Category Archives: Faculty

View recent posts and news from our faculty members. For our faculty profiles, read more here: https://www.meakinsmcgill.com/faculty-members/ 

COVID-19 biobank in Quebec to collect samples and support infrastructure

Quebec COVID-19 Biobank

The FRQ will support a new province-wide COVID-19 Biobank. McGill researchers, including Dr. Simon Rousseau, will lead a new task force designed to facilitate and coordinate collection of samples and data from COVID-19 patients across Quebec.

Read the McGill Reporter article here:

FRQ to create a province-wide COVID-19 Biobank

Read the RI-MUHC News article here:

FRQ to create a province-wide COVID-19 Biobank: RI-MUHC researchers take leading roles in the initiative

International Conference on Innate Immune Memory November 12-13, 2020 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Innate Immune Memory

SAVE THE DATE!
International Conference on Innate Immune Memory

Drs. Sylvia & Richard Cruess Amphitheatre & Elspeth McConnell Atrium
1001 boul. Décarie, Montréal, QC, Block E

November 12-13, 2020

Immunological memory is a protective host defense strategy against infectious diseases previously thought to only exist in species with adaptive immune systems. However, it has recently become clear that the innate immune system of primitive and advanced species also exhibits memory-like characteristics, a trait termed “trained immunity”. This conference will focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying trained immunity, from its evolutionary roots to its clinical relevance for vaccine development and therapeutic targeting. By bringing together an international group of investigators and trainees, this meeting will advance the dialogue and scientific networks related to the nascent field of trained immunity and its relevance for health and disease.

Full Event Details, Abstract Submission, and Registration:

http://fourwav.es/InnateImmuneMemory

Organizing Committee:

Luis Barreiro │ Chicago University|
Maziar Divangahi │ McGill University
Shabaana Khader │ Washington University
Mihai Netea │ Radboud University

Opinion piece by Salman Qureshi and colleagues from the Critical Care Infectious Disease Network in Canada: All levels of government must take decisive, co-ordinated action now before it's too late

COVID-19 Need for coordinated action

Dr. Salman Qureshi and colleagues from the Critical Care – Infectious Diseases Network in Canada speak to the critical actions needed as we experience this public health crisis.

Read the full new article in the National Post published on March 17, 2020 here:

Canadian leaders can reduce the damage caused by COVID-19 to Canadians and Canadian society by paying close attention to decisions taken in countries currently experiencing severe outbreaks. Strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus amongst the population, minimizing the strain of our healthcare system at any one time, coupled with a sharing of resources across boundaries as the demand for health-care fluctuates, will together play an important role on the ultimate long-term effect of this virus on our society.

funding news for the Meakins-Christie Laboratories

Five CIHR Project Grants awarded!

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.

Funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Maziar Divangahi at the Meakins-Christie Laboratories

Grant to investigate HSCs & innate immunity

Congratulations to Maziar Divangahi for his new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project will investigate the impact of beta glucan on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and innate immunity.

Project title: Beta-glucan induced trained innate immunity.

Maziar Divangahi is a faculty member at McGill University and the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and scientist within the RI-MUHC Respiratory Program.

Quebec Respiratory health network logo

Epigenetics of vaping project funded by QRHN

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.

Cannabis-Centre-Launch-Dean-Eidelman-Baglole-Quenneville-Thompson

McGill Research Centre for Cannabis holds Inaugural Science and Research Day

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. 

Read the complete article here: https://publications.mcgill.ca/medenews/2019/10/24/inaugural-science-and-research-day-for-the-mcgill-research-centre-for-cannabis/

McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://www.mcgill.ca/cannabis/

Scientists-from-McGill-University-and-the-Research-Institute-of-the-MUHC-visit-Braunschweig

Meakins faculty delegation to Braunschweig

Six members of the RI-MUHC took part in a delegation to the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig. Among them were Drs. Irah King, Dao Nguyen, and Maziar Divangahi.

The delegation was part of working visit by McGill University and the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4). Presentations were on selected research topics related to infection including global health, the role of microbiota in infections and personalized medicine.

Read more here on the RI-MUHC News and McGill News websites:

MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform and Dr. Irah King

MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform

The MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform has launched!

We are pleased to announce that the launch phase for the MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform is underway! Based at the RI-MUHC Glen Site, the MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform will provide infrastructure, experimental consultation and training for investigators in the McGill community interested in performing germ-free or gnotobiotic animal studies. Congratulations to Dr. Irah King, Director of the MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform, for all of his hard work to date.

We carry almost two kilograms of microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses collectively referred to as microbiota) in and on our bodies that have potent effects on diseases ranging from diabetes and cancer to neurodegeneration. To understand the function of these complex microbial communities, the use of small animals, such as mice, raised under germ-free conditions (i.e. devoid of all microorganisms) offers a blank canvas onto which known communities of microbes (i.e. gnotobiotic) may be “painted” and studied.

MI4 looks forward to collaborating with Dr. King in the months and years ahead, including via provision of $1 million in funding support over four years. Through its Platforms initiative, MI4 is developing and supporting innovative, open access technological platforms staffed with highly trained personnel which provide support for infection and immunity research across the McGill community.

For more information: https://www.mcgill.ca/mi4/mi4-supported-research/platforms

gut microbiome research

Quebec Microbiome Research Symposium

Congratulations to Dr. Irah King and Dr. Lucie Côté from the RI-MUHC who successfully organized the first Quebec Microbiome Research Symposium! The event was held September 16, 2019 at the RI-MUHC.

More than 100 participants attended this event that brought together researchers and technical specialists involved in microbiome research.

We thank our partners and sponsors that made this event possible: the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (Mi4), Tecniplast and Idexx BioAnalytics.