MAY 2019     

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Leveraging the power of translational research







Welcome Dr. Marie Hudson, Co-Director (Immunity)


We are pleased to welcome Dr. Marie Hudson into the MI4 fold as Co-Director (Immunity). Dr. Hudson joins the leadership team alongside Dr. Don Sheppard, Director, and Dr. Marcel Behr, Co-Director (Infectious Disease).


Read Dr. Hudson’s bio here.


MI4 is thrilled to announce 10 award winners for the first round of MI4 Seed Fund Grants. A total of 43 applications were received. All applications were peer reviewed by an independent Scientific Review Committee composed of 25 researchers external to the McGill community.


The awarded grants are as follows:


  • Nature-inspired nanostructures: designing next generation antimicrobial biomaterials: Nathalie Tufenkji & Dao Nguyen
  • Design of a rapid point-of-care PCR device for the diagnosis and management of HIV, HCV and other infectious diseases for key vulnerable populations in real-world settings: Bluma Brenner & Nadine Kronfli
  • The impact of the microbiome in shaping host defense against tuberculosis: Maziar Divangahi & Jianguo Xia
  • Integration of genomics and metagenomics for the surveillance of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis in Canada and the USA: Michael B. Reed & Ioannis Ragoussis
  • A Deadly Combination: Air pollution and TB in India: Madhukar Pai & Scott Weichenthal
  • Investigation of the functionality of anti-Respiratory Syncytial Virus specific antibodies: Selena Sagan & Nicole Bernard
  • Apta-Nanosurface fluidic assay for specific and rapid detection of parasites via a label-free electrical readout: Sara Mahshid & Momar Ndao
  • Targeting the mitophagy pathway to treat sepsis-induced organ dysfunction: Sabah Hussain & Heidi McBride
  • The combi-targeting concept: Engineering small molecules to target cell signaling, kill tumour cells and stimulate the immune system: Bertrand Jean-Claude & Moulay Alaoui-Jamali
  • Targeting the MNK1/2-eIF4E axis in postpartum breast cancer liver metastasis: Sonia del Rincon & Pnina Brodt

Read more about the Seed Fund Grants








Collaborative Seed Fund Grants Announced


MI4 is pleased to be collaborating with the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and the Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC) in this first round of Seed Fund Grants, enabling us to fund two additional collaborative Seed Fund Grants: one in neurological disease, and one in immuno-oncology. Congratulations to the following researchers.


MI4-GCRC Collaborative Seed Fund Grant:

  • Humanized mouse models to untangle mechanisms of immune checkpoint inhibitors- immune related adverse events and effects of their treatment in tumor biology: Inés Colmegna & Logan Walsh


MI4-MNI Collaborative Seed Fund Grant:

  • Unraveling the microbial contributions to Parkinson’s Disease: Heidi McBride & Erwin Schurr

Learn more about the Collaborative Seed Fund Grants



Update on MI4 Platforms


MI4 is working to develop and support innovative, open access technological platforms staffed with highly trained personnel that provide support for infection and immunity research across the McGill community. In response to the MI4 call for platforms, 18 proposals were received, and the leaders of these platforms presented their vision at two Dragon’s Den Events this spring. As outlined in our submission to the Doggone Foundation, and following review with RI-MUHC and Faculty leadership, MI4 is pleased to announce support for the following three discovery platforms:


  • MI4 Microbiome Research Platform (Lead PIs: Ken Dewar, Guillaume Bourque, Corinne Maurice, Benoit Cousineau)
  • MI4 Gnotobiotic Animal Research Platform (Lead PI:  Irah King)
  • MI4 Clinical Trials Platform for Complex and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Lead PIs: Todd Lee, Marina Klein)

In addition to these three platforms that will be supported by the Doggone Foundation donation, nine other platform proposals have been selected for future fundraising efforts.


Learn more about MI4 Platforms




In addition to Co-Funding Support for Grant Applications, MI4 is pleased to announce the availability of Co-Funding Support for Meetings. Investigators from all sites within the McGill community are now eligible to apply for MI4 co-funding to support meetings and events that are within the scope of one of the four MI4 themes.


Apply Now





Call For Proposals: Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research


MI4 is pleased to be working in partnership with the McGill Global Health Program (GHP) to co-fund two of five Seed Grants in GHP’s newly launched round of the Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research. The two Seed Grants co-funded by MI4 will focus on infectious disease, while the other three Seed Grants are open to a wider range of global health topics. The goal of the Fund is to catalyze innovative and impactful global health research at McGill and affiliated hospitals, by providing seed grants that can help launch new, interdisciplinary global health research projects and make them competitive for sustained external funding.


Apply Now.




New website launched!


As you may have noticed, the MI4 website has been completely revamped. Check us out, and let us know what you think!


If you are an investigator from the McGill community who would like to be listed on the MI4 website as a member of the MI4 community, please take a moment to fill out this form.





Coming Soon: MI4 Pediatric Seed Fund Grant


Next month, we will launch the first round of the MI4 Pediatric Seed Fund Grant, co-supported by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and the CHU Ste-Justine Foundation. This new initiative aims to foster the establishment of new, inter-institutional translational research teams linking pediatric investigators at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) and the CHU Ste Justine (CHUSJ). Stay tuned.





Join us at the MI4 Scientific Symposium:  June 3rd


The 1st annual MI4 Scientific Symposium will take place Monday, June 3, 2019 at McGill’s New Residence Hall Ballroom in Montreal. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Gerry Wright (McMaster University) to deliver a keynote address titled “Antibiotics in Crisis: How did we get here and what can we do about it?”


The event will also include short presentations from the winners of the MI4 Seed Fund Grant competition, short presentations on the MI4 Microbiome Research Platforms and MI4 Clinical Trials Platform for Complex and Emerging Infectious Diseases, student and platform poster sessions, information on MI4 programs and platforms and more. Register today.


Volunteers Needed: We are looking for hearty volunteers to help with the set-up, registration, poster fair, ushering of guests and take-down of the event. If interested, please email us ASAP at




MI4 Innovation Prize


The MI4 Innovation Prize, sponsored by MI4, is one of three prizes in this year’s McGill Clinical Innovation Competition (CLIC). The prize aims to support innovative solutions that focus on infectious and immune threats to human health. One winning team was selected this week amongst the 12 submissions, by the McGill Clinical Innovation Competition panelists. Read about the winning team below!


ANTIBIOTIC SENTINEL: Choosing the right antibiotic to treat a life-threatening bacterial infection is essential to patient care. Antibiotic sentinel is a web-based application that provides up-to-the-minute information to help doctors select the best antibiotic to maximize the chance of curing an infection while minimizing harmful side effects. This novel tool will immediately aid the care of patients presenting with serious bacterial infections and eventually learn to predict them. (Todd C. Lee, Emily G. McDonald, Louis Mullie, Jonathan Hershon, Christophe Marois)


Special mention also goes out to the STOP MALARIA team - finalists for the MI4 Innovation Prize, the Hakim Family Innovation Prize and the the Marika Zelenka Roy Innovation Prize.


Learn more about the MI4 Innovation Prize.






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