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.
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
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.
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.
Dr. Carolyn Baglole is the director of the new McGill Research Centre for Cannabis. This centre is positioning itself to examine the role of cannabis, all the way from plants, to people, to policy. She was recently interviewed by McGill News.
Read the full article here: So much to discover: Research in the era of legal cannabis
More about the McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://www.mcgill.ca/cannabis/
(photo by Owen Egan)
Is this centre the first of its kind?
It’s not the first, but it is one of the most comprehensive; this centre will be going from plants to people to policy. That means we will focus on three research axes. [Researchers in] agriculture and plant sciences will conduct fundamental studies on the plant itself – crop management, for example. Our biomedical research axis will encompass both pre-clinical and clinical studies – for example, looking at pain management, and sleep. We also have a socioeconomics and law axis, which focuses on a broad range of financial, legal, policy, regulatory and educational matters emerging from legalization.
Is this an emerging area of research, and was it inhibited, in the past, by taboos?
Issues surrounding legality and social stigma have hampered research. As a result, there is so much information, on all fronts, that we lack. Legalization has really opened the floodgates for cannabis research.
This is important not just because of legalization, but also because of the medicinal use of cannabis?
Yes, we need to understand the potential medicinal applications. We want to understand the growth of the plant, how that affects its chemicals and how they work to alleviate disease symptoms.
One of your goals is to separate myths from reality?
Yes, that is really about being open in our scientific quest. We want to let the data and the science unfold, learning what that story is telling us. Ultimately, the science will inform us as to what is true and what is not.
Why is it essential that the centre be trans-disciplinary?
We can learn from each other. For example, I am involved in the biomedical axis; our colleagues from agriculture and plant sciences may be able to identify a strain of cannabis that produces chemicals which can then be applied in a biomedical setting.
Trans-disciplinary research is really about being comprehensive in our research approach. We combine one person’s area of expertise with that of another, in order to understand a subject as a whole. As compared to isolated projects, we gain a more fundamental understanding.
Did you know that dragonfly wings are naturally antibacterial?
Biofilms are colonies of bacteria that can attach securely to the surface of certain medical devices. Shockingly, a quarter of all nosocomial infections are reported to be associated with the use of infected equipment, based on American data.
RI-MUHC researcher Dao Nguyen shares some thoughts on combatting biofilms in this short article from Quebec Science. Her research team is looking at the wings of dragonflies and cicadas to better design safe antibacterial materials. Nanometric structures on dragaonfly and cicada wings actually kill bacteria by physical contact. Therefore, there is great interest to design and develop antibacterial materials that mimic this natural structure.
The research team will observe interactions between bacteria and these newly designed materials, then test the most promising against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria responsible for hospital-acquired infections as well as fatal infections in people with cystic fibrosis. It has an ability to form biofilms and is naturally resistant to many drugs.
If the results are conclusive, the materials may eventually be used on a large scale to make safer medical devices and instruments.
Read the full article here (in French).
Dr. Jean Bourbeau was interviewed by Radio-Canada TV show “24/60” about the dangers of vaping.
Health Canada issued warnings about the potential hazards of vaping products. Watch the interview with Dr. Jean Bourbeau for the Radio-Canada show “24/60” on this very topic. Note, his interview begins at around 36 minutes.
This video is available in French only.
Les dangers du vapotage
Santé Canada a émis aujourd’hui des mises en garde quant aux dangers potentiels des produits de vapotage. Des centaines de personnes ont été hospitalisées aux États-Unis et au moins un décès est attribuable à la cigarette électronique. Devrait-on s’inquiéter?
Dr. Jean Bourbeau is a RESP Program member and an Associate Member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories. His research focuses primarily on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and secondarily on disease management, self-management, pulmonary rehabilitation and cardiorespiratory exercise physiology.
Dr. Carolyn Baglole was featured in the July 2019 CCIC Newsletter. Her research was profiled in their monthly research highlights. Read the newsletter excerpt below.
Dr. Baglole received her BSc and MSc from the University of Prince Edward Island, and completed her PhD at the University of Calgary. She then did postdoctoral work in the fields of lung biology/toxicology in the Department of Environment Medicine at the University of Rochester (Rochester NY) before returning to Canada at McGill University.
Dr. Baglole’s translational research program seeks to identify novel cellular and molecular pathways that regulate the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases. Her main research focus is to understand how these environmental exposures contribute to pathogenic mechanisms such as chronic inflammation and cell death (apoptosis) that drive the development of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.
In relation to the CCIC, her lab is currently examining how various forms of inhaled cannabis and/or cannabinoids affects lung and immune function. Using pre-clinical models, her team will investigate activation of cellular signaling pathways by exposure to cannabis/cannabinoids, how cannabis exposure effects immune cell numbers and function and whether newer forms of inhaled cannabis products impact lung function. Working with clinicians and other scientists, she is developing an interdisciplinary program for biomedical cannabis research to explore the full potential of cannabis and cannabinoids in human health and disease. For this, she will have a state-of-the-art inhalation facility. This is important, as the most common way to consume cannabis is through inhalation (of smoke or vaporized cannabis/cannabinoids). With this, she will be able to deliver inhaled cannabis and cannabis-derived cannabinoids/novel drugs in a real-world scenario to assess efficacy in disease models and understand the immune-medicated mechanisms involved in the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Read more about Dr. Baglole: https://www.meakinsmcgill.com/baglole/
Read more about the McGill Research Centre for Cannabis: https://mcgill.ca/cannabis/
Congratulations to the following Spring 2019 Project Grant Recipients!
Dr. Sushmita Pamidi received funding for her project co-led with Evelyn Constantin (CHHD program) entitled “Maternal sleep-disordered breathing during pregnancy and long-term health outcomes in children: the 3D pregnancy and birth cohort”. Dr. John Kimoff is a co-investigator on the grant.
Dr. Larry Lands is a co-applicant with Dr. Michael Parkins (University of Calgary) for the grant entitled “The influence of Cytomegalovirus infection on cystic fibrosis disease progression”.
View full CIHR Funding Decisions for the 2019 Spring Project Grant Competition.
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.