McGeer and Associates Laboratory
Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada

History of the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, University of British Columbia

Dr. William C. Gibson, a student of Wilder Penfield and Sir Charles Sherrington, founded the Department of Neurological Research in the newly established Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia . His revolutionary idea of bringing together people from different disciplines to work on neurological diseases was ahead of its time.  The University did not support the concept, so the Department was abolished as an anomaly.  Outside financial backing was necessary for the idea to survive.  Key support came from the Kinsmen Clubs of British Columbia and their name was given to the Laboratory.  Leadership passed from Dr. Gibson to the McGeers.  The Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research quickly became known through its scientific publications.  When the British journal Trends in Neuroscience (TINS) featured “Neuroscience Centres of the World”.  The first centre recognized was the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research (TINS, Volume 1, No 5 pp VIII-X, Nov 1978). It has survived to this day, being entirely supported by outside financial resources.  When ISI Thomson Scientific published its original data base of the world’s 107 most highly cited neuroscientists, there were only 4 from Canada . They were all from the Kinsmen Laboratory: Dr. Edith McGeer, Dr. Patrick McGeer, Dr. Steven Vincent (Dr. E. McGeer’s former PhD student), and Dr. H.C. Fibiger (Dr. P. McGeer’s former post doctoral student).  No University or Institution in the world had more representatives. The Kinsmen Laboratory, while very small, continues to be highly cited for its publications. These citations can be found in data bases such as Google Scholar, ISI Thomson Highly Cited Researchers and Scopus.