The artist Laura Santini and Kenneth MacKinnon donate a work of art to the IRCM

June 14 2016 | Donation

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The IRCM and its Foundation are pleased to announce the donation of two bronze sculptures by artist Laura Santini and her husband, Kenneth MacKinnon. Entitled MAIZ, the work of art pays tribute to genetic research’s heritage.

A sculptor with a BA from McGill University in Art History and an MA in Studio Art from New York, Laura Santini maintains her studio practice in Montreal and Italy. She has an extensive list of international private and corporate collectors. Her piece MAIZ, of two bronze sculptures measuring 198 cm high by 280 cm and 122 cm wide, recalls that corn has historically intermingled and was made to hybridize with other species. Its genetic makeup is predisposed to strengthening itself by mixing with others.

“The MAIZ sculpture in the context of the IRCM links organic research and genetics research in medicine, which I am proud to honour,” says Laura Santini. “The hereditary traits and the molecular inheritance of gene mechanisms are still primary principles in the 21st century, but modern genetics has expanded beyond genetics to the study of the function and behaviour of genes.”

The representatives from the IRCM and its Foundation thanked Mrs. Santini and Mr. MacKinnon for their generous gesture. They also emphasized the unique way that MAIZ shows the evolution of genetic research, from the first observations of the father of genetics, Gregor Mendel, in the 19th century until today. In addition, these sculptures remind us that genetic and personalized medicine is now a necessity to meet the specific needs of individuals to be treated.

About the IRCM
The IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal) is a renowned biomedical research institute located in the heart of Montréal's university district. Founded in 1967, it is currently comprised of 35 research units and four research specialized clinics: nutrition, metabolism and atherosclerosis; hypertension; diabetes and obesity as well as rare diseases such as cystic fibrosis and familial hyperlipidemia. The IRCM employs nearly 425 people. It is affiliated with the Université de Montréal, and the IRCM Clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). It also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University. The IRCM is funded by the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation). For more information, visit 

About the IRCM Foundation 
Also created in 1967, the IRCM Foundation is an essential partner for the institute. Thanks to individuals who hold dear the IRCM’s future, the IRCM Foundation is able to fulfill its mission and support scientific projects, technological development and training activities at the IRCM, thus contributing to the institution’s growth and success. For more information, visit

Source :
Anne-Marie Beauregard
Communications Officer, IRCM
514 987-5555 |

Manon Pepin
Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations, IRCM
Acting Director, IRCM Foundation
514 987-5535 |