Alumin Photo

Phil Gold (BBHS ’53)

Born: 1936, Montreal, Quebec 

Dr. Phil Gold was born in Montreal in 1936 and has remained faithful to his native city for most of his life. A brilliant mind with a distinguished record of scientific achievement in immunology and cancer, Dr. Gold is known to many as a caring physician, humanitarian, gifted teacher and inspirational leader.

Upon graduating from BBHS in 1953, Dr. Gold attended McGill University where he earned several degrees. He received a B.Sc. in Physiology in 1957, and then a M.D.C.M. and a M.Sc. Physiology in 1961.

From 1963-1965 Dr. Gold worked in the Montreal General Hospital Research Clinic (then called the McGill University Medical Clinic) where he completed his research thesis for his Ph.D. degree. In 1965, Dr. Gold and his colleague Dr. Samuel Freedman published a seminal paper on their groundbreaking discovery of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), the first clinically useful human tumour marker and one that is found in 70% of cancer patients. It was a concept-shifting discovery and helped shape the modern era of cancer immunology and tumour markers. This marker remains the most frequently used blood test in oncology around the world today, in addition to being the standard against which other human tumour markers are measured.

Dr. Gold has filled a number of medical and research positions as a Medical Research Council Career Investigator, Assistant, Associate and Professor of Medicine and Physiology, director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at the Montreal General Hospital and Director of the McGill Cancer Centre (now the Oncology Centre). He also served as Chief Physician at the Montreal General Hospital and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill University.

In recognition of his scientific contributions, Dr Gold has been the recipient of numerous international awards and honours among them the Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the L’Ordre nationale du Québec, a member of the Academy of Great Montrealers and the Gold Medal Award of Merit of The Graduate Society of McGill University.  He has been the Sir Arthur Sims Traveling Professor to the British Commonwealth. He has received a D.Sc. (H.C. from McMaster University). In 2006, the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine was inaugurated at McGill University, and the first incumbent was selected in 2009.  He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010.

In a video interview Phil Gold talks about his days at BBHS and growing up in the surrounding neighbourhood.


Phil Gold Biography, MISAM, McGill University
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
MUHC Foundation