Dr. David LeBrun, recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.
This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Dr. David LeBrun. Dr. LeBrun graduated from St. Pius X High School in 1978, where he was second in his class. He then went on to Queen's University to study biochemistry, and was accepted into their medical school after only two years. After completing his residency in Toronto, he lived in California from 1990 to 1993 while completing a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at Stanford University.
Highly sought after, Dr. LeBrun returned to Canada to be closer to his family and to embark on a career in cancer research. In 1994, he began an appointment in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's, where he is currently a full professor and consultant in lymph node pathology.
David's list of accomplishments is lengthy. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has published extensively, and his research has been supported by multiple agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, and the Cancer Research Society. He is a member of the Correlative Science Tumour Biology Committee and Chair of the grant review panel at the NCIC. He is also a co-director of the Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology. While these achievements are impressive, David's sister Anne Marie Lebrun, who nominated him for the award, said "his purpose has always been to work with people in order to help people."
David's lifelong learning is not limited to science. He is a voracious reader of everything. He loves Tolstoy, but will quote the latest Trailer Park Boys or Simpsons episode in the next breath. He loves music, traveling, highly respects the environment, and enjoys canoeing, hiking, and skiing.
Family has always been of utmost importance to David. In 1988, he married Mary-Ellen O'Connor, a fellow St. Pius X graduate. Together they have raised three great kids: Madeleine, Joey, and Lucie. They are active members at St. Mary's Parish in Kingston, and all three children attended and graduated from Regiopolis-Notre Dame High School in Kingston. David's Catholic faith has never wavered, and his humility and acknowledgement of the limitations of science make it easy for him to believe in a higher power.
Dr. LeBrun has chosen St. Elizabeth School as the recipient of the $5000 that comes with the award.