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Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Kidney Diseases

Stéphane Laporte, PhD
Simon Sipen Wing, MD

The Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Kidney Diseases Axis has a diverse team of clinical investigators, who in collaboration with fundamental and epidemiological researchers, comprise the largest division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in Canada and is one of the most comprehensive in North America. Researchers in this axis study a broad range of disorders, including kidney disease, hormone related cancers and diabetes, which has become a worldwide epidemic, and affects over 2 million Canadians.

The axis is particularly strong in biochemistry and cell biology of hormone receptors and related signaling pathways, as well as genetic analyses of how DNA sequence variation modulates disease risk. Axis researchers use a broad array of conceptual and methodological tools, and utilize technologies from high-throughput genotyping, proteomics, and mass spectrometry, to transgenic and knockout animal models. The large clinical patient volume at the MUHC continues to represent a rich resource for clinical epidemiological research in endocrine diseases.

Researchers in this axis have identified the molecular mechanisms important in diabetes, kidney and neurodegenerative diseases, which in turn have led to potential therapeutic strategies applied by our investigators in large-scale clinical studies. This is part of our bench to bedside philosophy that allows patients to benefit rapidly from the latest research advances.

The creation of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) has fostered new and productive collaborations between our researchers and those based at McGill, Université de Montréal, Université Laval and University of Ottawa. Such collaborations have led to the identification of diabetes susceptibility genes, which aim to elucidate the link between obesity and diabetes and characterize the molecular defects in insulin receptor signalling.