Immunopathology

The Immunopathology Research Theme comprises a group of researchers spanning the basic and clinical research continuum and focusing on the immune/inflammatory processes involved in the disturbance and restoration of homeostasis.  

These activities are rooted in shared visions regarding exploration of inflammatory mechanisms, loss of self-tolerance, immune response dysregulation and tissue damage and repair, around the following sub-themes:  
 

  1. Non-infectious inflammatory diseases, including osteoarthritis and auto-immune diseases 

Despite the prevalence of osteoarthritis, still little is known about the physiopathological mechanisms of this chronic joint disease. This research sub-theme has given rise to a reference centre in Quebec, structured around a close partnership between the CRCHUM and rheumatology departments, whose patient management forms an integral part of the research theme’s program. Our researchers are interested in auto-immune diseases, including scleroderma, in partnership with the Scleroderma Quebec Foundation, lupus, inflammatory myosites, lung connective tissue diseases and inflammatory intestinal diseases.  

  1. Transplantation, critical care and tissue damage and repair

Research is aimed at improving the quality of grafts, avoiding post-transplant rejection, preventing tissue damage/remodeling and restoring the functional integrity of organs. These studies rely on the CHUM’s transplant program (kidney, liver, heart, lung), which is the largest in Quebec, and the cystic fibrosis clinic, which is the second-largest in Canada, and are part of the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program and the Quebec Respiratory Health Research Network. A “bench to bedside” continuum of research infrastructure has been put in place, including biorepositories giving the science community access to rare human specimens, as well as the involvement of patient partners.   

  1. Viral infectious diseases  

Our research teams primarily study sexually transmissible and blood-borne infections (HIV, hepatitis B and C, HPV), viral respiratory infections (RSV, COVID-19), as well as certain emerging viruses. Research efforts are oriented towards understanding the mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity, the processes involved in the development of liver fibrosis and in the eradication of viral reservoirs, the development of vaccines and the identification of infection prevention and treatment approaches. These studies are conducted mainly on patient cohorts with primary HIV infection and hepatitis in multi-drug addicts or in HIV-positive kidney transplant recipients.  

  1. Development and origin of diseases, based on a “One Health” research approach 

Our studies aim to understand the impact of environmental factors on fertility, develop best fertility treatment strategies and study the influence of in vitro fertilization techniques on the early phases of embryonic development. These research studies are conducted in close collaboration with the Research Centre in Reproduction and Fertility of the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and with several in vitro fertilization clinics. Access to child follow-up cohorts also allows us to better understand the development and origin of diseases.