Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology

 Lavergne Chair Presentation

On September 20, 2022, we were very excited to announce and to celebrate the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology.

I first met Keith and Leanne when Keith came in to receive a kidney transplant from his cousin David several years ago. After his transplant, Keith became interested in my research and we discussed the importance of fundamental sciences research and its impact on patient care. Keith immediately understood the challenges of obtaining  sustainable funding, especially for moonshot projects. This original relationship enabled us to present a vision where their incredibly generous donation could make a monumental and long-lasting impact on urological  research, on education and on patient-care. This concept led to the creation of the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology.

Our Division is already exceptionally strong with a deep-rooted history of leadership, innovation and research productivity and have demonstrated ourselves as true pioneers in surgical education and training.   Our mission, however, is to become even better through innovation, not only in academics and clinical care but also in wellness and in education.

It is both humbling and an honor to be the first holder of the Lavergne Chair. As the inaugural Lavergne Chair, I will strive to create an environment that allows our faculty, residents, and fellows to successfully achieve their  academic career goals. This Chair will enable us to work together to achieve these pursuits. With the help of these funds, our faculty will carry out cutting edge research, including moonshot projects in areas of adult and pediatric urology across the spectrum of oncology, endourology, minimally invasive surgery and robotics, andrology,  functional urology and reconstruction, surgical education, and transplantation.  These types of moonshot projects, which may not otherwise be feasible, will foster new collaborations both locally and nationally which will then  translate to larger national and international grants. In addition, this funding will help create a sustainable research infrastructure that will help grow and strengthen the ongoing research in our Division.

The Chair will allow us to also strengthen the impact that our Division has on the future of urology around the world by funding research endeavors of our fellows and residents who come to us for training from all over Canada and the world.  Our residents and fellows who receive these seed grants will be able to go back home and carry the Lavergne name/award with them throughout their careers and be proud of the work that was made possible at Western, by this generous gift.  I foresee this Chair facilitating the recruitment of a   surgeon scientist or perhaps fundamental scientist to the Division to help push us into areas of research we have not yet explored. I would also like to ensure that we provide avenues to mold the future leaders of our Division with faculty development initiatives and programs that we support with this gift.

Our Division is already a powerhouse in research, surgical education and patient care, but I believe that the Lavergne Chair will strengthen that position and take us from excellent to exceptional!  I am very excited about the opportunities this gift will create within our Division as well as that of the monumental downstream impact of this gift on the urologic care of patients in our region as we build upon our strengths and establish a stronger path forward.

On behalf of the entire Division of Urology, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the entire Lavergne Family.  We take this with an extreme sense of excitement, as well as a sense of duty and trust to ensure that we are exceptional stewards of this gift.  I feel a massive sense of hope of what incredible things will be achieved not only by the current faculty, residents, and fellows, but also by the future urologists of our Division. 

Alp Sener