Research in Urology
Overview of Activity
DR. SIMONE CHEVALIER
Director Urology Research
MUHC Glen, Research Institute
1001 Decarie Blvd.
Voiding dysfunction, erectile dysfunction and infertility, urinary calculus disease, abnormal development of urogenital tract and urologic cancers affect millions of people every year. These diseases along with epidemiological, cost effectiveness and outcome studies are at the center of researches conducted across Urology Research Facilities of the McGill University Division of Urology.
The doors of the first modern urology research laboratory opened at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in 1984 under the initiative of late Dr Mostafa Elhilali, the former Head of the Urology Division, and late Dr Claude Gagnon, former scientific director of Urology Research. The RVH research space grew progressively to recruit additional scientists as faculty members. The emphasis remained reproduction, male infertility and voiding dysfunction. Ten years later two new research facilities were created, one at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH; 1993) and the other at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH; 1994) to focus on voiding dysfunction and urologic oncology, respectively.
In 2004, Dr Armen Aprikian accepted the chairmanship of the Urology Division and appointed Dr. Chevalier as the McGill Urology Director of Research. Recruitment and growth have continued to this day with the current research group comprising over 70 full time individuals actively participating in research projects. The research faculty includes 7 full-time scientists holding Ph.D. degrees and 7 surgeon-scientists hired in faculty positions, one of the largest and most diversified groups of scientists primarily appointed within a university division or department of urology in Canada. As of February 2015, the RVH and MGH Urology research teams were relocated to the new largest ever CFI-Funded Research Institute (RI) of the McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC). Research on voiding dysfunction remained primarily at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital.
The principle within each research team is to have basic scientists forming a nucleus of investigators with whom clinical scientists interact, thereby enabling a whole array of fundamental, translational and clinically-oriented research projects to be conducted in complementarity. Projects cover a wide range of urologic disorders, from male infertility to sexual differentiation, developmental anomalies, voiding and sexual dysfunctions, malignancies of the prostate, bladder, kidney and testis, studies on cost effectiveness and outcome. They are multidisciplinary in nature and offer training, both specialized and broad, through state-of-the-art technologies covering molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, clinical epidemiology and health economics. Faculty members supervise graduate students enrolled in master and doctorate programs at McGill University and host students from abroad and visiting professors, along with research and clinical post-doctoral fellows and Urology residents. Adding to this are a group of highly skilled research associates and assistants, all contributing to the success of Urology Research at McGill. Projects encompass signal transduction pathways regulating gene transcription and expression, development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools, immunology of cancer, role of fat and obesity in cancer development and progression, biobanking along with sequencing of tumours (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic) and markers in liquid biopsies, epidemiologic and outcomes research. Clinical trials link mechanistic studies to urologic diseases in a bench to bedside multidisciplinary approach.
The McGill Urology Division is at the forefront of urology research in Canada. It has reached an international status through its energetic and innovative faculty researchers conducting original scientific projects. The quest for new knowledge and application to therapy is the leitmotiv of urology researchers at McGill.