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.

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.

Faiz Ahmad Khan was funded through the OBCIA program for his innovative tuberculosis research program that will examine the impact of artificial-intelligence based tools for diagnosing tuberculosis

OBVIA funds innovative AI program

Congratulations Faiz Ahmad Khan! The project submitted by his team has just been awarded funding by l’Observatoire International sur les impacts sociétaux de l’IA et du numérique (OBVIA). OBVIA is supported by the FRQS. It aims to support communities, organizations, and individuals to maximize the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health technologies. As part of the fist call for research proposals, funded projects will examine the societal impacts of AI and digital health.

Faiz’s project was ranked 1st and is among the first projects funded through this innovative competition. Congratulations Faiz! Using tuberculosis as an example, the study will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of diagnostic tools based on artificial intelligence to see how they influence health equity.

Project title.
AI “solutions” to global health challenges: an inter-disciplinary case study to critically evaluate the development and implementation of an artificial-intelligence based tool for diagnosing tuberculosis, the world’s leading infectious killer.

Team Members: Faiz Ahmad Khan (McGill University), Pierre-Marie David (Université de Montréal) and Sabaa Khan (University of Eastern Finland, School of Law).

Read the entire Press Release here

Faiz Ahmad Khan is an Associate member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and a Junior Scientist within the RI-MUHC Respiratory Program.

Dr. Jean Bourbeau named 2019 distinguished CHEST Educator

Jean Bourbeau named distinguished CHEST Educator

Dr. Jean Bourbeau was honoured as a 2019 Distinguished CHEST Educator by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST). He also received this recognition in 2017 and 2018. The designation provides recognition of excellence in continuing medical education, placing Dr. Bourbeau within the top 4% of CHEST faculty worldwide.

Congratulations Dr. Bourbeau!

“The greatest achievement someone can consider is seen in the people we train. Real values in what we are doing in medicine, besides taking care of patients, live by being handed down to others,” … “CHEST has given me the privilege over the years to advance best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education. However, this would not have been possible without the contribution of all the people working with me, in particular those at the MUHC and McGill University, and my patients who have always been an inspiration.”

Dr. Jean Bourbeau

About the award: The Distinguished CHEST Educator designation recognizes the achievements of members who have made significant and long-term contributions to the leadership, development, and delivery of CHEST education by serving as CHEST committee chairs, vice-chairs, faculty, content developers, members, and peer reviewers for programs and activities, such as CHEST Annual Meeting, CHEST Board Review courses, CHEST SEEK™ education, Live Learning, CHEST Immersion, e-Learning, and more.

Dr. Bourbeau is a member of RECRU, the RI-MUHC RESP Program, and an associate member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories. His research expertise are in COPD, rehabilitation, disease and self-management (Living Well with COPD — livingwellwithcopd.com), health and behaviour, and clinical evaluative research.

Read the full article here on McGill e-News

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:

Respiratory research group in Canada: the Meakins-Christie Laboratories

Kevin Schwartzman inducted as a CAHS Fellow

Eleven McGill faculty – seven of which are researchers from the RI-MUHC, were inducted as new Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Science (CAHS). A ceremony was held in Ottawa on the evening of September 19th.

Dr. Kevin Schwartzman, RESP program member, is among the recipients. Dr. Schwartzman is Director of the Respiratory Division at McGill University. He is Chair-Elect of the Tuberculosis Section of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. He is a clinician-investigator and award-winning educator (Canadian Association for Medical Education). His research assesses the impact and cost-effectiveness of public health programs combating and preventing tuberculosis, in Canada and abroad.

Induction as a CAHS Fellow is considered one of the highest honours within Canada’s academic community. CAHS Fellows, who serve as unpaid volunteers, are nominated by their institutions and peers and selected in a competitive process based on their internationally recognized leadership, academic performance, scientific creativity and willingness to serve.

Read more here: McGill Med e-News

and here: RI-MUHC News

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Programme and the WHO Collaborating Centre in TB Research at McGill University, Montreal, Canada convened a two-day technical consultation on research on latent TB infection

Research on Latent TB Infection

Technical consultation on latent TB infection management: Research for scale-up and target regimen profiles.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Programme and the WHO Collaborating Centre in TB Research at McGill University, convened a two-day technical consultation on research on latent TB infection.

The first day of the meeting focused on research needs to overcome key barriers and knowledge gaps affecting the scale-up of TB preventive treatment. Experts reviewed recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of LTBI and shared implementation experience generated over the past 5 years. A revised priority list of research topics was discussed, covering diagnosis, treatment and implementation research. 

Dr. Dick Menzies was interviewed. Dr. Menzies is a RESP Program member and an Associate Member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories was interviewed. His research focuses on clinical and epidemiologic aspects of tuberculosis. His clinical research involves diagnosis of latent as well as active TB.

Read more here.

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.