null Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) Updates

Activities this spring on both the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and Glen sites of the Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) supported the reorganization of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) into a program-based framework, one that will maximize use of the new infrastructure. Previously grouped in research axes, RI-MUHC investigators have formed seven new interdisciplinary programs to date, and technology platforms have been optimally equipped for the mission of helping them reach their research goals.

Glen Site Technology Platforms Serve New Research Programs

With the transfer of researchers to the Glen site in February and March 2015 and the subsequent move of other research groups to the MGH, the CTB is now consolidated on two major sites. By April 1, when the Glen research site graduated from transfer mode into operations, four innovative technology platforms had been relocated to the Glen site CTB to serve researchers. Histopathology, Immunophenotyping, Molecular Imaging and Proteomics services were up and running, and the Drug Discovery Platform, which aims to fuel the RI-MUHC's drug discovery pipeline, also began activities in March. 

Since then, researchers have been crossing the welcome mats laid out at many new service platforms at the Glen site to explore the high-end technologies now available.

Dr. Don van Meyel, director of the CTB, notes that the technology platforms provide state-of-the art equipment and expertise, "allowing our scientists and trainees to accelerate their current research and drive it in new and exciting directions." Having multiple facilities in one location is, he says, ideal for the creation of new synergies.

Most of the platforms are now centralized on level E01 of the West Tower of the Glen research facility. Thanks to CFI funding, the number of instruments has significantly increased and platforms are outfitted with the most advanced instrumentation and technologies. Platform users can now readily access these cutting-edge resources and benefit from the support of a larger and more specialized platforms staff.

To ensure uninterrupted access by researchers, the Containment Level 3 (CL3) Platform continues to operate at the MGH pending completion of a certification process at the Glen site CTB. 

Two additional technology platforms will be rolled out this fall. The Small Animal Imaging Labs (SAIL) Platform will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as and nuclear scanning with positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and computerized tomography (CT) capabilities. The Biobank facility on level E01 will play a pivotal role in translational research projects. In this platform, tissue samples will be housed in a state-of-the art freezer system that offers accurate and complete sample tracking. 

Our Technology Platforms    

Directors and staff of the technology platforms at the RI-MUHC welcome inquiries from researchers and are ready to ensure that they make optimal use of the cutting-edge equipment and services. 

To learn more, please join us at the Technology Platforms Official Opening Seminar, where the platforms will be showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies and providing information on how these tools can help our investigators and trainees accelerate their research. Seminar at the CTB-Glen site: Friday, September 11, 2015, 2 – 3 p.m., in the RI Auditorium (Block E, S1.1129). Seminar at the CTB-MGH site: Wednesday, September 16, noon – 1 p.m., in Room L7-140.


Histopathology Platform
Director: Dr. Qutayba Hamid
Manager: Fazila Chouiali

Containment Level 3 Platform
Director: Dr. Marcel Behr
Manager: Fiona McIntosh

Immunophenotyping Platform
Director: Dr. Ciro Piccirillo
Manager: Marie-Hélène Lacombe

Drug Discovery Platform
Director: Dr. Bertrand Jean-Claude
Manager: Dr. Sanjoy Das

Proteomics Platform
Interim director: Dr. Peter McPherson
Manager: TBA

Molecular Imaging Platform
Director: Dr. Stéphane Laporte
Manager: Dr. Min Fu

Biobank Platform (pending)
Director: TBA
Manager: TBA

Small Animal Imaging Labs (SAIL) Platform (pending)
Director: Dr. Barry Bedell
Manager: Mathieu Simard    

Manager, Operations and Platforms (CTB): Patrice Vaillancourt




Transforming the MGH Research Site

Approximately 25% of CTB researchers are located at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) site. Building renovations over the last few months have already enabled significant reorganization of RI-MUHC research activities in important ways.

For example, large-scale renovation of the 11th floor of Livingston Hall has allowed the relocation of the Vision Research group from the former Royal Victoria Hospital, as well as the internal relocation of some members of the Centre for Research in Neuroscience. Together, these two groups form the nucleus of the new Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program centred at the MGH. Likewise, major renovations on the first floor of Livingston Hall were completed to accommodate the Joe Miller lab for orthopedic research, and work is underway in the Research Building to house off-site freezers for RI-MUHC researchers from the Glen site. 

Stay tuned for updates on additional renovations to RI-MUHC research space at the MGH.



--Newsletter Summer 2015