Program Overview

The Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program (MeDiC), formerly called the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism Program (ETM), brings together a team of outstanding scientists who share the goal of developing new diagnostic tools, treatments and health policies for common and chronic metabolic disorders.

Obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis, along with their complications, including kidney failure, heart disease, fatty liver/cirrhosis, dementia and stroke, are diseases that together affect more than one in three Canadians, inflicting huge economic and human costs on our society. The MeDiC Program unites basic, clinical, population health and outcomes research experts to tackle these problems across the lifespan in a multidisciplinary way, employing our state-of-the-art facilities at the Centre for Translational Biology, the Centre for Innovative Medicine and the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation.


Dr. Simon Wing is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University and physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the McGill University Health Centre. His research focuses on the physiological functions of the ubiquitin proteasome system, which degrades the majority of cell proteins in a highly regulated and precise fashion. His work has identified genes in this system which play important roles in the protein degradation that leads to muscle wasting, a complication in cancer and many other chronic diseases. He has also identified genes in the ubiquitin system that are essential for sperm development and function and appear to be involved in male infertility. His work has been recognized by election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is presently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. Dr. Wing has served in other leadership roles, including directing the McGill Clinical Investigator Program and the Division of Adult Endocrinology and Metabolism at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre. He presently chairs the Research Council of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Dr. Bertrand J. Jean-Claude is Director of the Drug Discovery Platform at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). An Associate Professor of medicine at McGill University, he has received many awards, including the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC)-Cancer Research Society (CRS) partnered award, the US Department of Defence New Investigator Award and the Fonds de recherche du Québec─Santé (FRQS) Senior Investigator Award. His research program focuses on a novel tumour targeting approach initiated in his Cancer Drug Research Laboratory, termed "the Combi-Targeting concept." This approach seeks to confer signalling inhibitory properties to potent DNA damaging agents with the purpose of interfering with mechanisms that lead to apoptosis. The first proof-of-concept synthesis of a novel molecule capable of targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and damaging DNA made Dr. Jean-Claude a pioneer in the rational design of dual targeted kinase inhibitors. In addition to directing a research laboratory and a technological platform, Dr. Jean-Claude leads two major training programs at McGill University: the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research and the McGill−Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Drug Development Training Program. His research is supported by the CIHR.

Dr. Elham Rahme is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Associate Member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University. She is also a Medical Scientist in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology of the McGill University Health Centre. She is a member of the executive committee of the Réseau Québécois de recherche sur l'usage des médicaments and a member of the Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le suicide. She is an Editorial Board member of the Open Rheumatology Journal, BMC Geriatrics and Current Drug Safety. She holds a PhD in statistics and has extensive expertise in pharmacoepidemiology and health services research. Her research interests include the evaluation of the safety, effectiveness, and economic implications of prescribed medications. Dr. Rahme has conducted population-based studies on the utilization, adverse events, and cost of NSAIDs; risks and benefits of extended outpatient anticoagulant use following total hip and knee arthroplasty; home care following hospital discharge from hemiarthroplasty; use of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors in association with suicide; rate of infection and the development of multi-drug resistance in patients undergoing dialysis; estimation of the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in Quebec; utilisation, safety and cost of anti-TNF-alpha drugs; and assessment and development of biostatistical methods for pharmacoepidemiology research.

 Dr. Stéphane Laporte is Director of the Molecular Imaging Platform at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). He is also a Professor of Medicine at McGill University and the Director of Research of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at McGill University, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Réseau québécois de recherche sur les médicaments . He has received many awards, including a Canada Research Chair, FRSQ scholarships and the CDA/CSEM/Merck Frosst Young Investigator award. His research program focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) responses, a class of receptors involved in many, if not all, physiological responses, with the ultimate goal of improving drug action. He has developed innovative methods for in-cellulo measurement of protein-protein interactions, receptor trafficking and signalling, useful for drug discovery programs. His research program also studies the allosteric, biased signalling regulation of GPCR and has contributed to the design and validation of small molecules that block myometrial contraction in pre-term birth. He has contributed to the generation of many intellectual property agreements and patents, and published his findings in high-impact journals. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and March of Dimes currently support his research.

Dr. Michel Paré obtained a doctorate in neuroscience from the Université de Montréal and studied the neuropathy of peripheral nerves in postdoctoral work at Albany Medical College and McGill University. As a senior scientist at AstraZeneca for 10 years, he supported drug discovery projects involving in vivo and in vitro neurophysiological studies, developed innovative research methods and led a multidisciplinary team that delivered critical reviews of emerging drug targets.