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.

Dorival Martins Relève étoile Jacques-Genest

Dr. Dorival Martins receives the Relève étoile Jacques-Genest Award

Congratulations to Dorival Martins Jr, postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry, McGill University (supervisor: Dr. Dao Nguyen) for his Relève étoile Jacques-Genest award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) for the month of July.

Winning article: Martins D, McKay G, Sampathkumar G, Khakimova M, English AM, Nguyen D. Superoxide dismutase activity confers (p)ppGpp-mediated antibiotic tolerance to stationary-phase Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2018 Sep 25;115(39):9797-9802. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804525115. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30201715

Read the full news release here.

Respiratory Research centre in Canada: Meakins-Christie Laboratories of the RI-MUHC and McGIll University

2019 Respiratory Research News Meakins-Christie Laboratories

  • Congratulations to Dr. Simon Rousseau and Dr. Amin Emad on receiving seed funding from the McGill initiative in Computational Medicine ResearchMatch competition. The ResearchMatch program of the McGill initiative in Computational Medicine (MiCM) was developed in an effort to better connect life science and clinical researchers with colleagues focused on data sciences. Their project will examine Artificial Intelligence-informed molecular profiling of the frequency of pulmonary exacerbations in Cystic Fibrosis. Read more here. (July 2019)
  • Congratulations to Dorival Martins Jr, postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry, McGill University (supervisor: Dr. Dao Nguyen) for his Relève étoile Jacques-Genest award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) for the month of July. Winning article: Superoxide dismutase activity confers (p)ppGpp-mediated antibiotic tolerance to stationary-phase Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (July 2019)
  • The 30th annual Respiratory Research Day featured 54 oral and poster presentations. Thanks to all our participants for attending and presenting your research. The winners for best oral presentation were: Lauren Tracey (MSc Student with Dr. Dennis Jensen) and Megan Hammell (MSc Student with Dr. Anne-Marie Lauzon). The winners for best poster presentation were: Jonathon Campbell (Clinical Fellow with Dr. Kevin Schwartzman), Kim Tran (MSc Student with Dr. Maziar Divangahi), Lisa Hennemann (MSc Student with Dr. Dao Nguyen), Erwan Pernet (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi) and Vanessa Moarbes (PhD Student with Dr. Elizabeth Fixman). Congratulations to all our winners! (June 2019)
  • Lisa Hennemann (MSc Student with Dr. Dao Nguyen) won an award for best poster presentation at the annual MIMM Graduate Research Day. (May 2019)
Leukotriene B4–type I interferon axis regulates macrophage-mediated disease tolerance to influenza infection
  • Dr. Erwan Pernet (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi) is lead author on a new study published in Nature Microbiology. Dr. Pernet and colleagues have identified a new role for the lipid mediator Leukotriene B4 in the lung. They show that the LTB4 molecule is capable of not only reducing collateral tissue damage caused by immune responses but also enhancing host survival. These novel findings have promising clinical implications in the near future for the treatment of flu. Read the press release here. Read the article here. (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Julien Malet (PDF with Dr. Dao Nguyen) on receiving a FRQS Postdoctoral Fellowship award for his project entitled “Etude du cycle intracellulaire de Pseudomonas aeruginosa et de son rôle dans la fibrose kystique”. (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Eva Kaufmann (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi) on receiving a FRQS Postdoctoral Fellowship award for her project entitled “Reprogrammation des cellules souches par le BCG: une nouvelle approche pour le dévelopmment d’un vaccin contre la tuberculose.” (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Nargis Khan (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi) on receiving a CIHR Fellowship for her project entitled “An IFN-iron axis reprograms hematopoietic stem cells to generate trained immunity” as well as a FRQS Postdoctoral Fellowship award for her project entitled “Impact du microbiote intestinal dans la defense de l’hôte contre la tuberculose”. (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to Ms. Amanda Bianco (MEng with Dr. Anne-Marie Lauzon) on receiving a FRQNT Masters Award for her project entitled “Contrôle des tissus au comportement non-linéaire et viscoélastique pour le développement d’appareil biomédical”. (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to the following FRQS 2019-2020 Chercheurs Boursiers and Chercheurs-Boursiers Cliniciens Awardees: Dr. Deborah Assayag (Junior 1), Dr. Maziar Divangahi (Senior), Dr. Nicole Ezer (Junior 1), and Dr. Benjamin Smith (Junior 2). (May 2019)
  • Congratulations to Megan Hammell (first year MSc student with Dr. Anne-Marie Lauzon) who won FIRST PLACE for her oral presentation during the 5th Biological and Biomedical Engineering Symposium at McGill University. (May 2019)
  • Dr. James Martin and Dr. Shawn Aaron received a Research Leadership Award from CTS at the CRC 2019 in recognition of their leadership, service and contributions to the field of respiratory medicine and research. Read more here. (April 2019)
  • Dr. Sabah Hussain has been appointed a Distinguished James McGill Professor in recognition of his exceptional work and outstanding achievements. This Professorship is McGill University’s way of recognizing respected scholars and their valued contributions. (May 2019).
  • Dr. Dick Menzies, Director of the Respiratory Epidemiology Unit at McGill and McGill’s World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in TB Research, has been named recipient of the 2019 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences. Read more here. (April 2019).
  • Dr. Sabah Hussain is part of a new research team funded by CIHR. The team is led by Dr. José Morais (MeDIC program) and will investigate the metabolic and molecular mechanisms underpinning inactivity-induced muscle loss and the underlying protective effects of an exercise countermeasure. Read more here. (April 2019)
  • New publication in Mucosal Immunology by Drs. Irah King, Maziar Divangahi, and Dick Menzies showed that anti-tuberculosis drugs caused changes to gut microbiota – the diverse community of microbes living our intestines – and increased susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Read more here. (March 2019)
  • Congratulations to the following CIHR Project Grant Recipients from the Fall 2018 Competition! Dr. Carolyn Baglole: Immunological consequences of inhaled cannabis and selected cannabinoids. Dr. Elizabeth Fixman: STAT6-dependent control of innate immunity as a target for therapeutic intervention in asthma. Dr. Sabah Hussain: Regulation of skeletal muscle function by PINK-1-Parkin mitophagy pathway. Dr. Arnold Kristof: Impact of Protein Nutrition in Critically-ill Patients. Dr. Benjamin Smith: A genome-wide association study of dysanapsis. Dr. Andrea Benedetti: Diagnostic Accuracy of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for Detecting Major Depression: An Updated Systematic Review and Independent Participant Data Meta-analysis. (January 2019)
  • Read how Meakins and RESP members, together with the McGill International TB Centre are moving towards the WHO’s goal of eliminating TB by 2030. Confronting a Killer – Med e-News. (January 2019)
Dr. Erwan Pernet and Dr. Maziar Divangahi, scientists at the RI-MUHC and the Meakins-Christie Laboratories have identified a lipid target to tone down the hyper-active immunity to influenze infection

Flu treatment using lipid target

Dr. Maziar Divangahi and his postdoctoral fellow Dr. Erwan Pernet are on a promising path towards developing flu treatment using a lipid target. They identified a new role for the lipid mediator Leukotriene B4 in the lung. In a study published in Nature Microbiology, they show that the LTB4 molecule is capable of not only reducing collateral tissue damage caused by immune responses but also enhancing host survival.

“The influenza virus is not the only threat; the host’s own immune response is mainly responsible for jeopardizing host survival. Therefore, it is essential to understand the regulatory mechanisms that maintain the tight balance between protective and harmful immunity.”

– Erwan Pernet

Influenza remains a global public health challenge, according to the World Health Organization. Each year, there are an estimated one billion people cases worldwide, resulting in 290,000 to 650,000 influenza-related respiratory deaths.

Dr. Divangahi’s laboratory has focused on new immunotherapies targeting the immune system via host lipid mediators to either effectively kill the virus or limit lung tissue damage. In this study, they focused on the LTB4 lipid mediator and its effects on the immune response to flu infection. After working with mice lacking the receptor for LTB4, they were able to identify a network of regulatory mechanisms that maintain the tight balance between protective and harmful immunity. Also, of particular importance to future clinical studies was the finding that a single dose of LTB4 at the peak of disease was enough to significantly reduce lung immunopathology and tissue damage and improve host survival. 

“For the first time we show there is a subtype of macrophages in the lungs that are able to produce this immunoregulatory lipid (LTB4) to reduce the inflammation caused by another macrophage population that is responsible for causing lung tissue damage during influenza infection.”

– Maziar Divangahi

View the full publication here:

Leukotriene B4-type I interferon axis regulates macrophage-mediated disease tolerance to influenza infection. Pernet E, Downey J, Vinh DC, Powell WS, Divangahi M. Nat Microbiol. 2019 May 20. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0444-3. PMID: 31110361

The research was also featured in the CIHR-III (institute of Infection and Immunity) newsletter!

View articles and interviews about this research:

gut microbiome research

Anti-TB drugs can increase risk of TB re-infection

A study published in Mucosal Immunology by Drs. Irah King and Maziar Divangahi showed that anti-TB drugs ( anti-tuberculosis drugs) caused changes to gut microbiota, thereby compromising immunity. This then led to an increased susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

Current treatments for tuberculosis (TB) are very effective in controlling TB infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). They don’t, however, always prevent reinfection. Why this happens is one of the long-standing questions in TB research.

Gut microbiota are critical to keeping us healthy; they help to digest food, combat pathogenic microbes and reinforce our immune system. Recent research has shown that chronic use of antibiotic leads to disruption of this community, which can in turn lead to dysregulation of the immune system.  It remains unclear, however, whether changes in the composition of the microbes living in our gut have an influence on TB infection. 

The research team treated mice with the most commonly used anti-TB drugs – isoniazid, rifampicin and pyrazinamide – for a period of eight weeks. They found that while all three drugs significantly altered the composition of the mice’s gut microbiome, only mice treated with isoniazid combined with pyrazinamide showed an increase in susceptibility to Mtb infection. Transplanting feces from healthy mice into animals treated with anti-TB drugs was sufficient to restore immunity to Mtb. The team also evaluated a number of lung cell types known to be important for resistance to Mtb infection. Following anti-TB treatment, alveolar macrophages, a type of immune cell located in the airways of mice and humans and the first cell to encounter Mtb upon infection, were compromised in their ability to kill Mtb.

“Anti-TB therapies have been incredibly efficient in controlling the TB epidemic by decreasing morbidity and mortality associated with Mtb. Now, this work provides a basis for novel therapeutic strategies exploiting the gut-lung axis in Mtb infection.’’

– Irah King

Read the full press release here:

View the full publication:

Intestinal dysbiosis compromises alveolar macrophage immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Khan N, Mendonca L, Dhariwal A, Fontes G, Menzies D, Xia J, Divangahi M, King IL. Mucosal Immunol. 2019 May;12(3):772-783. doi: 10.1038/s41385-019-0147-3. Epub 2019 Feb 19. PMID: 30783183

View articles and interviews about this research:

Respiratory Research centre in Canada: Meakins-Christie Laboratories of the RI-MUHC and McGIll University

2018 Respiratory Research News Meakins-Christie Labs

  • Congratulations to Dr. Benjamin Smith on receiving a group grant from the Réseau en santé respiratoire du Québec – FRQS: Recherche pour des projets-équipes for his project entitled “A COPD risk factor more powerful than smoking: Building a translational team to investigate the genetic basis of dysanapsis to achieve life-long lung health.” (December 2018)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Sushmita Pamidi on receiving a group grant from the Réseau en santé respiratoire du Québec – FRQS: Recherche pour des projets-équipes. (December 2018)
  • Congratulations to the following trainees on being awarded Réseau en santé respiratoire du Québec – FRQS Programme de complément de bourse: Dr. Hussain Traboulsi (PDF with Drs. Carolyn Baglole and Benjamin Smith) for his project entitled: FGF10 haploinsufficiency is associated with smaller airways lumen: implications for COPD susceptibility, Wided Akik (Dr. Larry Lands), Dr. Julien Malet (PDF with Dr. Dao Nguyen), Frank Niro (Dr. Dennis Jensen).
  • Feature articles by the RI-MUHC and the Globe and Mail on the life and accomplishments of Dr. Margaret Becklake. (November 2018)
  • Congratulations Lisa Hennemann and Tianxiao Yang, graduate students with Dr. Dao Nguyen, on placing 1st and 2nd, respectively, for best poster presentation during the 2018 Journées Québécoises en Santé Respiratoire (November 2018).
  • Congratulations Dr. Irah King on the successful renewal of his Canada Research Chair in Immunology of Barrier Surfaces. (November 2018)
  • The Canadian Respiratory Conference has chosen Dr. Dick Menzies as the 2019 Conference Keyntote (October 2018). 
  • Dr. Dorival Martins (PDF with Dr. Dao Nguyen) recently published his study in PNAS. He discovered a new cellular target that can weaken the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a daunting microbe which can become highly tolerant to many antibiotics, and thus refractory to antibiotic therapy. Full press release here. Full PNAS article here. (September 2018)
  • Our very own Dr. Eva Kaufmann (PDF with Maziar Divangahi) received the Werner-Müller-Prize from the German Society for Immunology. The prize is awarded to outstanding young scientists for their achievements in the field of immunology. Dr. Kaufmann received the prize for describing a new mechanism for protection against tuberculosis with the BCG vaccine, recently published in Cell. Read the press release in German here (September 2018)
  • A game changing study was recently published by Dr. Dick Menzies in The Lancet. His research is leading to the overhaul of WHO treatment guidelines for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. For more information see McGill Med e-News and theMUHC NewsroomMedia Coverage: La Presse CanadienneRadio-Canada International. (September 2018)
  • Dr. Eva Kaufmann, PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi, received the FRQ Relève étoile Jacques-Genest Award for her publication in Cell entitled “BCG Educates Hematopoietic Stem Cells to Generate Protective Innate Immunity against Tuberculosis”. Here success was also featured in the McGill Med e-News. (August 2018)
  • Dr. Maziar Divangahi and Dr. Faiz Ahmad Khan were appointed as new Associate Directors of the McGill International TB Centre. (July 2018)
  • A study by Dr. Dick Menzies on treatment of latent tuberculosis shows a novel, short therapy (4 months Rifampin) is safer and more effective in children and adults than standard therapy Read more in the Gazette and at the RI-MUHC. (July 2018).
  • Charity softball game funds life-changing equipment, clinics, and research at the Montreal Chest Institute of the MUHC. Read more here (July 2018)
  • Dr. Salman Qureshi was awarded a 5 year CIHR Project grant for his project entitled “Functional and genetic susceptibility to progressive cryptococcal pneumonia”. (July 2018)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Fixman has been appointed to the position of Associate Graduate Program Director for the Division of Experimental Medicine. (June 2018).
  • Professor Salman Qureshi was presented the Osler Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Faculty of Medicine. This award is presented to a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine who, in the opinion of the senior medical students, has made the most outstanding contribution to their medical education. (May 2018)
  • Dr. Jean Bourbeau was awarded the Research Award for Excellence in Research by the MUHC Department of Medicine. This award recognizes consistent and lasting excellence in research by a Department of Medicine Staff member.  The nominee’s research program will be judged on its importance, the
    impact of the results, the ability to obtain funding, and research productivity.  (May 2018)
  • The 29th annual Respiratory Research Day featured 50 oral andposter presentations. The winners for best oral presentation were: Wissam Shalish (PhD student with Dr. Guilherme Sant’Anna) and Jeffrey Downey (PhD Student with Dr. Maziar Divangahi). The winners for best poster presentation were: Julia Chronopoulos (MSc student with Dr. James Martin), Jean-Philippe Leduc-Gaudet (PhD student with Dr. Sabah Hussain), Erwan Pernet (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi), Lauren Tracey (MSc student with Dr. Dennis Jensen) and Mariaenrica Tine’ (Clinical Fellow with Dr. Manuel Cosio). (May 2018)
  • Vanessa Moarbes (PhD student with Dr. Elizabeth Fixman) received the James C. Hogg Basic Research Award for best basic poster during the CTS. (May 2018)
  • Congratulations Dr. Maziar Divangahi for receiving the Strauss Chair in Respiratory Diseases (April 2018-March 2023). (April 2018)
  • Congratulations to the following RESP (Meakins and RECRU) trainees for their FRQS training awards: Dr. Erwan Pernet (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi) for his project entitled “Modulation de l’inflammation par la 5-lipoxygenase dans les infections grippales: fonction immunomodulatrice des interferons de type I.”, Adamo Donovan (PhD student with Dr. Benjamin Smith) for his project entitled “la morphologie et la fonction du diaphragme in vivo dans la maladie pulmonaire obstructive chronique (MPOC)”, and Dr. Jonathan Campbell (PDF with Dr. Dick Menzies) for his project entitled “Le rôle des régimes avec une rifamycine dans le traitement de la tuberculose latente: informer les lignes directrices et modifier la prise en charge.” (April 2018)
  • Congratulations to our RESP researchers for receiving FRQS chercheurs boursiersawards for the 2018-2019 competition. Dr. Dao Nguyen received a chercheurs boursiers cliniciens award for her project entitled “Les infections chroniques du Pseudomonas aeruginosa: de la microbiologie a la reponse inflammatoire des voies respiratoires” and Dr. Andrea Benedetti received a chercheurs boursiers award for her project entitled “Défis statistiques dans la meta-analyse des données individuelles aved des applications dans la tuberculose et la dépression”. (April 2018)
  • Dr. Eva Kaufmann, PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi, was interviewed by Radio-Canada for her Cell paper. Great job Eva! Watch the video here. (March 2018)
  • Congratulations Dr. Qutayba Hamid, a recipient of the #ATS2018 Distinguished Achievement Award!Distinguished Achievement Award: outstanding contributions to fighting respiratory disease through research, education, patient care or advocacy. (March 2018) 
  • The Meakins would like to welcome Dr. Irah King as its newest member. His research efforts are focused on mucosal immunology and barrier tissues such as the intestine, lung and skin, and how complex network of immune cells protect from environmental insults and pathogen invasion. (January 2018)
  • Congratulations to the following RESP investigators for receiving CIHR Project grants in the 2017 Fall competition: Dr. James Martin (The role of eicosanoids in airway responses to oxidative injury from chlorine), Dr. Arnold Kristof (Targeted Therapies for Lymphangioleiomyomatosis), Dr. Anne-Marie Lauzon (Asthmatic phenotyping by microfluidic assessment of shortening velocity and contractile force of airway smooth muscle cells obtained from biopsies), and Dr. Andrea Benedetti (Improving Depression Screening in Geriatric Patients by Reducing Bias and Generating Individualized Accuracy Estimates: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)). (January 2018)
  • Congratulations to Drs. Benjamin Smith and Carolyn Baglole on their PNAS publication entitled “Human Airway Branch Variation and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. Their work shows that the internal anatomy of our lungs is surprisingly variable, and some of those variations are associated with a greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (January 2018)
  • Congratulations to the Divangahi group, including first author Eva Kaufmann (PDF with Dr. Maziar Divangahi), for their latest publication in Cell. Their work shows BCG-iv induces trained immunity through education of hematopoietic stem cells and offers long-term innate immune protection against M. tuberculosis infection. (January 2018)
Divangahi and Nargis Khan Science immunology Tuberculosis publication

Beyond Killing Tuberculosis

Dr. Maziar Divangahi’s May 2018 publication in Science Immunology tries to explain why the vast majority of people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) can tolerate the infection without developing disease. 

Dr. Divangahi’s team found that rather than fighting to resist the pathogen, the body’s tolerance to Mtb is the key mechanism for preventing the spread of the infection. More surprisingly, they found that having excessive levels of T cells, which are known as soldiers of our immune system, could cause more harm than good. The study determined that the mitochondrial protein cyclophilin D (CypD) acts as a key checkpoint for T cell metabolism and regulates disease tolerance in TB. (May 2018)

View articles and interviews about this research:

Flu vaccine and immunotherapies

Dr. Maziar Divangahi was interviewed by CBC Homerun 88.5 FM about his latest research on the flu vaccine. His lab has taken on the challenge of trying to understand how the mechanisms of the immune system fight the flu in the hopes of finding new immunotherapies to combat the virus.

The discovery of the RIPK3 protein that is involved in the regulation of immune response to the flu means help may be on the horizon. Their findings were published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens in 2017. (February 2018)

Full publication: RIPK3 interacts with MAVS to regulate type I IFN-mediated immunity to Influenza A virus infection. Downey J, Pernet E, Coulombe F, Allard B, Meunier I, Jaworska J, Qureshi S, Vinh DC, Martin JG, Joubert P, Divangahi M. PLoS Pathog. 2017 Apr 14;13(4):e1006326. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006326. eCollection 2017 Apr. PMID: 28410401

View articles and interviews about this research:

Human Airway Branch Variation and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Airway Branching Associated with COPD Risk

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:

Cell 2018: BCG Educates hematopoietic stem cells to generate protective innate immunity against TB. M Divangahi

BCG-iv Induces Innate Immune Protection Against M. tuberculosis

Dr. Maziar Divangahi, his lab, and collaborators at McGill University and University of Montreal published a paper in Cell. Their work shows BCG-iv induces trained immunity through education of hematopoietic stem cells and offers long-term innate immune protection against M. tuberculosis infection. 

Up until now, efforts in generating a vaccine against TB have been mainly focused on T cells, with very disappointing outcomes in both pre-clinical as well as clinical trials. Now, Dr. Divangahi’s and Barreiro’s teams have shown for the first time that when BCG is administered to mice in a way that enables access to the bone marrow, it can reprogram stem cells. Dr. Eva Kaufmann, a postdoctoral fellow working on the project, was also interviewed by Radio-Canada. (January 2018) 

About the study

BCG educates hematopoietic stem cells to generate protective innate immunity against tuberculosis by Eva Kaufmann, Joaquin Sanz, Jonathan L. Dunn, Nargis Khan, Laura E. Mendonça, Alain Pacis, Fanny Tzelepis, Erwan Pernet, Anne Dumaine, Jean-Christophe Grenier, Florence Mailhot-Léonard, Eisha Ahmed, Jad Belle, Rickvinder Besla, Bruce Mazer, Irah L. King, Anastasia Nijnik, Clinton S. Robbins, Luis B. Barreiro, and Maziar Divangahi, was published Jan. 11, 2018, in Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.031

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

View articles and interviews about this research:

Respiratory Research centre in Canada: Meakins-Christie Laboratories of the RI-MUHC and McGIll University

2017 Respiratory Research News Meakins-Christie Labs

  • Dr. Elizabeth Fixman‘s research with Dr. Brian Ward (IDIGH program) was featured in the 2017 CDMRP Annual Report for her DoD funded research on “STAT6-Dependent Bridging of Innate and Th2 Adaptive Immunity in the Lung”. (December 2017)
  • Dr. Ilan Azuelos was awarded 1 year funding from the  Réseau en santé respiratoire du FRQS Programme de développement de jeunes chercheurs en mentorat for his grant entitled “The role of mTOR on mitochondrial function, structure and dynamics during TGFß-induced fibroblast differentiation”. (November 2017)
  • Dr. Jean Bourbeau was awarded funding from the Réseau en santé respiratoire du FRQS Concours projets équipes for his project entitled: De la clinique au laboratoire : mécanisme d’action de l’azithromycine pour la prévention des exacerbations pulmonaires MPOC. (November 2017)
  • Congratulations to Lisa Hennemann (MSc student with Dr. Dao Nguyen) for receiving the “Concours compléments de bourse” from the Réseau en santé respiratoire du FRQS. Her project title is: The role of intracellular Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the development of persistent infections. (November 2017)
  • The Réseau en santé respiratoire du FRQS awarded the renewal of a team grant entitled “Importance et prévention de la dysfonction diaphragmatique associée à la ventilation chez le nourrisson”. Team members include: Dr. Basil Petrof (Meakins and RESP Program), Dr. Guilherme Sant’Anna (RESP Program), Dr. Guillaume Emeriaud (St. Justine), Dr. Jean-Paul Praud (U Sherbrooke), Dr. Hugo Théôret (St. Justine), and Sylvain Morneau (St. Justine).  (November 2017)
  • A publication by Dr. Russell Hepple and Dr. Tanja Taivassalo was featured during the ATS Assembly of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Journal Club on November 29, 2017. To view the publication: ‘Eccentric Ergometer Training Promotes Locomotor Muscle Strength but Not Mitochondrial Adaptation in Patients with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease’. To register for the webinar, click here. (November 2017)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jean Bourbeau on receiving the 2017 Distinguished CHEST Educator Award. This distinction places the designees within the top 5% of CHEST’s international faculty and recognizes the achievements of members who have made significant and longterm contributions to CHEST education by serving as CHEST committee chairs, vice-chairs, faculty, members, for programs and activities at CHEST. (October 2017)
  • Ellen Zhou, a former trainee under the supervision of Dr. Simon Rousseau, and now a MD-PhD student at McGill, received the 2017 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award. (September 2017) 
  • The 2017 Joint Summer Student Research Day was held August 10, 2017. The participating RI-MUHC programs were: RESP, CHHD, CRP, MeDIC, and CHAL. There were 53 oral and poster presentations, 13 of which came from RESP summer students. Congratulations to all on their excellent presentations. The award for best oral went to Sean McGrath (supervisor: Andrea Benedetti). The award for best poster went to Michelle Liang (supervisor: Anne-Marie Lauzon). See photos here (August 2017)
  • Dr. Dorival Martins, postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Dao Nguyen was interviewed by CF Canada. He and Dr. Nguyen uncovered new mechanisms that P. aeruginosa uses to escape antibiotic killing that may be targeted to improve the effectiveness of currently used drugs. Read about his project and the interview here. (July 2017)
  • Dr. Christine McCusker’s research was featured on CIHR’s Celebrating Health Researchin honor of Canada’s 150 #Canada150: Developing a molecule to help people with allergies breathe easier. (June 2017)
  • Congratulations to all our trainees this summer for the following awardsEva Kaufmannand Nargis Khan (Dr. Maziar Divangahi): FRQS postdoctoral award. Eisha Ahmed (Dr. Bruce Mazer): CIHR Undergraduate Summer Studentship Award. We also congratulations RECRU trainees. Zhiyi Lan (Dr. Dick Menzies): Master’s Award: Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships and FRQS Masters award. (June 2017)
  • Congratulations to our RESP researchers! Dr. Simon Rousseau received the FRQS Chercheurs-Boursiers Senior award. Dr. Marta Kaminska received the FRQS Chercheurs-Boursiers Cliniciens award – Junior 2. (June 2017)
  • The 28th annual Respiratory Research Day featured 50 oral and poster presentations. The winners for best oral presentation were: Dorival Martins (supervisor: Dr. Dao Nguyen) and Adamo Donovan (supervisor: Dr. Ben Smith). The winners for best poster presentation were: Raquel Farias (supervisor: Dr. Jean Bourbeau), Fatmah Al-Habeeb(supervisor: Dr. Carolyn Baglole), Rola Hamed (supervisor: Dr. Larry Lands), and Vanessa Moarbes (supervisor: Dr. Becky Fixman). (June 2017)
  • Dr. Sabah Hussain received the Department of Medicine Award for Excellence in Research by a Staff Member. This award is in recognition of ongoing excellence in research by a senior member of the Department of Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre. The nominee’s research program is judged on its importance, the impact of the results, the ability to obtain funding, research mentoring and research productivity. (June 2017)
  • Congratulations to Necola Guerrina (PhD student with Dr. Carolyn Baglole) who won an award for best basic research poster at the Canadian Thoracic Society meeting being help in conjunction with the American Thoracic Society meeting in Washington, DC. (May 2017)
  • Congratulations to the following CIHR Project Grants from the Fall 2016 competition: Dr. Jean Bourbeau for his grant entitled “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease categorization using cardiovascular risk and levels of inflammatory mediators: a way toward more personalized care”. (May 2017)
  • Dr. Basil Petrof has been appointed Director of the Meakins-Christie Laboratorieseffective May 15th, 2017 for a five year term. As Director of the Meakins, Dr. Petrof will be responsible for the scientific leadership and all administrative matters within the Meakins. Dr. Petrof is an accomplished and an internationally recognized scientist for his work on respiratory muscle dysfunction and sleep disordered breathing. (May 2017)
  • Necola Guerrina (supervisor: Dr. Carolyn Baglole) was interviewed and featured on the RI-MUHC Focus on Our Trainees page. Read more here. (April 2017)
  • Congratulations Dr. Larry Lands for receiving the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in Pediatric Respirology from the Canadian Thoracic Society. This award recognizes his significant contributions to pediatric respirology in the domains of clinical and fundamental research and support for the education of trainees. It also recognizes his exceptional leadership and dedication to patient care. (April 2017)
  • Congratulations Dr. Jean Bourbeau for receiving the 2017 CTS Distinguished Achievement Award. This award recognizes the leadership and service of individuals who have furthered the work of the CTS in respiratory health. Dr. Bourbeau is most deserving of this honor for his leadership within the Executive and Board of the CTS and in the COPD Clinical Assembly, as well as for his impact in research, academia, and clinical practice. (April 2017)
  • Dr. Larry Lands received a 2 year grant from the CF Foundation (US) for his project entitled “Rhinovirus in CF bronchial epithelial cells”. (March 2017)
  • Congratulations Necola Guerrina (supervisor: Dr. Carolyn Baglole). She placed 2nd at the McGill University 3 Minute Thesis finals (March 2017). Read more here. The top three finalists are all trainees from the RI-MUHC!
  • Necola Guerrina (supervisor: Dr. Carolyn Baglole) has moved past the first round of Heats for the McGill University 3 Minute Thesis competition. Necola will be competing at the Finals on March 15th, 2017 from 1-3pm in the Thomson House Ballroom. Way to go Necola! (March 2017)
Dr. Elizabeth Fixman and Dr. Bahar Torabi were interviewd for International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, our very own Dr. Elizabeth Fixman and Dr. Bahar Torabi were interviewed by the RI-MUHC. Way to go! Read the interview here. (February 2017)
  • Congratulations to Dr. Basil Petrof on receiving a 3 year grant from CF Canada for his project entitled “Addressing Muscle Wasting in Cystic Fibrosis”. (February 2017)
  • The Meakins welcomes its newest faculty member: Dr. Ilan Azuelos.  Ilan is an Assistant Professor at McGill University and Attending Staff at the MUHC. His research aims to elucidate the molecular basis for the development and progression of pulmonary fibrosis, by examining the metabolism of fibrotic lesions in the lung. His clinical work and teaching will be based primarily at the Glen site, on the inpatient and outpatient respiratory services of the Montreal Chest Institute. (January 2017)