null Deborah Assayag, MD, MAS

Scientist, RI-MUHC, Montreal General Hospital site

Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program

Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, MUHC



Interstitial lung diseases • pulmonary fibrosis • autoimmunity • epidemiology • prognosis

Research Focus

My research focuses on interstitial lung diseases (ILD), a group of progressive, devastating lung diseases characterized by inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) of the lung tissue. The burden of disease is heavy: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the most devastating form of ILD, has a median survival of only three to five years. The incidence and societal burden of ILD are increasing over time. Unfortunately, the right diagnosis is often initially missed or delayed, which will affect long term prognosis. Certain medications have been shown to slow the decline in lung function, but differences in treatment initiation can occur for reasons that remain largely unknown. My research program aims to identify discrepancies and delays in the care of patients with ILD from diagnosis to management, identify the risk factors for those delays, predict disease progression and explore the use of certain medications in understudied populations.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Assayag D, Vittinghoff E, Ryerson CJ, Cocconcelli E, Tonelli R, Hu X, Elicker BM, Golden JA, Jones KD, King, Jr. TE, Koth LL, Lee JS, Ley B, Shum AK, Wolters PJ, Ryu JH, Collard HR. The effect of bronchodilators on forced vital capacity measurement in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Respir Med. Respir Med. 2015 Aug;109(8):1058-62. PMID: 26140806.

  • Assayag D, Kim EJ, Elicker BM, Golden JA, Jones KJ, King Jr TE, Koth LL, Shum AK, Wolters PJ, Collard HR, Lee JS. Survival in interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features : a comparison of proposed criteria. Respir Med. 2015 Oct;109(10):1326-31. PMID: 26303338.

  • Assayag D, Garlick K, Johannson KA, Fell CD, Kolb M, Cox G, Hambly N, Manganas H, Morisset J, Fisher JH, Shapera S, Gershon AS, To T, Sadatsafavi M, Wilcox PG, Halayko AJ, Khalil N, Ryerson CJ. Treatment Initiation in Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease in Canada. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2021 Jan 25;. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202009-1122OC. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 33493425.

  • Assayag D, Morisset J, Johannson KA, Wells AU, Walsh SLF. Patient gender bias on the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Thorax. 2020 May;75(5):407-412. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-213968. Epub 2020 Feb 13. PMID: 32054644.

  • Ketaki Rawal*, Ilan Azuelos, Neil C Colman, Christian Pineau, Deborah Assayag. Combined multidisciplinary clinics impact patients with interstitial lung diseases. Int. J. Clin. Rheumatol. (2020) 15(7).