The Meakins-Christie Laboratories is one of the premiere centres for pulmonary research in the world. The Meakins was founded in 1972 by Dr. Peter Macklem. It comprises the largest group of investigators within the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program at the RI-MUHC. Our overall mission is to better understand the pathobiology of respiratory disorders. Our goal is to drive innovations in respiratory disease prevention, diagnosis, and therapy.
Pulmonary Research Themes
According to the WHO, respiratory disorders are leading causes of death world-wide (second only to heart attack & stroke). These include diseases such as obstructive lung diseases and pulmonary infections. As a result, our research is focused around four main themes: chronic airways disease, lung injury and infection, neuromuscular dysfunction in respiratory diseases, and sleep-disordered breathing. Above all, a multidisciplinary approach is used to study the basic mechanisms of a number of diseases. These include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary infections, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, respiratory muscle disorders, pulmonary fibrosis, lung injury, and rare respiratory diseases. Research at the Meakins also involves the study of human physiology and tissues in parallel with relevant animal and cell culture models. Furthermore, research is facilitated by the availability of a variety of core facilities for both clinical and fundamental studies.
An equal mix of PhD and MD scientists make up our Faculty Members. This ensures that basic science and patient-oriented research questions and techniques are brought together. In turn, this helps drive translational pulmonary research toward successful clinical applications. Furthermore, longstanding strong collaborations exist with the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit (RECRU), MUHC, Montreal Children’s Hospital, and Montreal Chest Institute. These interactions are crucial to support fundamental, clinical, and translational research projects.
The training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world is one of the most important missions of the Meakins. As a group, we organize weekly seminars with invited national and international speakers. Trainees also have the opportunity to present their work at weekly work-in-progress sessions. We have also developed a variety of mentoring activities. These include a postdoctoral training program and an annual research day. Our students & fellows association (SPiRE) organizes social functions throughout the year. Numerous McGill courses and workshops are also given at the Meakins-Christie Laboratories. These workshops are open to faculty and trainees alike. Finally, we are also proud to host three annual memorial lectures. These lectures are in honor of Dr. Peter Macklem, Dr. Ronald Christie, and Dr. Seymour Heisler.