Category Archives: News

Respiratory Research News from the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and the RESP program of the RI-MUHC. View our latest funding results, faculty and trainee awards, and our research featured in the media.

Special COVID-19 lab safety procedures for the meakins christie labortories

COVID-19 Special RESP Lab Measures

Given the recent closure of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories, please review the restrictions effective immediately, for accessing the RESP laboratories.

Mainly, during the closure period:

  1. An authorization from Dr. Basil Petrof must be obtained for each worker who requires access to the RESP laboratories.
  2. All authorized workers must comply with Safety Rules and Prevention Measures described in the below documents.

Authorized workers were invited to a Zoom meeting on April 7th. Please see Séverine for details. A copy of the presentation is available above.

If you have concerns or questions regarding these restrictions, please contact Séverine at

We would like to take the occasion to remind you that Biosafety Training is mandatory for all laboratory workers. As the training is available online, we encourage those working from home to take advantage of this period, for updating their safety training.

PHAC Biosafety Principal Training at

Opinion: All levels of government must take decisive, co-ordinated action now before it's too late opinion piece by salman qureshi and colleagues from the critical care network

Stepping up to COVID-19

Read the opinion piece co-written by Dr. Faiz Ahmad Khan in the Hill Times – published March 25, 2020 here:

With the arrival of COVID-19, Canada’s health-care system is being tested as never before. Canadian leaders must elicit the assistance of private industry to ensure its continued success, as health-care supplies and equipment are rapidly depleted. A substantial increase in testing for the virus together with significant financial investments in research, aimed at a deeper understanding of the virus and development of a vaccine, should also be top priorities. Solid financial support for all those impacted by the virus will ensure a rapid return to normal once the crisis has abated. Maintaining open communication and collaboration between leaders, the government, and with partners across the board is the key to our ultimate success.

COVID-19 Code life ventilator challenge

Code Life Ventilator Challenge

In answer to the global shortage in mechanical ventilators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fondation Hôpital général de Montréal, Montreal General Hospital Foundation with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre launches the Code Life Ventilator Challenge.

Open to everyone around the world, the goal of this initiative is to design a low-cost, easy to build and easy to use ventilator that can serve the COVID patients, in an emergency timeframe.

The three finalists will share a cash prize of at least $200,000.00 CAD, and their designs will be available for free download to anyone who needs them, saving lives immediately.

The deadline to submit projects is March 31, 2020, 11:59 pm EST, so there is no time to lose!
Also, make sure to share that information with your network as the best ideas can come from anywhere.

Follow this link for more information and to participate in the challenge:

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.

Meakins christie seminars and workshops are postponed until further notice

Seminar and Workshop Update

Please note that all Monday Research Seminars, our Work-in-Progress seminars, and our annual Meakins-Christie workshop have been postponed until further notice.

For the latest COVID-19 information and updates, please log into the RI PORTAL and select Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Updates at the top of the page.

On the RI Portal, you will find information on:
– Travel abroad and home isolation
– Directives for research at the RI-MUHC
– Restricted hospital access information
– MUHC Town Hall COVID-19
– Travel advisory

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the admin staff. We will be responding to emails.

Margaret R. Becklake Fellowship in Respiratory Research at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship


  • Full application details can be found here:
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2020
  • The first winner of the Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship will be chosen to start his or her fellowship in July 2019
  • Selection of recipients will be made by a committee consisting of the directors of the MUHC respiratory division, the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit


The Montreal Chest Institute Foundation is proud to honour Dr. Becklake’s legacy and immense contribution in developing generations of respiratory clinicians and researchers by launching the Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship. This fellowship will be awarded to at least one trainee in respiratory research every year and will pay her or his salary as s/he conducts research under the supervision of scientists at the Montreal Chest Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Recipients will be chosen from low- and middle-income countries as well as from Canadian Indigenous communities. Over the course of her career, Dr. Becklake had a major interest in respiratory health in lower-income countries, including in childhood asthma and occupational lung disease. She conducted research in this area for many years. Dr. Becklake also trained and hosted students in respiratory research from lower-income countries, who then became leaders in research and care in those countries.

Help us train the next generation of researchers and specialists in areas of the world where the need is greatest. Help us share the expertise we have at the Montreal Chest Institute around the globe. Help us continue Dr. Becklake’s legacy.

Dr. Margaret Becklake immigrated to Montreal in 1957 from South Africa. Her impact on respiratory care, research and teaching was profound. With other members of the McGill faculty, she worked on occupational lung disease, an interest she maintained from her early medical career in South Africa. She established the now well-known Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit at McGill and at the Montreal Chest Institute.

Dr. Becklake was renowned for her insistence upon the importance of a clearly stated, relevant research question and more generally for her clarity and insight. She was also unfailingly devoted to her patients and their families. The research unit she founded flourishes today, as it continues to emphasize respiratory research of direct relevance to patients and communities.

Read more here:

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.