Message from the Director

At the heart of the COVID fight

This past year will be remembered for the COVID‑19 pandemic. The CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) has gone through this health emergency with remarkable mobilization and solidarity.

Through the CRCHUM’s 2020-2021 Annual Report, you’ll see the incredible creativity and adaptability of our research community. Our resilient teams got involved at both the provincial and federal levels, quickly implementing projects addressing major scientific issues and always at the cutting edge in immunology, virology, clinical research and public health.

Developing serological tests that detect the presence of antibodies targeting the “key” of the virus, identifying biomarkers related to severe forms of the disease, and coordinating provincial research efforts to accelerate discoveries and better prepare Quebec to deal with the next pandemic are a few of the accomplishments of the CRCHUM’s researchers.

And that doesn’t include the development of machine learning models able to provide early COVID‑19 diagnoses, identify high-risk patients and help doctors make the best treatment decisions for their patients. Generating knowledge that makes a difference to their lives and the health of the population is central to the CRCHUM’s daily activities.

We are also committed to communicating validated scientific facts to the public at large and fighting misinformation. This is a collective duty, shared by our research community, and is essential if science is to continue to engage with society.

To conclude, I would like to sincerely thank the Fondation du CHUM for having worked so hard to quickly finance our COVID‑19 projects and for allowing us to contribute to the medical and technological advances of the future.

Dr. Vincent Poitout
Director of Research at the CHUM
Scientific Director of the CRCHUM

Message from the CEO

When research joins forces with all the teams, anything is possible!

It wouldn’t be possible to talk about the fight against COVID‑19 without taking the CRCHUM’s invaluable contribution into account.

From the outset of the health crisis, the bond between the research teams and the clinical teams proved to be a powerful catalyst for innovation. While healthcare institutions were fighting for personal protective equipment, the CRCHUM began 3D printing precious face shields for the CHUM community, thus directly contributing to everyone’s health and safety.

Research projects tailored to the crisis

The COVID‑19 research projects launched at the CRCHUM once again show how deserving our research centre is of its excellent reputation, both in Canada and internationally.

These projects, whose major points are described in this annual report, reveal the solidarity of the research teams at the CRCHUM with all the teams and with patients. Whether it’s through research related to genomics, artificial intelligence or partnerships with users, for example, the CRCHUM’s researchers allowed our community to make progress in dealing with the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Moreover, the incredible operation of making science accessible to the public through the media, conducted by CRCHUM specialists starting in the spring of 2020, allowed us to provide citizens with objective information at a time when it was hard for many people to separate fact from fiction.

Many thanks to everyone working at the CRCHUM for so earnestly waging the battle against COVID‑19 this past year. Thanks to you, victory is within reach.

Dr. Fabrice Brunet
CEO of the CHUM