Congratulations to the following Meakins-Christie faculty, RECRU faculty, and RESP program members who received funding from the 2020-2021 FRQS Research Scholars and Clinical Research Scholars Salary Award Competition!
Five CIHR Project grants were awarded to Meakins and RECRU members in the Fall 2019 competition. Congratulations to ALL!
Basil Petrof. Co-Applicant: Sabah Hussain. Title: Understanding the basis of diaphragmatic weakness in critical illness. Ranked 1st in the Respiratory System Peer Review Committee!
Maziar Divangahi. Title: Reprogramming HSCs to generate protective trained immunity against TB. Ranked 2nd in the Immunology & Transplantation Peer Review Committee!
Maziar Divangahi. Title: Targeting the eicosanoid/macrophage axis to enhance host defense against influenza virus infection.
Carolyn Baglole. Co-Principal Investigator: Ilan Azuelos. Co-Applicants: Andrea Benedetti, Imed Gallouzi. Title: Prognostic and Therapeutic Utility of Human Antigen R (HuR) in Fibrosis.
Faiz Ahmad Khan. Co-Principal Investigators: Glenda Sandy, Christopher Fletcher, Neil Andersson. Co-Applicants: Marie Rochette, Carmen Sicilia, Dick Menzies, Stephanie Law, Richard Long, Alison Doucet. Title: Community Health Workers in Tuberculosis Prevention & Care Services in Nunavik.
Congratulations Carolyn Baglole! The Quebec Respiratory Health Network (QRHN) awarded one (1) year funding for her collaborative project entitled “Evaluate the Epigenetic Lung Effects of Vaping“. The project was funded through the Priority Projects Grants Program (2019-2020).
The Mentorship program of the QRHN also funded Tania Janaudis-Ferreira. Title: Improving ACCEPTance and uptake of Pulmonary Rehabilitation after acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – The ACCEPT PR STUDY. Dr. Janaudis-Ferreira is an Associate Member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and an investigator at the RI-MUHC Respiratory Program.
The Quebec Respiratory Health research Network (QRHN) is one of 20 thematic networks funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé. It brings together more than 490 researchers, pulmologists, health professionals and students. The goal of the Network is to provide a provincial structure in respiratory health based on the participation of researchers in this field, to promote the integration of the different research components, namely clinical, evaluative, epidemiological and fundamental research.
The new McGill Research Centre for Cannabis held its inaugural Science and Research Day on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at the RI-MUHC. The event took place one year following the federal government’s 2018 legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use.
During the event, opening remarks were provided by Dr. Baglole, Dr. David Eidelman (Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine) and Julie Quenneville (MUHC Foundation President).
Canada is uniquely positioned to establish international precedents to inform on cannabis use and policy for countries around the world. The mission of the McGill Research Centre for Cannabis is to offer a hub for integrated cannabis-related research activities. These activities span agriculture/plant sciences, chemistry, biomedical and socioeconomics. The outcomes of this research will provide evidence based knowledge and greatly impact cannabis-related decisions/policies surrounding health, society and law.
Dr. Carolyn Baglole is the Centre’s Director. Read more about how the centre will focus its research efforts on increasing our evidence-based knowledge about the biomedical, horticultural and legal aspects of cannabis use. Specifically, the RI-MUHC and Faculty of Medicine team will look at the biomedical potential of cannabis, including cannabis-based immune therapy; product safety; customized delivery methods; and precision medicine.
McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://www.mcgill.ca/cannabis/
Dr. Carolyn Baglole is the director of the new McGill Research Centre for Cannabis. This centre is positioning itself to examine the role of cannabis, all the way from plants, to people, to policy. She was recently interviewed by McGill News.
Read the full article here: So much to discover: Research in the era of legal cannabis
More about the McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://www.mcgill.ca/cannabis/
(photo by Owen Egan)
Is this centre the first of its kind?
It’s not the first, but it is one of the most comprehensive; this centre will be going from plants to people to policy. That means we will focus on three research axes. [Researchers in] agriculture and plant sciences will conduct fundamental studies on the plant itself – crop management, for example. Our biomedical research axis will encompass both pre-clinical and clinical studies – for example, looking at pain management, and sleep. We also have a socioeconomics and law axis, which focuses on a broad range of financial, legal, policy, regulatory and educational matters emerging from legalization.
Is this an emerging area of research, and was it inhibited, in the past, by taboos?
Issues surrounding legality and social stigma have hampered research. As a result, there is so much information, on all fronts, that we lack. Legalization has really opened the floodgates for cannabis research.
This is important not just because of legalization, but also because of the medicinal use of cannabis?
Yes, we need to understand the potential medicinal applications. We want to understand the growth of the plant, how that affects its chemicals and how they work to alleviate disease symptoms.
One of your goals is to separate myths from reality?
Yes, that is really about being open in our scientific quest. We want to let the data and the science unfold, learning what that story is telling us. Ultimately, the science will inform us as to what is true and what is not.
Why is it essential that the centre be trans-disciplinary?
We can learn from each other. For example, I am involved in the biomedical axis; our colleagues from agriculture and plant sciences may be able to identify a strain of cannabis that produces chemicals which can then be applied in a biomedical setting.
Trans-disciplinary research is really about being comprehensive in our research approach. We combine one person’s area of expertise with that of another, in order to understand a subject as a whole. As compared to isolated projects, we gain a more fundamental understanding.
Dr. Carolyn Baglole was featured in the July 2019 CCIC Newsletter. Her research was profiled in their monthly research highlights. Read the newsletter excerpt below.
Dr. Baglole received her BSc and MSc from the University of Prince Edward Island, and completed her PhD at the University of Calgary. She then did postdoctoral work in the fields of lung biology/toxicology in the Department of Environment Medicine at the University of Rochester (Rochester NY) before returning to Canada at McGill University.
Dr. Baglole’s translational research program seeks to identify novel cellular and molecular pathways that regulate the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases. Her main research focus is to understand how these environmental exposures contribute to pathogenic mechanisms such as chronic inflammation and cell death (apoptosis) that drive the development of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.
In relation to the CCIC, her lab is currently examining how various forms of inhaled cannabis and/or cannabinoids affects lung and immune function. Using pre-clinical models, her team will investigate activation of cellular signaling pathways by exposure to cannabis/cannabinoids, how cannabis exposure effects immune cell numbers and function and whether newer forms of inhaled cannabis products impact lung function. Working with clinicians and other scientists, she is developing an interdisciplinary program for biomedical cannabis research to explore the full potential of cannabis and cannabinoids in human health and disease. For this, she will have a state-of-the-art inhalation facility. This is important, as the most common way to consume cannabis is through inhalation (of smoke or vaporized cannabis/cannabinoids). With this, she will be able to deliver inhaled cannabis and cannabis-derived cannabinoids/novel drugs in a real-world scenario to assess efficacy in disease models and understand the immune-medicated mechanisms involved in the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Read more about Dr. Baglole: https://www.meakinsmcgill.com/baglole/
Read more about the McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://mcgill.ca/cannabis/
Dr. Benjamin Smith, in collaboration with Dr. Carolyn Baglole and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, published “Human Airway Branch Variation and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Together, their study shows that the internal anatomy of our lungs is surprisingly variable. Furthermore, some of those variations are associated with a greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (January 2018)
View full publication: Human airway branch variation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smith BM, Traboulsi H, Austin JHM, Manichaikul A, Hoffman EA, Bleecker ER, Cardoso WV, Cooper C, Couper DJ, Dashnaw SM, Guo J, Han MK, Hansel NN, Hughes EW, Jacobs DR Jr, Kanner RE, Kaufman JD, Kleerup E, Lin CL, Liu K, Lo Cascio CM, Martinez FJ, Nguyen JN, Prince MR, Rennard S, Rich SS, Simon L, Sun Y, Watson KE, Woodruff PG, Baglole CJ, Barr RG; MESA Lung and SPIROMICS investigators. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jan 30;115(5):E974-E981. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1715564115. Epub 2018 Jan 16. PMID: 29339516
View articles and interviews about this research:
Dr. Carolyn Baglole was interviewed about her recent grant entitled “Prognostic and therapeutic utility of human antigen R (HUR) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis”. Her project received 2 year funding from Boehringer-Ingleheim’s Innovation in Understanding ILD (BUILD) program. (April 2017)
Read more here: BUILD grant breathes life into lung disease research. Supported by funding from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd, Carolyn Baglole hopes to unravel the mystery of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease that affects some 15,000 Canadians.