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CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation Philanthropic Research Chairs

Guided by the love of children, generosity, the family, excellence, leadership and ethics, the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s mission is to engage the community and support the CHU Sainte-Justine in its pursuit of excellence and its commitment to providing children and mothers with one of the highest levels of health care in the world, now and in the future.

Pediatric medical research is moving forward because of the tremendous generosity of donors who all share a dream: a dream of keeping sick children’s hope alive. The snowball effect of your engagement, combined with the vision and talent of Sainte-Justine’s research teams, has the power to accelerate medical discoveries.

Research Chairs

National Bank Research Chair in Cardiovascular Genetics


Gregor Andelfinger, MD, PhD

The Research Chair in Cardiovascular Genetics has been inaugurated at CHU Sainte-Justine thanks to an exceptional contribution from National Bank. Dr. Gregor Andelfinger, Cardiologist and Professor at the Department of Pediatrics and expert in congenital heart-related abnormalities is the Chair holder.

The Chair will serve as the main incubator for research projects pertaining to cardiovascular diseases, including rare diseases or conditions, to help determine the as yet unknown causes of such diseases and ultimately help develop appropriate treatments. Much remains to be done as the genetic origin of approximately 90% of congenital heart-related abnormalities are still unknown today and 1% of new babies are born with such abnormalities. 1 in 1000 babies will be operated; unfortunately, these operations do not offer a cure but only a way of coping with the disease.

As well as ensuring continuity in cardiovascular genetics research, this chair will help maintain and broaden the cardiovascular disease tissue sample biobank which is an essential and critical component that must be present to support this realm of research.

Research Chair of Cercle de Sainte-Justine in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DoHaD)


Anne Monique Nuyt, MD

The Research Chair of the Cercle de Sainte-Justine in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, was made possible thanks to the exceptional commitment of the Cercle de Sainte-Justine to the Centre of Excellence in Neonatalogy. Head of Neonatal Medical Service at CHU Sainte-Justine and an outstanding researcher clinician, Dr. Anne Monique Nuyt stands out for her sustained commitment to the service of premature babies and for her promising avenues of research

Taking advantage of cutting-edge research and the development of a database with children and adults born very prematurely, the aim of this Research Chair is to better understand the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults born very prematurely.

We also seek to define the best treatment adapted to the physiology of adults born prematurely, to develop interventions to prevent these diseases in adults but also from the neonatal stay and throughout childhood.

Jonathan Bouchard Research Chair in Intellectual Disability


Jacques L. Michaud, MD

Intellectual disabilities affect 2% of the population, or roughly 160,000 Quebec children and adults. Currently, the main cause in most children goes unidentified, and the absence of a diagnosis is clearly a source of great concern for parents.

The Jonathan Bouchard Research Chair in Intellectual Disability through the outstanding  support from the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation will allow us to identify and gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of intellectual disability and ultimately leading to the development of more accurate and rapid diagnostic tools. It will also enable us to develop effective treatments and perhaps even pave the way to prevention. Dr. Jacques Michaud, Researcher, Medical Geneticist  and Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal is the Chair holder.

In-depth knowledge of the genetic basis of intellectual disability fuelled by the staggering progress being made on the biology front provide the cornerstone for the development of new treatment strategies and could change the future for children and their families. Considering that genetic factors play a determining role in most cases of intellectual disability, genome sequencing, now available at Sainte-Justine, will make it possible to analyze the entire genome of children with these conditions and identify the genes responsible. The ability to step up the pace of this research and overcome these diagnostic challenges represents a major step forward in improving overall quality of care and development of each child’s potential. This chair will thus have a direct impact on the services provided to children with an intellectual disability, both here in Quebec and elsewhere in the world.

Research Chair JA DeSève in Nutrition


Emily Levy, MD, PhD

The JA DeSève Research Chair in Nutrition's main goal is the promotion and development of knowledge in prenatal, postnatal and adolescent nutrition to improve health and well-being, while limiting the course and / or consequences of disease. Emile Levy is a Professor at the Department of Nutrition of the Faculty of  Medicine at the University of Montreal. He is the Research Director of the Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Unit at the CHU Sainte-Justine, where he heads an important research team, and the Director of the Lipidology, Metabolism and Nutrition Laboratory.

One of the strategic objectives of this chair's scientific program is to identify genetic and metabolic biomarkers that are used to predict the response of different groups of individuals when consuming specific nutrients. On the other hand, work focuses on the regulation of gene expression by different nutrients, functional foods or nutraceutical molecules (nutrigenomics), and this, in relation to the development of chronic diseases related to absorptive, inflammatory and metabolic abnormalities.

Nutritional investigations favor various and complementary approaches combining cellular, molecular and genetic tools as well as interventions in healthy and sick subjects.

DePuy Spine Canada Inc. Research Chair in Column Deformations


Stefan Parent, MD, PhD

The Depuy Spine Canada Inc. Research Chair in Column Deformations supports Dr. Stefan Parent's research team to focus on clinical research and teaching as well as the development of innovative surgery techniques for the treatment of scoliosis.

Idiopathic scoliosis represents the most common spinal deformity, affecting 2-3% of the population, especially young people between 10 and 18 years old. Surgical correction of scoliosis, a treatment that involves the fusion of several spinal segments and an improvement in the mobility and flexibility of the spine, is associated with a high risk of complications.

Although the last 25 years, surgical techniques have evolved, the long-term outcomes for these patients remain to be improved.  

How to Improve Scoliosis Treatment

The main objective of the Chair is to develop new approaches to assess the risk of scoliosis progression through the use of 3D measurements of the vertebrae and the pelvis taken during the first medical examination.

Which curves will develop? Which ones will remain stable? Which ones will progress during growth and which ones will progress at the end of this period? Are there any other methods that predict progression? These are some of the questions that will guide Dr. Parent’s work over the next few years.

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Updated on 5/21/2020
Created on 5/14/2020
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