In 1961, Dr. Charles Scriver founded the De Belle Laboratory for biochemical genetics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, which has contributed much to the study of inborn errors of metabolism and genetic disease. Born in Montreal in 1930, Scriver’s work on rickets led to the development of a treatment for the genetic metabolic disease and a preventive nutrition program in Montreal, as well as thalassanemia and Tay-Sachs screening programs. In the 1960s, he improved the lives of children in Quebec suffering from rickets when he discovered that a vitamin D deficiency was the cause of the disease and its accompanying bone deformation. Scriver went one step further and convinced the federal government to require that milk producers add vitamin D to milk. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2001.
These landmark discoveries, combined with those of his peers, have paved the way for research teams to battle cancer through immunotherapy.