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RESP  |  Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program

RESP Program News

We are proud to celebrate the scientific achievements of our researchers and trainees in publications, grant competitions, honors and awards, and appointments, as well as in the mainstream press.

RI-MUHC researchers contribute to global study of babies born with birth defects

A new study published in The Lancet finds that survival for babies born with a birth defect – otherwise known as a congenital anomaly – is dependent on where they are bornSource: Global Paediatric Research Collaboration, King’s College London, and RI-MUHC.A study published this month in The Lancet examined the risk of mortality for nearly 4,000 babies born with birth defects in 264 hospitals around the world. The study found babies born with birth defects involving the intestinal tract have a two in five chance of dying in a low-income country compared to one in five in a middle-income country and one in twenty in a high-income country.Gastroschisis, a birth defect where the baby is born with intestines protruding through a hole by the umbilicus, has the greatest difference in mortality, with 90% of babies dying in low-income countries compared with 1% in high-income countries. In high-income countries, most of these babies will be able to live a full life without disability.A new study published in The Lancet finds that survival for babies born with a birth defect – otherwise known as a congenital anomaly – is dependent on where they are bornThe study was conducted by the Global Paediatric Research Collaboration, a multicentre research collaboration of surgeons, anaesthetists and allied health professionals caring for neonates and children requiring surgery across the globe. Dan Poenaru, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Child Health and Human Development Program (CHHD) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), is a member of the steering committee for this global research group and one of the authors of the publication. Other RI-MUHC contributors are Sherif Emil, MD, also an investigator in the CHHD program, and Pramod Puligandla, MD, an associate investigator in the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program. The Montreal Children’s Hospital contributors include Eileen Duggan, Elena Guadagno, Jean-Martin Laberge, Nadia Safa, Kenneth Shaw, Etienne St-Louis and Hussein Wissanji.“To address the current scarcity of research on congenital anomalies, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, we have completed the first large series, geographically comprehensive multicentre prospective cohort study of congenital anomalies across the globe,” says Dr. Poenaru. “Such data is vital to inform advocacy efforts and global health prioritization.”The team of researchers stresses the need for a focus on improving surgical care for newborns in low- and middle-income countries globally. Over the last 25 years, while there has been great success in reducing deaths in children under five years by preventing and treating infectious diseases, there has been little focus on improving surgical care for babies and children, and indeed, the proportion of deaths related to surgical diseases continues to rise. Birth defects are now the fifth leading cause of death in children under five years of age globally, with most deaths occurring in the newborn period.The researchers found that improving survival from these conditions in low- and middle-income countries involves three key elements:improving antenatal diagnosis and delivery at a hospital with children’s surgical care,improving surgical care for babies born in district hospitals, with safe and quick transfer to the children’s surgical centre,improved perioperative care for babies at the children’s surgical centre.They acknowledge that this requires strong teamwork and planning between midwifery and obstetric teams, newborn and paediatric teams, and children’s surgical teams at the children’s surgical centre, alongside outreach education and networking with referring hospitals.The researchers urge that alongside local initiatives, surgical care for newborns and children needs to be integrated into national and international child health policy and should no longer be neglected in the context of global child health.Infographic from the publication in The Lancet. About the study:Read the publication in The LancetJuly 28, 2021

RI-MUHC success in grant competition for transplantation research

Researchers awarded funds from the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program for innovative research projects in organ and tissue transplantationSource: CDTRP and RI-MUHC. Announced on July 13, the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) will fund three new projects led by organ and tissue transplant researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and the MUHC.(L-R) CDTRP grant recipients from the Research Institute of the MUHC: Steven Paraskevas, Amine Benmassaoud and Tania Janaudis-FerreiraSince 2012 the CDTRP has supported research and innovation that addresses barriers within the fields of donation and transplantation, with the ultimate goal of advancing long-term health outcomes and quality of life for Canadian transplant patients. The CDTRP Research Innovation Grant competition supports new peer-reviewed pilot research projects that align with CDTRP’s One-Transplant-for-Life vision, which is to fulfill every donor opportunity and turn transplant into a cure. This year’s results were exceptional for the RI-MUHC, as three of the four grants issued in the Research Innovation category were awarded to proposals from our research community.Congratulations to the awardees!Steven Paraskevas, MD, PhD, scientist in the Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program and Corinne A Hoesli, MD, for the project “Making every pancreatic islet count – engineering a vascularized transplantation system to treat type 1 diabetes”Amine Benmassaoud, MD, associate investigator in the Cardiovascular Health Across the Lifespan Program, for the project “Does a 4-week prehabilitation program improve frailty in patients with cirrhosis undergoing liver transplantation? A feasibility trial”Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, PhD, junior scientist in the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program and trainee Nicholas Bourgeois for the project “Virtual home-based pre-habilitation program in lung transplant candidates”July 22, 2021

RI-MUHC researcher selected for Canadian Thoracic Society award

Tania Janaudis-Ferreira seeks to improve outcomes in chronic lung disease and solid organ transplants

The Gnotobiotic Research Platform is open for business

The RI-MUHC and McGill University form a hub to integrate microbiome research activities

Two RI-MUHC trainees win McGill MedStar awards

Congratulations to Daniela Massierer and Mohamed Abdulhakem Omar Shengir!

McGill International TB Centre receives $17.2 M for clinical trials and clinical research on tuberculosis

RI-MUHC researcher Dick Menzies leads international network to fight TB

FALL 2020 CIHR COMPETITION RESULTS

RI-MUHC teams received $6.9 million in project funding and $2 million more for COVID-19 research

Saliva samples for COVID-19 testing: as good as nasopharyngeal swabs, but cheaper

New meta-analysis of 37 studies and over 7,000 paired saliva and nasopharyngeal swab samples

The RI-MUHC leads new clinical trial of COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients

Phase 2 study tests LAU-7b, a Canadian drug with dual antiviral and inflammation-controlling effects

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