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Centre de recherche
Friday, July 22 2016

Exploring the way from gut flora to scoliosis

Valérie Marcil awarded a research grant by Institut de France-affiliated Foundation Yves Cotrel

MONTRÉAL, July 22, 2015 – Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a deeply disabling disease that affects 1% to 3% of young people. No cause has been discovered so far. While many scientists delve into the genetic aspects of the disease, Valérie Marcil, PhD rather studies the metabolic factors possibly causing it or fueling its development. For the very reason that she studies the link between adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and gut hormones – scientifically known as incretins, Marcil, who is researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and an assistant research professor in the Department of Nutrition at Université de Montréal, was awarded a research grant from the Fondation Yves Cotrel – Institut de France, as part of an international competition.

With her study that bears the title “The role of gut hormones and microbiota in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis pathophysiology: a pilot study”, Marcil seeks to measure the incretin levels of girls affected with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and control subjects, in relation with several other metabolic hormones, genetic factors and diet. As it is now known that the billions of bacteria populating the digestive tracts influence incretin secretion, she will also analyze the composition of the gut microbiota. Moreover, in an attempt to prevent the onset of the disease, she will strive to develop personalized nutritional and nutrigenomic therapies.

By contributing to the advancement of knowledge about what causes adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Marcil helps the Fondation Yves Cotrel achieving its mission of identifying, preventing, and predicting spinal diseases, as well as developing less intrusive therapies.

About the researcher

In addition to her research interests focusing on the role of oxidative stress, nutrition and metabolism in complex diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and idiopathic adolescent scoliosis, Valérie Marcil works on the development and underlying mechanisms of chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in survivors of childhood cancer.

About the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center

CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center is a leading mother-child research institution affiliated with Université de Montréal. It brings together more than 200 research investigators, including over 90 clinician-scientists, as well as 385 graduate and postgraduate students focused on finding innovative prevention means, faster and less invasive treatments, as well as personalized approaches to medicine. The Center is part of CHU Sainte-Justine, which is the largest mother-child center in Canada and second pediatric center in North America. More on research.chusj.org

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Updated on 7/22/2016
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