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Research Axes

Fetomaternal and Neonatal Pathologies


Mission and themes

Researchers in this axis focus on embryonic and fetal developmental anomalies. Birth defects are the main cause of death in newborns and represent a major cause of pediatric morbidity. The intrauterine protective environment can be perturbed by pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, diabetes or utero-placental failure, possibly leading to premature birth or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Prematurity can also cause newborn mortality or, more commonly, long term complications ranging from cerebral palsy to more subtle neurological impairments associated with cognitive deficiency. Lastly, intrauterine growth restriction predisposes to serious adult pathologies including hypertension, atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

The CHU Sainte-Justine is among the most dynamic university hospital centers in Canada in the field of perinatology. Our researchers are interested in various aspects of fetomaternal health, such as the retinopathy of prematurity, cardiovascular pregnancy paradox, aortic isthmus and the effects of antidepressants on pregnancy.

Over the last few years, multidisciplinary teams have been responsible for many ambitious clinical research projects aimed not only at optimizing the performance of obstetrical departments, but also at creating policies and programs to improve the health of pregnant women and their newborns. A major initiative was set up in order to facilitate multicentric clinical trials. By using an integrated approach in epidemiological, clinical and biomedical research, the axis seeks to develop new high tech fields linked to its three main themes, while integrating knowledge transfer and technological valorization.


Congresses and conferences

Press releases

Monday, December 14, 2015   

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy increases risk of autism by 87%
Ground breaking study published in JAMA Pediatrics looks at outcomes of 145,456 pregnancies after antidepressant use
Anick Bérard, PhD

Monday, December 7, 2015 

Adults born preterm at-risk of early chronic diseases
New review helps fill gap for doctors to treat patients
Thuy Mai Luu , MD, MSc and Anne Monique Nuyt , MD

Monday, November 16, 2015

Profusion of medical advances for preemies
For World Prematurity Day, November 17, 2015
Keith Barrington MD, Sylvain Chemtob, MD, FRCP(C), PhD, Julie Gosselin, PhD, Annie Janvier, MD, FRCP(C), PhD, Jean-Claude Lavoie, PhD, Thuy Mai Luu MD, MSc, Isabelle Milette, Inf,  Anne Monique Nuyt, MD and Antoine Payot, MD, PhD

Friday, October 30, 2015   

Pregnancy antibiotics no cause for concern 
Review of 135,000 pregnancies finds no adverse outcomes of two most commonly prescribed macrolides
Anick Bérard, PhD

Tuesday, October 13, 2015   

Intra-uterine surgery for at risk fetuses
Rare expertise presented at the 25th Conference of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
François Audibert, MD

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 

A new molecule is found to prevent preterm birth  
101.10 inhibits inflammation-induced uterine contractions
Sylvain Chemtob, MD, FRCP(C), PhD

Tuesday, May 19, 2015   

Higher risk of preterm delivery for women born preterm
New risk factor for pregnancies
Anne Monique Nuyt, PhD

Monday, March 16, 2015 

Canadians united for the brain of newborns and infants
Neuroscientists launch new partnership on first day of Brain Awareness Week
Lionel Carman, MD, FRCP(C), Mathieu Dehaes, PhD, Anne Gallagher, PhD, Julie Gosselin, PhD, Sarah Lippé, PhD, Gregory A. Lodygensky, MD and Thuy Mai Luu, MD, MSc

Monday, February 23, 2015   

Latest advances in perinatal research
The CHU Sainte-Justine at the helm of the 2nd Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting (CNPRM)
Anne Monique Nuyt, PhD

Thursday, January 22, 2015   

Dr. Anick Bérard funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation
Anick Bérard, PhD




  • -Rare cardiovascular disease-
    Sophie, 13-year-old percussionist, singer and aspiring radio host

    This multitalented teen has been living with the effects of a rare disorder ever since she was born. She refers to it as the “Unknown”. Although her condition doesn’t have a name, it has a very distinctive signature. But Sophie remains strong. “Something always hurts, but I usually don’t let it get to me. I’m in a good mood most of the time, even when I’m in pain.”
    Read the testimony >>>
  • Dr. Gregor Andelfinger, the Unraveller of the Unknown
    Before a course of treatment could be determined, Sophie needed a diagnosis. Dr. Gregor Andelfinger, Pediatric Cardiologist and Assistant Research Professor, looked high and low. But the problem with rare diseases is that every patient is, by definition, unique. There are no other cases to refer to and emulate. He explains. 
    Read the testimony >>>


Newsletter ''Fetomaternal and Neonatal Pathologies''

Clinical Research Units


Evelyne Clerc
Scientific Secretary
514 345-4931, ext. 5072 

Anne Monique Nuyt
Axis Head, Fetomaternal and Neonatal Pathologies
514 345-4931, ext. 3971

François Audibert
Axis Head Deputy, Fetomaternal and Neonatal Pathologies
514 345-4931, ext. 6844


Fetal development and prematurity


Mechanisms for congenital anomalies


High-risk pregnancies


Bioethics and family study group

About this page
Updated on 2/8/2018
Created on 8/8/2014
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