Research : a Tool for Personalized Health Care

Wednesday May 01, 2019 | News

Waters Corporation inaugurates the first ever Centre of Innovation for Mass Spectrometry in Canada here in Sherbrooke.

Christiane Auray-Blais, professor-researcher at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke and at the Research Centre at the CHUS is surrounded by her partners during the inauguration of the Waters Centre of Innovation for Mass Spectrometry.

Research in mass spectrometry focus on applying and transferring knowledge to clinical practice and aims to improve the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases, leading to personalized patient follow-up.

Several hundred patients benefit each year from mass spectrometry analyses at the CIUSSS de l'Estrie - CHUS, among others, for the detection of a disease, to follow the treatment or for a vitamin dosage, immunosuppressants, etc.

Through research, it is possible to analyze biological fluids to discover novel biomarkers, which are indicators of change, and to provide precision medicine for each patient. Targeted rare diseases include hereditary metabolic disorders in newborns and other diseases such as Parkinson's disease or diabetes.


Mass spectrometry target:

  • Early detection of rare genetic diseases
  • Diagnostic assistance
  • Personalized monitoring of patients undergoing treatment.

The advantages of mass spectrometry are numerous:

  • High precision, sensitivity, selectivity and speed of analysis.
  • Only small amounts of body fluids (blood, urine, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, cord blood, saliva and tissues) are needed.


The cost of an instrument may vary between 300,000$ and 1 M$ depending on the type of mass spectrometer used.


"Waters Corporation is proud to award the title of Waters Innovation Center to the Waters-CHUS Expertise Center in Clinical Mass Spectrometry. Waters recognizes the quality and innovation of the research and the use of mass spectrometry to discover novel biomarkers. The creation of the Innovation Center is the logical continuation of the partnership between Waters and professor Christiane Auray-Blais. It will provide the necessary infrastructure to pursue promising projects for early detection of childhood diseases. We have already targeted a few projects which will be considered in the coming months, including the study of congenital cytomegalovirus," mentions Patrick Savory, National Sales Manager, Waters Limited.

The CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS, the Research Center-CHUS, the Université de Sherbrooke and the laboratory of professor-researcher Christiane Auray-Blais are pleased with the recognition of Waters Corporation towards the expertise developed in mass spectrometry in Sherbrooke since 2009. “It is absolutely fantastic to become a Waters Centre of Innovation and to be able to work with these partners. Our work is aimed at early detection of a child with a severe illness, the confirmation of a diagnosis or the assurance of a better follow-up for treated patients, from early childhood to the elderly. Our research in preventive genetic medicine aims to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families," indicates Christiane Auray-Blais, professor-researcher, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke and at the Research Center-CHUS.

Professor-researcher, Christiane Auray-Blais.

Sherbrooke Innovates in Mass Spectrometry in the Country

  • 2005 | Arrival of the first mass spectrometer in a medical center in Quebec at Fleurimont Hospital following an agreement between CHUS, Christiane Auray-Blais and Waters to develop methods for biomarker analysis.
  • Donation of the Synapt G1 Quadrupole Time of Flight mass spectrometer from Waters to the CHUS Foundation. The instrument is dedicated to Christiane Auray-Blais’ research laboratory for the discovery of biomarkers.
  • 2009 | Inauguration of the Waters-CHUS Expertise Centre in Clinical Mass Spectrometry and arrival of a third mass spectrometer. Between 2010 and 2018, 3 mass spectrometers were added for a total of 6 high-tech instruments.
  • 2019 | Inauguration of the Waters Centre of Innovation, the first in Canada.

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