campaign ($50m).

Related Projects