McGill professor Bartha Knoppers, a global leader in the study of legal, social and ethical issues related to biomedical research in human genetics and genomics, has been awarded the 2019 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR).

Dr. Knoppers is “one of the most prolific and innovative health policy researchers in Canada and beyond,” FCHIR said in announcing the award. “She has been a leader in the interface of ethics and law, as applied to health research policy, stem cell research, human gene editing, biobanking and global data sharing. Bartha is also a brilliant science communicator and public figure, who gives generously of her time for social good.”

Dr. Knoppers is Professor of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics, with appointments in Law and Biomedical Ethics at McGill and is also Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill and Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine.

Read more here.

Bravo Gala 2019

Members of the Department of Human Genetics, Dr. David Rosenblatt, Dr. Nada Jabado and Dr. Hamed Najafabadi, were among those honored at McGill’s 2019 Bravo Gala. The annual event, hosted by McGill’s Research and Innovation, welcomed approximately 250 guests, including researchers and their families and friends, faculty members, students, as well as members of McGill’s academic leadership – all of whom came together to celebrate researchers and scholars across disciplines who won major provincial, national and international prizes and awards in 2018. Read more here.

Why better health care depends on improving data sharing

The future of personalized medicine is dependent on data sharing, according to Yann Joly, Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policies (right); and Guillaume Bourque, Director of the Canadian Centre for Computational Genomics.

Using big data techniques to analyze the function of human genes is already helping develop treatments tailored to individual patients. The more data researchers can access from across the world, the better chances of treating even rare diseases. But privacy and consent regulations differ by country, making sharing this information across borders slow and frustrating.

Researchers at McGill, in partnership with their international and Canadian colleagues, are developing new tools and frameworks to solve this problem, so that scientists anywhere in the world can openly contribute and access information.

We sat down to talk epigenetics, open science and personalized medicine with Guillaume Bourque, Director of the Canadian Centre for Computational Genomics, and Yann Joly, Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policies.

Read more here

McGill team part of international group of scientists that identify rare pediatric brain disorder

Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette

Emily Standen’s pregnancy was uneventful, but it was clear as soon as her daughter Mathilde Poliquin was born, in January of 2013 at the McGill University Health Centre‘s Royal Victoria Hospital, a month early, that there was a problem.

A pediatrician popped his head into the room and said, “I need to speak to the father.” Gabriel Poliquin remembers being told, “Something is wrong. We don’t know what it is.”

The baby was immediately transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Her head was smaller than normal and her neurological exam was “very abnormal,” recalled MUHC pediatric neurologist Geneviève Bernard, and she had severe epilepsy.

Read more here.

Designing precision tools to mine DNA data

Ludmer Centre Scientific Director Celia Greenwood secured over $600K in funding for new research, Precision Medicine in Cellular Epigenomic, from the recent Genome Canada competitions.

To understand brain development, researchers need to unlock the secrets of our DNA. Currently, we can collect data on multiple aspects of DNA, but to extract meaning from the ever-expanding data trove requires the right tools: sophisticated algorithms and software applications that automate complex analytical processes at the push of a button. Building these tools takes a highly skilled, transdisciplinary team. Funded by a new three-year Genome Canada Bioinformatics and Computational Biology grant, Dr Celia Greenwood has brought together a team of experts to advance tool-development for processing DNA methylation data. The end goal of the research program is to develop tools that will impact research across multiple disorders, physical and mental.

Read more here

Isabella Straub – McGill MedStar Award

For her publication entitled “Loss of CHCHD10–CHCHD2 complexes required for respiration underlies the pathogenicity of a CHCHD10 mutation in ALS “, Ph,D. candidate, Isabelle Straub (Supervisor: Dr. Eric Shoubridge) has been chosen to receive a McGill MedStar Award in recognition of the excellent research carried out in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Congratulations, Isabella!



February 19th, 2010

Interim Vice-Principal Research and International Relations

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Rima Rozen as Interim Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations), effective March 1st, 2010. In this position, she will report directly to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor and will serve as a member of the University’s senior team until a successor to Professor Thérien is appointed. I am most grateful to Professor Rozen for her willingness to serve in this capacity.

A distinguished professor in the Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Biology departments and a James McGill Professor, Rozen served previously as Scientific Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Deputy Scientific Director of the MUHC Research Institute. She established the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Molecular Genetics Diagnostics Service, a pre-eminent DNA analysis centre. Professor Rozen is recognized for her research in the genetics-nutrition field and continues to direct her laboratory at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.



February 22, 2010 – 7:30 p.m.

The Scriver Family Visiting Professorship Public Lecture

“Genetics and the Future of Medicine”



A recent article by Constatin Polychronakos and Ken Dewar (et al.) was published in this week’s issue of nature: International weekly journal of science.


sladekHuman Genetics faculty member, Rob Sladek is co-author of an article in nature: International weekly journal of science. His research was also featured by the Montreal Gazette earlier this week.


Scriver DSR pic