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In 1979, a group of business and community leaders, along with members of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine, came together because they believed in the power of medical research to change and save lives - they also believed our region could and should be a leader in medical research excellence; DMRF was formed. 

Forty years later, DMRF has raised tens of millions of dollars, and supported hundreds of world-class researchers by endowing projects, training leaders in health research, building partnerships, and funding new discoveries. This is changing health outcomes locally, and all over the world.

A Brief History

When Dr. J Donald Hatcher was appointed Dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1976, he immediately recognized that the lab equipment in the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building (opened in 1967) was approaching the decade mark and was in desperate need of replacement. He was determined that something should be done. At the same time, philanthropist and prominent Halifax community member Mrs. Nora Balders desired to make a substantial donation to medical research in Nova Scotia. Notably, Dalhousie was the only medical school in the country at the time that had not received provincial or regional funding for research.

Founding DMRF Board Members

Ms Balders

Mrs. Balders explained to Mr. H. Reuben Cohen, Chair of the Dalhousie University Investment Committee, that she would like to make this considerable donation, provided that a goal be set to reach an endowment of $10 million for local medical research, and provided that Mr. William (Bill) Sobey be involved in the initiative. After follow-up discussions with Dean Hatcher and Bill Sobey, Reuben Cohen later returned to visit Nora Balders with the news that a group led by Bill Sobey was committed to achieving this ambitious goal, marking the beginning of an important journey. 

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation was officially established in 1979, with Bill Sobey as the first elected Chair and Nora Balders as Vice Chair.

Molly Appeal

"Research is the best medicine" - Molly Moore

The Molly Appeal is Dalhousie University's annual campaign created to raise critical funds throughout the year in support of local health research excellence.

Learn more about Molly

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