Montreal Heart Institute and Université de Montréal inaugurate the Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de l'Université de Montréal



    MONTREAL, April 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) and
the Université de Montréal (UdeM) inaugurated the Centre de pharmacogénomique
Beaulieu-Saucier de l'Université de Montréal today. The ceremony was attended
by Dr. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services, and Mr. Raymond
Bachand, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and
Minister responsible for the Montréal region. Also present were two generous
donors, Mr. Michel Saucier and his wife Ms. Gisèle Beaulieu, both Université
de Montréal graduates who made a $5 million donation towards the creation of
the Pharmacogenomics Centre at the MHI. The MHI Foundation also contributed
for the construction of the Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de
l'Université de Montréal whose total investment is valued at $6.6 million.
This investment, combined to the internationally renowned scientists
recruited, has enabled the institution to receive over $80 million in funding
from various sources to advance pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine
research.
    Pharmacogenomics is the science that propels the creation of new targeted
approaches based on the genetic profile of patients. Construction of the
Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de l'Université de Montréal began
in July 2007, while research in this new biomedical field began before that
date at MHI. The Centre has 45 employees and brings together a
multidisciplinary team of specialized researchers in genomics, bioinformatics
and clinical research studies.
    "Thanks to the creation of the Centre de pharmacogénomique
Beaulieu-Saucier de l'UdeM, Montreal will assume a major place on the
international stage of pharmacogenomics research. This new platform will
advance the knowledge economy of Montreal, Quebec and Canada," said Mr. Jean
Royer, Chairman of the MHI Board of Directors. "As a partner of the health
care system as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies, the
Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de l'Université de Montréal was
made possible thanks to the generosity of Michel Saucier and Gisèle Beaulieu
and the significant contribution of the MHI Foundation. This new Centre will
allow the development of new treatments by integrating medicine, genomics,
diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that are the course of future health
care."
    According to Luc Vinet, UdeM Rector, "Michel Saucier and Gisèle Beaulieu
are among the most generous donors in the Université de Montréal's history.
These alumni are a source of inspiration not to mention a model for the
development of francophone philanthropy, which has soared in recent years. The
progress of research and scientific knowledge needs community support and,
thanks to the generosity of the Beaulieu-Saucier's towards their alma mater,
the Université de Montréal will position itself as a Canadian leader in the
new field of pharmacogenomics."
    Michel Saucier, who also spoke on behalf of Gisèle Beaulieu, said: "We
are very touched to inaugurate this magnificent research centre that will
bring together Quebec's greatest pharmacogenomic talent. To give back what we
have received has always been part of our fundamental values. For my wife and
I, it was self-evident that we should give to our alma mater and contribute to
the realization of a new centre with seasoned researchers who will dedicate
their careers to the medicine of the future. We are passionate about
pharmacogenomics, since its discoveries will improve treatment of patients
here and abroad."

    Creation of personalized medicine

    The Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de l'UdeM brings
together researchers and students from across the fields of genomic sciences:
pharmacogenomics and genetics, pharmacoproteomics, metabolomics, genetic
statistics, pharmaco-epidemiology, clinical pharmacology, as well as
pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The Centre will become a magnet to
recruit the best talent from around the world. From a technological
standpoint, the Centre was designed to meet the highest operating and security
standards in the field (Good Laboratory Practice). In fact, it is the only
such centre of its kind to be part of a Canadian academic setting and one of
the few around the world. The creation of the Centre de pharmacogénomique
Beaulieu-Saucier de l'UdeM has led to a joint platform in pharmacogenomics
developed by the MHI and Genome Québec that will support the pharmacogenomics
services to the Université de Montréal's Réseau universitaire intégré de
santé, other university health networks, and to its academic and industrial
partners.
    Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the MHI Research Centre and professor
in the faculty of medicine of the Université de Montréal, stated that the
scientific and economic impacts of the Centre de pharmacogénomique
Beaulieu-Saucier de l'UdeM will be spectacular. "Pharmacogenomics will
radically change the way scientists and clinicians develop and use
medications. The MHI's researchers and partners will transfer knowledge of the
human genome, as well as knowledge of genomic and proteomic approaches,
directly to the doctor's office. Understanding the genetic profiles of
individuals will become the key to personalized medicine that will build on
the latest scientific advances."

    About the Montreal Heart Institute

    Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute
constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular
field through its leadership in prevention, ultra-specialized care, training
of professionals, clinical and fundamental research, and assessment of new
technologies. It is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and its
clinical outcomes are among the best in the world. On the Web:
www.icm-mhi.org.

    About the Université de Montréal

    Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, the
Université de Montréal is one of the top universities in the French-speaking
world. Founded in 1878, the Universite de Montreal counts 13 faculties and,
along with its two affiliated schools, HEC Montreal and l'ecole Polytechnique,
is Quebec's largest institution of higher learning, second in Canada, and
among the most active in North America. With a faculty of 2,500 professors and
researchers, the university has a student population of more than 55,000,
offers more than 650 undergraduate and graduate programs and awards some 3,000
Master's and PhD degrees each year. On the Web: www.umontreal.ca.

    Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif and donors Gisèle Beaulieu and Michel Saucier are
    available for interviews.




For further information:

For further information: Julie Chevrette, Communications Consultant,
Montreal Heart Institute, (514) 376-3330, ext. 2641,
julie.chevrette@icm-mhi.org; Julie Gazaille, Press Officer, Université de
Montréal, (514) 343-6796, j.cordeau-gazaille@umontreal.ca

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Montreal Heart Institute

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Université de Montréal

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