The Research Center of the University Hospital of Montreal (CRCHUM) is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh edition of the 2018 Awards of Excellence. Introduced in 2012, these awards highlight, each year, the outstanding contribution of CHUM researchers, having particularly distinguished themselves by their research work. The Awards of Excellence are presented in three distinct categories: "Scientific Contribution of the Year", "Young Investigator" and "Career". The involvement of the honored researchers greatly contributes to making CRCHUM a world-renowned setting for scientific achievements and discoveries.
"I am proud to present these awards to our laureates, international leaders in their field of excellence! The results of their work show that research is essential to generate knowledge and tangible benefits for patients and the population" says Dr. Vincent Poitout, CHUM Research Director and Scientific Director of CRCHUM.
Diane Provencher, M.D., FRSC, FACOG. Award of Excellence - Career
Researcher at CRCHUM, Head of the Division of Gynecology Oncology and Full Professor at the University of Montreal, Dr. Diane Provencher is a true "leader" in research for women's health. She has been awarded the 2018 Research Excellence Award in the Career category, in recognition of her outstanding scientific contribution throughout her career.
Dr. Diane Provencher has dedicated 30 years of her career to ovarian cancer research. Recognized by her peers for her expertise in gynecology and oncology, she has written more than 210 scientific publications on the subject. Her research and clinical trials have led to the introduction of PARPs (poly-ADP-ribose-polymerase-1), molecules that act on the DNA repair system, in women with cancer. More recently, her work led to the access for intraperitoneal injection of these chemotherapeutics as well as advances in immunotherapy for ovarian cancer. With the collaboration of CRCHUM researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, Dr. Provencher participated in the development of several spontaneously immortalized cell lines from ovarian cancer, as well as primary cultures, 3D spheroid models, and more recently microdissected ex-vivo tissues cultured on a microfluidic platform. Dr. Provencher is also involved in the creation and maintenance of a large ovarian tissue library with fresh frozen samples of normal ovaries, benign and tumor ovarian tissue, primary cultures derived from cancerous tissue, and fixed and paraffin-preserved samples.
"As a clinician, it has always seemed essential to me to be a partner in clinical work, in basic research and with patients” concludes Dr. Provencher.
An Tang, M.D., M.SC., FRCPC, Young Investigator Award of Excellence
A regular researcher at CRCHUM since 2012, Dr. An Tang has been awarded the 2018 Research Excellence Award in the "Young Investigator" category. This award recognizes the outstanding scientific contribution of a researcher whose research program has been in place for less than ten years. Graduated with honors, Dr. Tang's career progression is dazzling and his expertise in liver imaging is recognized.
Director of Abdominal Imaging at the Clinical Image Processing Laboratory (LCTI) and clinician researcher of Fonds de recherche du Québec, Dr. An Tang's research focuses on the study of biomarkers using quantitative imaging in chronic liver disease (imaging of steatosis, fibrosis and inflammation) and the investigation of diagnostic approaches to liver cancer imaging. Over the years, with the necessary funding and collaboration of senior researchers at CRCHUM, Dr. Tang has set up an independent research program whose goal is to develop imaging techniques to improve diagnosis and monitoring. chronic liver diseases and liver cancer.
Dr. Tang's liver imaging research program has not only covered several facets of medical research (with 97 scientific publications to his credit), but has also had an impact on clinical transfers to improve management of our patients. It can be emphasized without a doubt that Dr. Tang's research program has helped to raise the profile of the CHUM internationally.
"Honored to receive the 2018 Research Excellence Award in the Young Investigator category, I am extremely grateful to my mentors who supported me and the CRCHUM researchers with whom I collaborate. I feel privileged to be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment where I can meet basic researchers at CRCHUM and CHUM clinicians in pursuit of scientific ideas. The imaging of liver pathologies is currently undergoing a transformation towards quantitative biomarkers, whose discovery is facilitated by artificial intelligence techniques”, Dr. Tang concludes.
Adriana Di Polo, Ph.D., Award of Excellence - Scientific Contribution of the Year
CRCHUM Researcher and Professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of Montreal, Adriana Di Polo Wins the 2018 Research Excellence Award in the "Scientific Contribution of the Year" category, in recognition of her recent study entitled "Insulin signalling promotes dendrite and synapse regeneration and restores circuit function after axonal injury”, published in the prestigious journal Brain. Adriana Di Polo and her research team have made a scientific breakthrough for the treatment of glaucoma, a blindness problem that affects nearly 60 million people worldwide. They discovered that retinal neurons have the ability to regenerate their dendrites (the arboreal extensions of nerve cells) after optic nerve injury. The administration of insulin as eye drops restores the communication between the neurons and the functioning of the retina. This major discovery was enthusiastically received by the scientific community and received wide media coverage (press, radio and television, nationally and internationally).
Adriana Di Polo's research will have promising implications for the study of neurodegenerative diseases.
"We have discovered that it is possible to stimulate the regrowth of dendrites; these long extensions that allow neurons to receive nerve impulses, and restore functional synaptic connections after optic nerve injury. Indeed, insulin, administered as eye drops, stimulates this regeneration of dendrites and restores the communication between the neurons and the recovery of retinal function. It would be possible to curb glaucoma and improve patients' vision", concludes Adriana Di Polo.
About the CRCHUM Research Excellence Awards
The CRCHUM Research Excellence Awards are honorary prizes awarded to CHUM researchers who make a significant contribution to the advancement of health research. The laureates are selected from the 150 or so regular researchers of the institution.