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Scriver, Charles R.
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Dr. Charles R. Scriver (1930- ), is a distinguished Montreal pediatrician and geneticist. He was born in Montreal on November 7, 1930 to McGill physicians Dr. Charles Scriver and Dr. Jessie Boyd Scriver. After completing his primary education at the Lower College of Canada, Dr. Scriver earned his Bachelor of Arts cum laude (1951) and M.D.C.M. (1955) in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, later obtaining 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. Since the 1960’s, Dr. Scriver’s academic tenure has included many visiting lectureships, six honorary degrees (D.Sc.), and culminated with his eventual post as the Alva Professor Emeritus of Human Genetics in the McGill Faculty of Medicine.
The author of over 600 publications, namesake of the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation’s Scriver MD/PhD Scholarship Program, and editor emeritus across all editions of the authoritative genetics textbook The Metabolic & Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, Dr. Scriver has served the biogenetics community from within and beyond McGill over his 50-year career. His research interests extend from the metabolic aspects of genetic disease in infants to bioinformatics and population genetics. Scriver’s research in the scientific community is thus situated at the nexus of genetics and pediatrics.
In addition to his august academic career, Dr. Scriver has chaired and participated in a number of local and international boards and organizations in the biogenetics community, including tenures as Director of the Medical Research Council Group in Genetics (until 1994), President of the Society for Pediatric Research (1976), and the Society for Clinical Investigation. He has been accorded several civic awards, including an Officership of the Order of Canada (1985, promoted to Companion in 1995) and Grand Officier de l’ordre du Quebec (1996), and was notably inducted into the Canadian Halls of Fame for Medicine (2001) and Science and Engineering (2001). In 2010, Scriver was awarded the prestigious Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research, the largest international award for pediatric research.
Dr. Scriver met his wife Esther in 1947, with whom he has four children and seven grandchildren. They currently reside in Montreal.