The Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke's research center was founded in 1980. The center has had five scientific directors over the years.
The short biographies that follow provide a snapshot of the leaders that have actively taken part in the development of research and have significantly contributed to the center's influence in Canada and around the world.
Dr. William Fraser
Scientific Director 2014 -
Recipient of the 2012 of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation's Distinguished Scientist Award, Dr. Fraser wants to promote research excellence, support and contribute to the development of the next generation of researchers, and emphasize interdisciplinarity in health research. In continuity with the revision of the centre's research axes, Dr. Fraser will foster consolidation of the links between fundamental research, clinical research, and population health, while ensuring that research is integrated at the core of the care and services provided by the CHUS.
In addition to his role as scientific director, Dr. Fraser will practise as a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at the CHUS and teach as a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMSS) at the Université de Sherbrooke. His research aims at reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity. Moreover, he intends to optimize child health and development through his work. Dr. Fraser is the principal investigator for a study involving 2000 women in 10 Canadian cities aimed at understanding the impacts of environmental chemicals on child health and development.
Dr. Fraser received a $2.2 million research grant over three years from Public Works and Government Services Canada to conduct a mother–child study on chemicals in the environment. Moreover, he holds the Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Epidemiology, which is funded by CIHR.
Dr. Marek Rola-Pleszczynski
Scientific Director: 1993–2001 and 2013
Since 1976, Dr. Marek Rola-Pleszczynski has taught at the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Medicine, where he is professor and director of the Department of Immunology and Allergology. In addition to his obligations as a faculty member and clinician, he served as the Faculty of Medicine's vice dean of research and graduate education from 1988 to 1992.
He received the 1986 Young Investigator Award from the Club de Recherches cliniques du Québec (clinical research club) and won the Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research in Québec in 1989. In addition to being the founding force behind the Center for Inflammation Research and the master's and doctoral programs in immunology, Dr. Rola-Pleszczynski holds a Canada Research Chair in Inflammation.
Firmly believing that researchers would enormously benefit from the use of computers, he stands out as a pioneer in Sherbrooke by, as early as 1994, equipping the clinical research center with the tools required for networking and the development of databases and electronic communication.
With the help of then current researchers and new recruits, he built three new research teams, increasing the number of CRCELB researchers from 48 to 80.
As an emeritus researcher, Dr. Rola-Pleszczynski is thoroughly familiar with the underpinnings of administrative management in clinical and fundamental research. Dr. Rola-Pleszczynski has assumed the role of scientific director for a one-year term, as of January 7, 2013.
Dr. Serge Marchand
Scientific Director: 2008-2012
In 2002, Serge Marchand, PhD, joined the CRCHUS as a researcher with expertise in the field of pain. Three years after his arrival, he built a research team and created a new research axis on pain.
From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Marchand chaired the ethics committee of the Research Centre on Aging in Sherbrooke. His work has been published in many scientific journals and disseminated in a variety of mass media. He authored Le Phénomène de la douleur, which has just been translated into English and published by the International Association for the Study of Pain Press, and Santé mentale et douleur.
A recipient of many different awards, Dr. Marchand was given UQTR's Pythagoras Award in 2011 and the CHUS Foundation's Award for Research Excellence in 2008. In 2004, he received the Édouard-Montpetit Medal, underscoring his involvement in pain research in Québec. He also received an award from Canadians for Health Research in October 2005.
From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Marchand served as the CRCHUS's scientific director. His other achievements include renewing the CRCHUS's funding with an outstanding assessment, completion of the process resulting in obtaining funding from the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation, and Export Trade for an expansion that doubled the floor space for research, and earning first place in Québec for the FRQ-S competition for innovative and structuring projects.
Dr. Jean-Marie Moutquin
Scientific Director: 2001-2008
From 1978 to 1999, Dr. Moutquin was a clinical researcher and obstetrician/gynecologist at the Université de Montréal and Université Laval. In Québec, he helped create a research center dedicated to reproductive health at the Hôpital St-François d’Assise (Saint Francis of Assisi hospital), serving as deputy director and scientific director.
Recruited by Sherbrooke as university and hospital director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Moutquin became the CRCHUS's scientific director in 2001. His two mandates saw the number of researchers more than double from 80 to nearly 170. Moreover, under his leadership, three new research axes came into being.
One of the pioneers of clinical research into obstetrics and gynecology in Québec and Canada, Dr. Moutquin planned and directed the first randomized controlled clinical trial bringing together all of Canada's obstetrics/gynecology and pediatric departments. Since then, he has served as coinvestigator on many studies involving pregnant women. Much of his laboratory work led to the development of practice guidelines.
In 1999, Dr. Moutquin received the President's Award from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for his outstanding contributions to research. In 2001, he was given the Prix Médecins de coeur et d’action by the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada (Canadian association of French-speaking physicians). He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2006.
Dr. Étienne LeBel
Scientific Director: 1984-1993
A Montréal native, Dr. LeBel is a medical specialist whose background includes working 10 years at Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal and the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal as well as teaching in the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Medicine from 1968 to 1990.
As a man of deep convictions and an unshakable belief in the benefits of research, he worked to put into place the components needed for the advancement of research.
As a demonstration of his vision and innovation, Dr. LeBel founded the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology in 1968. He served as head of this department that was unique in Canada until 1985. He is considered as one of the main pioneers of nuclear medicine in Québec and Canada.
He held the following positions:
- Vice dean for research: 1983–1988
- Vice dean for research and graduate studies: 1984–1988
- Assistant vice dean for research: 1988–1992
- Scientific director of the CRCHUS: 1984–1993
A long list of distinctions can be added to his many research and teaching activities:
- Professor emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke (since October 1996)
- Emeritus member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (US) (1995)
- Recipient of the medal celebrating the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Medicine's sesquicentennial (1993)
- Michel Sarrazin Award from the Club de recherches cliniques du Québec (clinical research club) (1991)
- Exceptional Merit Award from the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada (Canadian association of French-speaking physicians) (1990)
- Chair of the 5th World Congress of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, Montréal (1990)
- Special President's Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (US) for the outstanding contribution to Canadian nuclear medicine as a professor, investigator, and physician (1987)
- President of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (1986–1990)
- Chair of the 19th Colloque international de médecine nucléaire de langue française, Québec (International French-language conference on nuclear medicine) (1978)
Dr. André Lussier
Scientific Director: 1980-1984
Dr. André Lussier taught at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Sherbrooke as an associate professor from 1969 to 1975 and then as full professor from 1975 to 1997. He was award the title of emeritus professor in 1999.
While meeting his obligations as a professor and clinician, Dr. Lussier had a driving interest in research that led him to lay the foundations for the CHUS's clinical research center, serving as its first scientific director from 1980 to 1984. He also headed up the rheumatology department from 1969 to 1984.
His many awards include the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada's award for fundamental research, the Marie-Thérèse Fortin Award (for humanism in clinical rheumatology), and the most prestigious award of the Canadian Rheumatology Association, namely, the Distinguished Rheumatologist Award.