CANADA RESEARCH CHAIRS
Chair. Albert Descoteaux
OTHER RESEARCH CHAIRS
Chair: Alain Lamarre
The Jeanne and J.-Louis Lévesque Chair in Immunovirology was created in 2003 through a donation by Fondation J.-Louis Lévesque to Fondation Armand-Frappier. At a time when viral diseases such as the flu, hepatitis C, HIV, SARS, and the West Nile virus continue to multiply, Professor Alain Lamarre and his team are trying to find novel strategies for the development of more effective vaccines and therapies to fight as-yet incurable viral infections, such as human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and hepatitis C. It is believed that these noncytopathic viral infections have mechanisms enabling them to hijack the immune system. They remain in the system and cause chronic viral infections. In order to better understand immune defence mechanisms against pathogenic viruses, the Chair’s work consists of identifying conditions that promote rapid generation of antibodies in an organism, and studying the diversity of B cells involved in immune system response.
Chair. Charles Ramassamy
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is increasing every year. To fight it, efforts must focus on early detection, prevention, and the improvement of treatments. The Louise and André Charron Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease will investigate these areas of research. It studies the role of oxidative stress in the development of AD and the biomarkers that precede the onset of symptoms.
RESEARCH GROUPS AND NETWORKS
Director: Richard Villemur
The Environmental Microbiology Research Group (GRME) works in the field of sanitation bioprocess microbiology. It is particularly interested in the activities and mechanisms of microorganisms in their natural environment. GRME is composed of professors, technicians, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
Environmental Health Research Network
Director: Daniel G. Cyr
Founded in 2000, the Environmental Health Research Network brings together researchers from various Quebec universities seeking a better understanding of the health impacts of environmental contaminants. By combining their expertise on environmental health, these researchers collaborate on various research projects on the following themes: toxicogenomics, biomarker measurement, drinking water contaminants, pharmacokinetic modeling, and exposure assessment in epidemiology.
Franco-Quebec Plant Virology Network
Director: Jean-François Laliberté
Viruses cause significant economic losses in the agricultural industry. Potyviruses infect a wide variety of plant species, including turnips, plums, and potatoes. To combat this phytopathogenic virus, the Franco-Quebec Network for Plant Virology is developing new control strategies to increase plant productivity in the context of sustainable development. To accomplish this, the network researchers analyze a virus’s ability to infect or not infect a given plant species and examine plant cell biology using viruses as biological sensors. The network also fosters partnerships between researchers from France and Quebec. It brings together research teams from the INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier Centre and McGill University in Quebec and teams from the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Bordeaux, France.
The coronavirus is responsible for approximately 30% of common colds contracted by humans. It also lends weight to the hypothesis that the origin of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s may be linked to genetic predispositions. In order to develop preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies for humans, Professor Pierre Talbot and his team investigate the host–pathogen interactions of neurological diseases. The research conducted by the Canada Research Chair in Neuro-Immuno-Virology is aimed at defining the molecular and cellular interactions that characterize the human nervous system and coronaviruses, studying the induction mechanisms of coronaviruses and auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis , and characterizing host immune system mechanisms that neutralize the infection.