Category Archives: Chronic Airways Disease

Chronic Airways Disease Theme: Chronic airway diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia share common features of chronic airflow obstruction and structural changes of the airways. These disorders are associated with an underlying inflammatory process that is driven by genetic susceptibility as well as environmental factors such as allergens and cigarette smoke. The main research questions being investigated focus on elucidating the basic mechanisms that lead to the development of chronic airways disease. Studies are also attempting to identify and characterize the clinical heterogeneity of these diseases in order to better personalize prognostic, diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

Major scientific objectives of the chronic airways diseases theme include: (1) Elucidate pathogenetic mechanisms and develop novel therapeutics for allergic inflammation & airway hyperresponsiveness. (2) Understand the cellular and molecular basis for irritant (including air pollution & cigarette smoke) -induced lung disease, and its relevance to COPD and the Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). (3) Ascertain the biological basis for different asthma phenotypes, particularly severe asthma that is resistant to usual therapies.

View posts, news, and publications related to this research theme below.

RI-MUHC researchers lead the first oral desensitization program in Canada

Desensitization program helps kids with milk allergies

New milk allergy research being led at the RI-MUHC. Pediatric allergy and immunology specialists Dr. Bruce Mazer and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan (Montreal Children’s Hospital) started the GET-FACTS (Genetics, Environment and Therapies: Food Allergy Clinical Tolerance Studies) study in 2012.

The program is having good success with helping children with milk allergies build up tolerance to milk protein by introducing the allergen very slowly into the diet. They were interviewed by CTV, La Presse, Radio-Canada, 98,5 fm, the Gazette, CJAD and Le Devoir (September 2016).

More about the study at GET-FACTS: https://www.getfactsmilk.com/ https://www.getfactsmilk.com/

View articles and interviews about this research:

STAT6 inhibitory peptide

Educating the immune system with SAT6-IP

The STAT6 inhibitory peptide can educate the immune system away from developing an allergic response.

Dr. Elizabeth Fixman developed STAT6-IP, a chimeric inhibitory peptide with the ability to enter cells and disrupt activity of the STAT6 transcription factor. STAT6 has been show to inhibit aberrant Th2 responses in the airways of preclinical models of respiratory syncytial virus infection (Eur J Immunol 2014) and asthma (J Immunol 2007Clin Exp Allergy 2011Mucosal Immunol 2015). 

The latter publication by Dr. Christine McCusker received significant media attention.

This work was also selected for one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2015 selected by Québec Science and Dr. Christine McCusker was nominated as the Feb 2016 Researcher of the Month by Canadians for Health Research.

View articles and interviews about this research:

respiratory research in Canada: the Meakins-Christie Laboratories

Learning Early about Peanut Allergy

Dr. Bruce Mazer explains how the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) trial is changing our approach to peanut allergy. The study (published in NEJM 2015) found that infants (between 4−11 months) who consumed at least 6 grams of peanut per week were significantly less likely to develop an allergy by 5 years of age, compared to infants who avoided peanut entirely.

View interviews with Dr. Bruce Mazer below: