The overarching goal of the Immunopathology theme is to enhance translational research in areas affecting the host defence mechanisms: in particular, inflammatory responses induced by bodily injuries like infection, allergic and autoimmune conditions, burns, transplantation and inflammatory disorders of the hepatic and gastro-intestinal system. The theme's research interests are made up of the following sub-themes.
Studies of the various aspects of viral infections including innate immunity, adaptive immunity and their immuno-pathological effects, Research foci include sexually-transmitted infections and blood-borne infections, namely, HIV and hepatitis C and B as well as respiratory Syncytial virus, a major cause of respiratory infections in children and the elderly.
Allergy and autoimmunity
Exploration of the basic inflammatory and immunological mechanisms involved in various allergic and autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis using a variety of in vitro systems and in vivo animal models. In addition, translational research involving direct analysis of immune responses in affected patients is being performed in collaboration with other CRCHUM research themes. Burns and their sequelae: exploration of the factors that promote tissue regeneration after burns or injury. Researchers focus on the roles played by stress hormones, oxidative stress and dietary lipids in the immune suppression of T lymphocytes that occurs after burns. In particular, there is an emphasis on plastic surgery and novel techniques to improve tissue perfusion and regeneration following injury.
Transplantation and tissue injury
Focusses on understanding the immunological and inflammatory mechanisms modulating the integrity of the organ to be transplanted and implicated in organ rejection. The researchers in this group have developed innovative approaches to conserving and better predicting the function of organs to be transplanted and to reducing immunogenicity. The links between tissue injury, cell death and the acceleration of alloresponse by auto-immune phenomena are actively studied. These researchers conduct research programs in bioethics focused on notions of justice in approaches to organ donation and transplantation. Several of these projects are developed in association with the Canadian National Transplant Research Program.
Exploration of the pathophysiology of hepatic diseases and their treatment through cutting-edge research methods into place. This group also plays an important role within the CHUM as a tertiary reference centre as part of its clinical research activities. The group has developed a translational research approach to study the immunopathology of viral hepatitis, liver cancer, metabolic disease and neurological complication of hepatic disorders, the treatment of hepatic diseases and liver transplantation. The group is also involved in various clinical trials and vaccine initiatives aimed at developing new therapies and vaccines for viral hepatitis.
Studies of digestive motoricity and more particularly the action of ghrelin in humans. Research is also conducted in the fields of viscerosensitivity and functional digestive disorders, with a view to providing a better understanding of pain through the use of cerebral magnetic resonance imaging. The group has developed a new line of research on inflammatory intestinal diseases like inflammatory bowl disease and probiotics.