null Communications Winter 2015

Innovation at the Glen: the CFI talks to our researchers

RI-MUHC research leaders talk about their respective fields of interest

Funded in part by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the new facilities of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) at the Glen site, in Montreal, will help to bridge the gaps between biomedical research, clinical medicine and population health.

In this series of podcasts presented by the CFI, four RI-MUHC research leaders talk about their respective fields of interest and the thrill of working in the research arm of an institution that is at the forefront of health care.

Find more stories of research in action on, the website of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, where these podcasts originally appeared.


Symposium on Cannabis and Medicine at the AAAS Annual Meeting was a success 




From left to right: Mark Ware, Igor Grant, Roger Pertwee

The symposium Cannabis and Medicine: A New Frontier in Therapeutics, co-organized by Dr. Mark Ware, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) pain specialist at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and RI member, was held at the 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual (AAAS) Meeting in San Jose (CA) last month.

With 200 people in attendance and a series of questions from the audience that clearly demonstrated the interest in the topic and the science behind it, the event was considered a major success.  In addition, the topic received extensive media coverage from journalists worldwide. 

Dr. Ware was part of a panel of three international experts who gathered to discuss what scientists and doctors know or should know about cannabis and what they still have to learn. 

Neuropharmacologist, Professor Roger Pertwee from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, gave the audience an overview of the science behind the plant. According to Pertwee, who has been one of the world's leading cannabinoid scientists for over 30 years, even if scientists have discovered around 100 cannabinoids, the pharmacology of most of them has yet to be investigated.

However, Dr. Igor Grant, an internationally recognized neuropsychiatrist at the University of California in San Diego, highlighted the difficulty in getting funding for clinical trials on the medical use of cannabis in the United States. According to Grant, so far meta analyses of extensive neurocognitive studies have failed to demonstrate meaningful cognitive declines among recreational users. 

Dr. Ware reinforces the idea that our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in health and disease needs to be advanced through research and education for patients, physicians and policy-makers. As a pain specialist, he regularly sees patients with severe chronic pain at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit of the MUHC and for some of them, marijuana appears to be a credible option. According to Dr. Ware, it is time to enhance our scientific knowledge base and have informed discussions with patients. 

The AAAS Annual Meeting brings together thousands of scientists, engineers, policymakers, educators, and journalists to discuss the most recent developments in science and technology.

This symposium was made possible by the generous support from the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. This funding gave our researchers the opportunity to publicize their work and put the MUHC and the Research Institute on the map worldwide.

Dr. Mark Ware giving his impressions after his presentation at the AAAS Annual Meeting:

Please contact Julie Robert, MUHC Communications Coordinator, at if you are interested in submitting a proposal for the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting from February 11 to 15 in Washington, DC (US).

RI-MUHC a top employer in Montreal once again!

We have always looked upon our teams as nothing less than exceptional. We know it because we see it day in and day out. To work at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is to join a family that is bonded across labs, professions, cultures, ages and eras with the same goal and purpose: to provide the best care from bench to bedside. 

We think this is what makes our Research Institute special. Thank you everyone for helping the RI-MUHC once again be top employers in Montreal! This is indeed "something to celebrate!" 

Sonia Rea, Director, Human Resources and Environmental Health & Safety Division, RI-MUHC

Mediacorp organizes this prestigious national competition to evaluate the best employers in Canada based on many different criteria. This is the ninth year the MUHC and the third year the RI-MUHC have been selected.


Studentship and Fellowship competition

Reminder to all Graduate Students, Post-Doctoral Fellows and their Supervisors 

The deadline to submit your application for the 2015-16 RI-MUHC Studentship and Fellowship Competition is on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at noon.

Please visit the RI Portal to access the competition application and guidelines (a user name and password are required; however these can be requested at the login page). 

This is a reminder that in order to submit your on-line application, all documents must be uploaded to the RI Portal (supervisor documents, referee letter of recommendation and other requested documents).  

If you have any questions please contact the RI-MUHC Studentship & Fellowship Competition Administration at:


MUHC Social media: Follow us now!
We are constantly posting research stories and profiles of researchers and students on MUHC social media platforms. Get on board and help us share news about the RI and your work! 

Follow us on: 



Media Relations 

Do you have an upcoming paper or a research project that could be of interest to the media with potential clinical implications?  

If yes, let us know! If we decide to go ahead and develop a press release or a pitch you will be asked to be available for interviews with TV, radio or print media.

Before you are published, please contact Julie Robert, MUHC Communications Coordinator, at or 514 934 1934 ext. 71381 

Press releases

Reducing cancer related fatigue one step at a time
"Not too little and not too much" physical activity shows promise in reducing cancer-related fatigue
Mar 12, 2015

$41 million to unlock the mysteries of aging
Two Quebec universities play a key role in pan-Canadian study
Mar 9, 2015

Breakthrough in understanding how cancer cells metastasize
Montreal Neurological Institute scientists discover a new mechanism driving spread of cancer
Feb 26, 2015

New hope in the fight against pain
Study shows potential new therapy for neuropathic pain
Feb 17, 2015

Cannabis: World-renowned researchers discuss a new frontier in therapeutics 
In a symposium organized by the MUHC, world-renowned experts share their perspectives on the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis
Feb 14, 2015

Revolutionary new probe zooms in on cancer cells
Improves tumour surgeries and extends survival times for brain cancer patients
Feb 11, 2015

Smoking thins vital part of brain
Although the cortex grows thinner with normal aging, the study found that smoking appears to accelerate the thinning process.
Feb 10, 2015

The MUHC partners with the Rossy Cancer Network to smooth the rocky road of cancer survivorship
An innovative program aims to improve the follow-up care and surveillance needs of patients who have completed cancer treatments
Feb 4, 2015

World-class research facilities: "From bench to bedside"
The inauguration of the Research Institute represents the first step in the redeployment of MUHC 2015 at the Glen site
Feb 2, 2015

Blame it on your brain: salt and hypertension
Study sheds new light on link between salt intake and blood pressure
Jan 22, 2015

Genetic discovery about childhood blindness paves the way for new treatments
Comparing 11 year old Naomi Lalandec genome to others with OMS and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) uncovered a new gene that is critical for vision
Jan 19, 2015


Our Researchers In the News 


Dr. Gabriella Gobbi was interviewed by Les Années-lumière on Radio-Canada (article featured by Agence Science Presse) about her research on cannabis and psychological impacts on teenagers.

Her recent study showing a potential new therapy for neuropathic pain was featured in several science websites (Psychomedia, Techno-Science, Futurity, etc.).

Dr. Peter McPherson was interviewed by Radio-Canada about his recent study on cancer cell metastasis. Video from the paper showing molecular mechanism has had +33,000 views!

Dr. Robert Zatorre was interviewed by Beta Boston about a project that will use data to study the healing power of melody. 

Article about Dr. Brenda Milner's career path and how she became the legendary neuroscientist she is today.


Dr. Mark Ware was interviewed and cited by several local and international media including Science Magazine, a German public radio station, International Business Times, Journal International de medicine, TVA nouvelles, Canoé, National Pain Report, The New York Times (article to come), Radio-France International, CBC about his research on the medical use of cannabis and also a symposium he co-organized on Cannabis and Medicine in San Jose, CA. at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting

Dr. Christopher Pack was interviewed by CBC News about the viral dress colour debate

Dr. Sherif Karama was interviewed by La Presse, Le Devoir, Radio-Canada CJAD, Times of India, Belfast, Daily Telegraph and more about his recent study on effects of smoking on the brain cortex. 

Dr. Martin Olivier was interviewed by Code Chastenay on Télé-Québec about an experimental method using tattooing, developed by his team, to cure a specific skin disease.

Dr. Christina Wolfson was interviewed by The Montreal Gazette about the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging she co-led. 

The RI's new facilities Grand Opening at the Glen was covered by Journal Métro, La Presse, Radio-Canada, CBC, CTV, Global, The Gazette, Québec Science, CJAD Radio (featuring Dr. Vassilios Papadopolous, Dr. Bertrand Jean-Claude and Dr. Jean Bourbeau)

Dr. Bertrand Lebouché and Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy were interviewed by Journal Métro, Journal de Montreal and Radio-Canada about a recently-discovered form of HIV in Cuba.

Dr. Guy Rouleau was interviewed by L'Actualité on recent findings in neurosciences to better understand brain illnesses.

Dr. Kevin Petrecca and Frédéric Lebond (Polytechnique Montréal) were featured in La Presse+ as "Personality of the week" because of a new study that zooms in on cancer cell during surgery and may set a new standard for successful brain surgery. They received extensive local and international media coverage (Le Devoir, Radio-Canada, CTV News, Times Colonist, Scientific American and more)


Dr. Ariane Marelli was interviewed by Une pilule, une petite granule, on Télé Québec featuring the work being done at the MAUDE Unit on congenital heart disease.

Dr. Charles Bourque was interviewed by Radio-Canada International about his study showing the link between salt intake and blood pressure. The paper has been referenced in over 650 online hits. 

Dr. Robert Koenekoop was interviewed by CBC Homerun radio show. His team, with collaborators from the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal and the University of Oregon, are on the verge of discovering new treatments for childhood blindness.

Dr. Gaston Ostiguy was interviewed by La Presse + and TVA about a new pilot study on e-Cigarette

Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos was interviewed by Télé Québec as part of the show Une pilule, une petite granule about the toxicity of our clothes on our health.


--Newsletter Winter 2015