1. Brief History
The IRCM (Montreal Clinical Research Institute) was founded in 1967 by Dr. Jacques Genest, who was determined to promote frequent and close interactions between basic scientists and clinicians, as they were too often dispersed in various sections of a hospital or university campus. Thus, the institute was born from the notion that the future of medicine was in the hands of doctors who could most effectively treat patients by combining their clinical skills with the knowledge acquired from biomedical research.
The IRCM became the first independent academic research centre in Quebec to unite basic and clinical researchers under one roof, thereby establishing the “bench to bedside” philosophy, also known as translational research, which has been largely responsible for its success. Today, the IRCM is a leading biomedical research centre in Canada.
Outstanding persons / Nobel Prize Laureates include:
Prominent current researchers at the IRCM include:
- Éric A. Cohen, Canada Research Chairholder in Human Retrovirology
- Javier Marcelo Di Noia, Canada Research Chairholder in Genetic Diversity
- Jacques Drouin, Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
- Mathieu Ferron, Canada Research Chairholder in Bone and Energy Metabolism
- Yvan Guindon, Member of the Order of Canada; Knight of the Ordre national du Québec
- Paul Jolicoeur, Canada Research Chairholder in Studies of Pathogenesis of Retrovirus-Induced Diseases
- Marie Kmita, Canada Research Chairholder in Molecular Embryology and Genetics
- Tarik Möröy, Canada Research Chairholder in Hematopoiesis and Immune Cell Differentiation
- Peter W. Schiller, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; Officer of the Ordre national du Québec
- Nabil G. Seidah, Canada Research Chairholder in Precursor Proteolysis; Officer of the Ordre national du Québec; recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
- André Veillette, Canada Research Chairholder in Immune System Signalling
The IRCM’s Emeritus Research Professors are:
- Michel Chrétien, Officer of the Order of Canada; Officer of the Ordre national du Québec; Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France
- Jean Davignon, Officer of the Order of Canada; Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec
- Pierre Larochelle, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
2. Key Facts
Independent non-profit research centre affiliated with the University of Montreal and associated to McGill University. The IRCM Clinic is affiliated with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM).
The IRCM houses 35 biomedical research units, divided into five main research divisions, as well as four specialized research clinics, eight core facilities and three research platforms with state-of-the-art equipment.
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Approximately 425 people, consisting of researchers, students and employees
The IRCM welcomes nearly 200 students Master’s students, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows each year from all over the world. Students enrolled at the IRCM are registered at the University of Montreal or McGill University.
The IRCM is funded by the Quebec ministry of Economy, Innovation and Export Trade (Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations). It also receives support from the IRCM Foundation, which raises funds for research and training activities. In addition, researchers obtain funds from various peer-reviewed granting agencies and private foundations for their projects.
Focus / Key Aspects:
Historically, the IRCM gained its notoriety and reputation for its basic and clinical research in the field of cardiovascular disease. Thanks to its success in this area, the IRCM became renowned internationally as a first-class biomedical research centre. Today, the IRCM has 35 laboratories (research units) divided into the following five research divisions:
- Systems biology and medicinal chemistry
- Cancer and genetic diseases
- Immunity and viral infections
- Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
- Neurobiology and development
IRCM researchers maintain a high performance level by publishing the results of their research in various renowned scientific journals, which can be previewed online
The IRCM houses four specialized research clinics in:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Diabetes and obesity
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol)
In addition, the IRCM’s outpatient clinic handles over 15,000 patient visits per year with the help of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, nutritionists and kinesiologists.
Outstanding Achievements and Patents
In the past 27 years, 37 patents have been duly issued for major discoveries made by IRCM researchers, which have resulted in over $2.8 million in revenue in the past seven years alone.
A list of recent scientific contributions by IRCM researchers can be found online
4. Partnerships and Programs
Located in the heart of Montréal’s university district, the IRCM offers a multidisciplinary environment that promotes collaboration between basic and clinical researchers. It also provides a stimulating academic and scientific life for its graduate students and postdoctoral fellows through conferences and weekly seminars with renowned scientists from around the globe.
In 2013, the IRCM also launched an innovative Master’s program in Molecular and Cellular Medicine. Offered exclusively at the IRCM, this unique training option in translational research actively prepares students for their chosen doctoral project through a rotation of intensive internships in the institute’s laboratories.
In addition, the IRCM Student Association provides a variety of scientific, social, cultural, sporting and outreach activities, including the Interlab Club, which allows students to share their research in an informal and discussion-oriented environment.
The IRCM is affiliated with the University of Montreal and has a long-standing association with McGill University. Most IRCM researchers are research professors at both universities.
The IRCM’s cafés scientifiques: for a better understanding of research and science
The institute’s scientific community has always been concerned with communicating its research findings to the general public. As a result, the IRCM organizes events known as cafés scientifiques to raise awareness of the benefits of research with a wider public. These events enable people to better understand the importance of research conducted at institutions like the IRCM, and offer participants an opportunity to engage in discussions on current health topics with renowned researchers in a friendly setting.