Scientific Committee

Dr. Martin Champagne
IDRC Scientific Committee Chair
Héma-Québec Stem Cell Donor Registry and Cord Blood Bank Medical Director

Expertise: Clinical Hematology, Stem cell transplantation and Cord Blood Banking

Dr. Champagne specializes in Hematology-Oncology and is Chief of department of Laboratory medicine, Co-director of the Cancer program at CIUSSS Centre-Sud of Montréal and is head of the Hematology- Oncology division at Verdun Hospital. He also serves as a Clinical Professor, department of Medicine, at the University of Montreal and serves as president of the hematologists and medical oncologists association in the province of Québec.

He pioneered Cord Blood transplantation in Canada as a pediatric transplant physician at Sainte-Justine Hospital. He is now well known in the Canadian transplant community as the Medical Director of Public Cord Blood Bank and of the Stem Cell Donor Registry at Héma-Québec since 2008.

He published numerous articles regarding his research in cord blood transplantation and cryopreservation in peer reviewed journals. He also serves as member of several advisory committees such as: Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Committee on Cells Tissues and Organs (CTO) and the CTO subcommittee on hematopoietic stem cell transplant of the Canadian Standard association CSA.

Diane Fournier PhD
Public Cord Blood Bank Scientific Director at Héma-Québec

Expertise: Cord Blood Banking

Diane Fournier obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Microbiology and Immunology from the Université de Montréal. From 1990 to 1992, she worked with various industrial biotechnology projects at the Laboratoire de Génie Biologique of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. In 1997, she obtained her PhD in molecular microbiology from the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) in Montréal with the collaboration of the Canadian Red Cross Society’s R&D team. She then joined the Institute of Biotechnology of the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada as a postdoctoral fellow and continued as a research scientist for the next 10 years. Her contribution led to many publications in peer-reviewed journals and in 2003, NRC General Director awarded her with a recognition for Scientific Excellence and International Visibility.

Diane joined Héma-Québec in 2008 as the manager of the Stem Cell Laboratory and supported the development of the first Public Cord Blood Bank in Canada. In collaboration with the Héma-Québec R&D team, her contribution has led to build an inventory of more than 10, 000 high-quality products, at the cutting edge of the latest scientific advances in the field, recognized by Health Canada and certified in accordance with the NetCord-Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) standards.

Dr. Sylvie Lachance
Stem Cell Transplant program director at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

Expertise: Adult stem cell collection, stem cell transplantation and Clinical Research

Dr. Lachance is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hematology Program at the Université de  Montréal. She is also the Medical Director of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program (HSCT) at Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital since 2006, and is also the Director of the HSCT Research Fellowship Program at the Université de Montréal, which she developed.

Dr. Lachance served as President of the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group (CBMTG, now known as Cell Therapy Transplant Canada [CTTC) from 2012 to 2014 and remains actively involved. She currently chairs the annual CBMTG National Graft versus Host Disease symposium.

She is also involved in Genome Canada’s Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy Project, as Leader of Project 1, where she and her team are examining the gene expression profile of stem cell donors to predict the risk of graft-versus-host disease, and as a co-investigator in the project to expand human cord blood hematopoietic stem cells using the UM171 molecule.

Dr. Sandra Cohen
Stem Cell Transplant Physician at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

Expertise: Adult stem cell transplant and Clinical Research

Dr. Cohen is Associate Professor at the Université de Montréal and clinical hematologist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. She specializes in adult hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with special interest in cord blood. Dr. Cohen is the principal investigator of the ongoing clinical trial project involving Cord Blood expansion using the UM171 molecule.

Dr. Michel Duval
Head of the pediatric stem cell transplant at Sainte-Justine Hospital

Expertise: Pediatric Stem cell Transplants and Clinical Research

Dr. Duval is Professor of Pediatrics at the Université de Montréal; he Co-Chairs the Hemato-Oncology Division and Heads the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapy Program at Sainte-Justine Hospital. Dr. Duval is the Principal Investigator of ongoing Research projects: Toward the cure of neuroblastoma: innovative immunotherapeutic approaches and the Impact of immunosuppression and T cells on the anti-leukemia effect of activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC).

Renée Bazin PhD
Director of Innovation at Héma-Québec

Expertise: Research

Renée Bazin PhD, is actively involved in projects related to cell and tissue biology. Recent activities related to stem cell biology include the development of flow cytometry assays for stem cell enumeration and functionality, thawing medium for cord blood, ex vivo hematopoietic stem cell expansion (patent pending) and conditioning as well as improvement of methods for genome editing.

Jonathan Kimmelman PhD

Expertise: Biomedical Ethics

Jonathan Kimmelman, PhD  is an Associate Professor at McGill University in Biomedical Ethics Unit/Social Studies of Medicine with a cross appointment in Experimental Medicine

His research centres on ethical, policy, and scientific dimensions of drugs and diagnostics development, and he founded and directs the Studies of Translation, Ethics and Medicine (STREAM). In addition to his book, Gene Transfer and the Ethics of First-in-Human Experiments (Cambridge Press, 2010), major publications have appeared in Science, JAMA, BMJ, and Hastings Center Report. Kimmelman received the Maud Menten New Investigator Prize (2006), a CIHR New Investigator Award (2008), and a Humboldt Bessel Award (2014). He has served on various advisory bodies within the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. National Academies of Medicine, and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and makes frequent appearances in the news media. He chaired the International Society of Stem Cell Research Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation revision task force 2015-2016. 

Lucie Richard PhD
HLA Laboratory and Scientific Director at Héma-Québec

Expertise: Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics

Dr. Lucie Richard has been working at Héma-Québec since 2001, where she acts as the scientific director of the HLA and Platelet reference laboratories and stem cells. She holds a B.Sc., a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in immunology and two postdoctoral fellowships, one in molecular biology and one in cell toxicology. She was granted the D(ABHI) diploma from the American Board for  Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ABHI) in 2007 and the title of accredited director for the supervision of the HLA laboratory in 2010 from   the   American   Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). She has 22 years of experience in the field of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) and immunology.

Mai Duong
Cord Blood Recipient and Marketing expert

Expertise: Marketing and Recruitment strategies

Mai Duong is a Canadian leukemia survivor of Vietnamese descent. Mai has over 15 years of experience in communications and media strategy under her belt. In 2014, Mai’s experience allowed her to launch a viral campaign with the objective of finding a compatible stem cell donor after her leukemia relapse. The “Save Mai Duong” campaign was propelled by a great understanding of communication, media and marketing. She received a successful umbilical cord stem cell transplant in October 2015. Mai’s advocacy in stem cell awareness fuels her many projects.

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