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The respirology component includes 64 researchers, 60 nurses and research professionals, as well as 80 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. This component turns out to be one of the key groupings of its kind observed in Canada and is concerned with widespread epidemic health problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea and lung cancer. In fact, the Institute is a supra-regional centre on pulmonary oncology where 800 cases of thoracic surgery are performed each year at the Multidisciplinary Respirology and Thoracic Surgery Department. The success of the respiratory component lies on the close collaboration existing between clinician scientists and basic researchers as well as both their research professionals’ and students’ quality. Researchers illustrate themselves through the presence of four research chairs in COPD, in pulmonary hypertension, in genomics of heart and lung diseases as well as in knowledge transfer. Their research efforts have led to major discoveries in the pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension, thereby offering hope for innovative treatments for this incurable disease. Researchers in respirology also identified the genetic cause of emphysema in a large Quebec family. This major discovery, which is the second inherited form of emphysema to be reported, allows us to consider advances in the understanding of its development. Prescribing oxygen will be revolutionized by the in-house development of the FreeO2 innovative system allowing self-adjustment of its dose administered from individualized therapeutic targets. The research program evaluating the athletes’ respiratory health turns out also to be a unique aspect of the component. We are also studying the microbial composition of bioaerosols and their effects on humans’ respiratory health. Our world-calibre biobank, a richness of over 60,000 human samples available for the research, is finally an undeniable asset that provides researchers the possibility of doing and to validate what they discovered directly in humans, thereby accelerating the transfer of new knowledge toward clinical care.


Key themes

  • Sleep apnea and regulation of breathing over the life course
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and environmental health
  • Pulmonary oncology

Research chairs

  • Research Chair in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (François Maltais)
  • Research Chair in Vascular Remodeling Diseases (Sébastien Bonnet)
  • Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer, Education and Prevention in Respiratory and Cardiovascular Health (Louis-Philippe Boulet)
  • Canadian Research Chair in Genomics of Heart and Lung Diseases (Yohan Bossé)

Respirology researchers

Dr. Steve Provencher
Assistant Director of Respirology Research


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