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Dr. Guy Breton was named rector of Université de Montréal in 2010. A seasoned manager in the academic and health-care sectors, he is known for his ability to communicate and mobilize in a climate of organizational change.

A physician and radiologist, alumnus of McGill University and Université de Sherbrooke, Dr. Breton began his teaching career at UdeM's Faculty of Medicine in 1979. He later held a number of senior positions at the university, as director of the Department of Radiology, Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, executive vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and executive vice-rector. At the same time, he held various strategic and operational positions at Saint-Luc Hospital and the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. He was also responsible for setting up several research funds sponsored by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.

Dr. Breton has contributed to the development of professional and academic associations, notably as president of the Quebec Association of Radiologists, the Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology, the U15 group of Canadian research universities and the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire au Québec.

He is a member of the Order of Canada and has received the Albert-Jutras Award from the Quebec Association of Radiologists in recognition of his outstanding career. Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Technology of Compiègne have each awarded him an honorary doctorate. He also received the CUPL Honorary Professor title from the China University of Political Science and Law and was awarded the insignia of Knight of the Order of Academic Palms by the French government.

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Detailed biography

Guy Breton assumed his role as the Université de Montréal’s 11th rector on June 1, 2010 and on February 24, 2014, he was granted a second mandate to begin in June 2015.

After graduating with a B.A. from the Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, Dr. Breton obtained an MD in 1974 from the Université de Sherbrooke. He specialized in diagnostic radiology at McGill University, while obtaining additional training in neuroradiology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. His university career began at the Université de Montréal at the end of the 1970s, when he was hired as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. In the early 1980s, he also taught at the McGill University-affiliated Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.

Guy Breton was president of the Association des radiologistes du Québec from 1987 to 1997. In this role, he represented Quebec’s 500 radiologists and negotiated the radiology budget allocated by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. He also contributed to improving the quality of radiology practices in association with learned societies and the Collège des médecins du Québec. In 1998, he became president of the Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology for two years. From 1983 to 1997, he was the president and CEO of one of the largest private radiology clinics in Québec, where he managed 15 radiologists and more than 20 employees.

By the early 80s, Dr. Breton was involved in the operations and administration of the Hôpital Saint-Luc, and later the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). His energy and drive led him to become head of the hospital’s radiology department, Director of Planning for CHUM and special advisor to the Chair and CEO of the Board. From 2000 to 2006, he played a key role in the CHUM project, serving as Vice President of SICHUM in the planning of care, services, education, and research, and Director of Planning for CHUM 2010.

His vast experience in strategic and operational management, both in hospitals and private practice, enabled Guy Breton to become Director of the Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Université de Montréal in 1996. Responsible for 125 professors, he wasted no time in implementing advances in the areas of education and research. His notable achievements included setting up several research funds sponsored by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec and creating a joint training program in medical physics with the Department of Physics and the École Polytechnique. In 2003, he was appointed Executive Vice Dean of Post-Doctoral Medical Studies and Hospital Affairs for the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine, and helped establish their integrated university health network (RUIS).

In 2006, Guy Breton was appointed to a senior management position with the Université de Montréal. As Executive Vice Rector, he was responsible for human resources, administration, finances, facilities, information technology systems, security, and pension plans. As president of the budget committee, he spearheaded the budgetary allocation restructuring process. He is also credited with settling the long litigation between the University and the union representing its employees over salary relativity. He took part in reviewing the compensation policy for the University’s senior managers and played a key role in launching an enterprise resource planning software.

On top of his many administrative duties, Guy Breton has managed to continue his teaching, research and outreach activities, in conjunction with his medical responsibilities with patients and students. He is the author or co-author of roughly 100 scientific publications and more than 200 presentations, and has participated in 30 research projects as well as being involved in perfecting a number of minimally invasive imaging and intervention techniques.

Outside his university responsibilities, Guy Breton has sat on the boards for many organizations related to health and higher education, including CHUM, the Fondation du CHUM, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Canadian Association of University Business Officers and Québec-Transplant. He was also Chair of the Medical Affairs Committee of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ).

In 2009, the Société canadienne-française de radiologie awarded him the Albert-Jutras Prize in recognition of his outstanding career in hospitals and universities. The Université de Sherbrooke, on the occasion of its 15th Gala du rayonnement des diplômées et diplômés in 2010, awarded him the title of Ambassador, acknowledging his exceptional career as a doctor, a professor and an administrator at the CHUM and the Université de Montréal. He was named Personnalité SCFR 2011 by the Société canadienne-française de radiologie, for his significant accomplishments. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and one from the Université des Technologies de Compiègne. The same year, he was also made « CUPL Honorary Professor » by the China University of Political science and Law (CUPL), and was named Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government. He has been a member of the Order of Canada since 2014.

He is a member of the following board of directors:

  • Université de Montréal
  • École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC – Montréal)
  • École Polytechnique de Montréal
  • Institut de la recherche Clinique de Montréal (IRCM)
  • Montréal International
  • Société du Quartier de la santé de Montréal (SQM)
  • Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal (vice-president)
  • Royal Society of Canada

He is also a Gouvernor of the Amis de la montagne, gouvernor of the International Economic Forum of the Americas – Conférence de Montréal and Ambassador of La Ligne Bleue.

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