Dr. Kenneth Melville

Meet the amazing Dr. Kenneth Melville, BSc’26, MDCM’26, MSc’31.

Born in Jamaica, he was McGill’s first Black medical student (in 1926!) and Chair of McGill’s Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics (1953-67). On top of being an outstanding scientist, he was also a deeply socially involved person. He was notably involved in raising funds for Fred Christie to fight against racial discrimination in the historic Christie v. York legal battle in the 1930s. This fight went all the way up to the Supreme court that ultimately sided with the York corporation, effectively confirming that it was legal for private businesses to discriminate based on race. This provides a good reminder of the world he had to evolve in. In his honour, and with the blessing of his family, the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics is establishing an Undergraduate Research Bursary to offer summer research internships to undergraduate students from an underrepresented equity group. This research experience combined with mentorship will increase the students’ competitiveness for careers in science.

More about Melville http://bit.ly/2CRIiWM. Donate to the bursary http://bit.ly/2CRIiWM.