3rd Symposium on Mass Spectrometry at the CHUS: Beyond the Horizon: Sherbrooke: Hub of Clinical Mass Spectrometry

    SHERBROOKE, QC, June 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Many specialists in the field of
mass spectrometry will be gathering today in Sherbrooke for the 3rd Symposium
on Mass Spectrometry. This unique biennial event-organized by the Waters-CHUS
Expertise Centre in Clinical Mass Spectrometry features cutting-edge
presentations on the progress and findings of research into mass spectrometry.
    In the words of Dr. Christiane Auray-Blais (Scientific Director of the
Waters-CHUS Expertise Centre in Clinical Mass Spectrometry and researcher at
the CHUS's Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel), "this symposium
offers an outstanding opportunity to better understand mass spectrometry and
to demonstrate the clinical importance of this advanced sophisticated
technology. We are quite pleased indeed that Sherbrooke will play host to
renowned presenters unveiling their research and development of new methods
aimed at improving the health of the population."
    The scheduled presentations will give specialists and attendees the
opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise related to newborn
screening, challenges pertaining to drug abuse (medication and drug
screening), implementation of a new method for dosing vitamin D, and many
other topics.

    The full program is available online at

    Mass Spectrometry

    Mass spectrometry is a technology used to detect, identify, quantify, and
characterize the chemical structure of molecules through their fragmentation.
The high sensitivity, speed, and specificity of the various systems designed
for mass spectrometry contribute to the identification and quantification of
multiple molecules using exceedingly small samples. This is of particular
interest in the field of medicine, since it provides a means for quantifying
substances in patients' biological fluids, such as urine, blood, amniotic
fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid.
    This technology is of particular interest in the field of medicine, since
it provides a means for quantifying substances in patient biological fluids,
such as urine, blood, amniotic fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid. Mass
spectrometers provide rapid, accurate, and early screening of certain
diseases, thereby promoting diagnostic confirmation and ensuring that patients
receive treatment appropriate to their needs. The device is also a
cutting-edge tool for medical research into genetics, endocrinology,
obstetrics-gynecology, radiobiology, and many other areas.

    CHUS: a Leader in Clinical Mass Spectrometry

    The CHUS was Quebec's first University Medical Hospital Centre to acquire
and use a tandem mass spectrometer for clinical analyses. Since acquiring the
device through the CHUS's Foundation in 2005, we have used it to analyze
biomarkers found in blood and urine of infants in order to confirm diagnosis
or for high-risk screening for hereditary metabolic diseases.
    We are able to assess biomarkers for lysosomal disorders, steroids
(endocrine disorders), immunosuppressors (for transplant patients), and other
diseases. These analyses enable us to better serve the clinical needs of the
population in the Eastern Townships, across Quebec and Canada, and even around
the world.
    The creation in 2008 of the Waters-CHUS Expertise Centre in Clinical Mass
Spectrometry and the acquisition of a Synapt MS system, as the result of a
donation by the Waters company to the CHUS's Foundation, enabled the CHUS to
continue playing a leading role in biochemical genetics pertaining to the
high-risk screening of hereditary metabolic diseases, patients surveillance,
management and follow-up and in research into assessing biomarkers for various
other diseases.

    About Christiane Auray-Blais, Ph.D.

    Biochemist at the CHUS and Director of the Provincial Mass Urine
Screening Program for Inherited Metabolic Disorders since its creation, Dr.
Christiane Auray-Blais is also a researcher of the Centre de reherche clinique
Etienne-Le Bel du CHUS and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke. She
holds a master's degree in health law and a doctorate in radiobiology, and was
a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University in North Carolina.
    She is the scientific director of the Waters-CHUS Expertise Centre in
Clinical Mass Spectrometry. She has authored more than 100 publications,
articles, and reviews. Principal investigator of a $750,000 research project
with Genzyme and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), she is
also co-investigator or collaborator in various research projects dealing with
lysosomal storage diseases (rare genetic diseases) and other inborn errors of

    About the Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel at the CHUS

    The Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel of the Centre hospitalier
universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) is at the forefront of current health
issues. The center stands out for its integrated approach, bringing together
fundamental, clinical, epidemiological, and evaluative research. More than 175
basic-science researchers and clinicians have been pooling their knowledge and
expertise for more than 28 years targeting the shared objective of developing
new knowledge to maintain health and prevent disease.

    Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS): www.chus.qc.ca

    The Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke has two constituent
institutions: the CHUS - Fleurimont Hospital and the CHUS - Hôtel-Dieu. Its
mission is fourfold: care, teaching, research, and assessment of health-care
technologies and modes of intervention. The fourth largest hospital center in
Quebec, the CHUS plays a triple role of local, regional, and provincial
hospital. The CHUS serves as the local hospital for Sherbrooke,
Haut-Saint-François, Val-Saint-François, and Coaticook, while providing
secondary and tertiary care for the entire population of Estrie.
    In addition, it acts as the tertiary-care hospital for the residents of
Centre-du-Québec and part of Montérégie, particularly in the areas of
cardiology, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, neonatology, traumatology,
psychiatry, and specialized medicine. The CHUS stands out for its many
cutting-edge specialties such as gamma-knife radiosurgery, positron emission
tomography (PET), interventional angiography, and neuro-oncology. The CHUS
hospital community comprises nearly 9000 individuals (employees, physicians,
researchers, students, trainees, and volunteers) with a single objective:
serving life.

For further information:

For further information: For interviews: Jean-François Nadeau,
Information Officer, Centre de recherche clinique Etienne-Le Bel, Direction
des communications et des affaires publiques, CHUS, (819) 346-1110, extension
12871, jfnadeau.chus@ssss.gouv.qc.ca; Source: Dr. Christiane Auray-Blais,
LL.M., Ph.D, Scientific Director, Waters-CHUS Expertise Centre in Clinical
Mass Spectrometry, Researcher, Mother-child thrust, Centre de recherche
clinique Etienne-Le Bel at CHUS, Biochemist and director of the Mass Urinary
Screening Program for Hereditary Metabolic Disorders at CHUS and professor at
the Université de Sherbrooke, (819) 820-6827,

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Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke

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