Science for the wounded
The work of Dr. Armand Frappier
Quebec Government and the University of Montreal
The University of Montreal and the Quebec Government exerted a strong influence on the Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene of the University of Montreal. First, the Institute traces its roots back to the Bacteriology Department, which was managed by Dr. Frappier and was part of the University’s Faculty of Medicine. This is where the Institute’s team was formed and also where originated the idea to create an organization dedicated to microbiology, preventive medicine and public health.
The Province of Quebec had a need to train experts in these fields. It also needed modern laboratories, and to produce its own vaccines instead of buying them abroad or in Ontario from the renowned Connaught Laboratories in Toronto. Dr. Frappier wanted to update scientific research in Quebec. Based on the Institut Pasteur model, he worked to make it self-reliant through the sale of its production.
In 1937, Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis and the Minister of Health, J. A. Paquette, who both favoured Dr. Frappier’s project, granted the initial funds for the creation of the Institute and pledged their help for its development, something they kept on doing as years passed by. The Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene of the University of Montreal was born in April 1938 as a non-profit corporation without share capital. After two years of talks, the University agrees to rent the Institute spaces in its future buildings on Mount Royal.
Thanks to the financial support of the University of Montreal and the Quebec Government, the Institute of Microbiology settled in Wing H on May 1941. By a special Act in 1942, it was affiliated with the University and became the Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene of the University of Montreal.