Archives of Dr. Charles Scriver now open

Photo from McGill’s Alumni Online Community.

An important new collection for contemporary history of medicine is now open for consultation in the McGill University Archives. The papers of Montreal pediatrician and geneticist Dr. Charles R. Scriver were donated to the Archives in 2013 and serve as a record of his 50-year career in biogenetics. His over 600 publications extend from the metabolic aspects of genetic disease in infants to bioinformatics and population genetics. Dr. Scriver’s research in the scientific community is thus situated at the nexus of genetics and pediatrics.

Dr. Scriver received his primary education at the Lower College of Canada, earned his Bachelor of Arts cum laude (1951) and M.D.C.M. (1955) at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, and underwent clinical training at McGill and Harvard University (1955-58). From 1961 to 1966, Scriver was an appointed Markle Scholar within the Department of Pediatrics, a position which poised him to accept a full professorship of Pediatrics beginning in 1969. During this time, Dr. Scriver helped found the DeBelle Laboratory, a biochemical genetics lab under the Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Scriver’s work on vitamin D’s impact on newborn metabolic disorders (particularly rickets) during this period led to more stringent screening processes for phenylketonuria (PKU) and hypothyroidism in infants, and to the breakthrough introduction of vitamin D in Quebec grocery store milk. He is currently the Alva Professor Emeritus of Human Genetics in the McGill Faculty of Medicine and is honored in the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.

Please contact the McGill University Archives for more information or to consult the archives.

Further reading:

Christopher Canning, George Weisz, Andrea Tone, and Alberto Cambrosio, “Medical Genetics at McGill: The History of a Pioneering Research Group,” Canadian Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 30, no. 1 (2013): 31-54.

George Fedak and Nam-Soo Kim. “Canadian Pioneers. Dr. Charles Robert Scriver“. Genome 51, no. 5 (May 2008): iii–iv.


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