Canada Ontario

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Regenerative Medicine

Brief Overview

Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is focused on answering important health questions and translating new findings into benefits for patients and society. Our program is unique in Canada and internationally because of its multidisciplinary culture in which developmental, cell and molecular biologists, work together with bioinformaticists, clinical scientists and clinicians in teams and common facilities. We investigate through five major programs (cancer therapeutics, chronic disease, clinical epidemiology, neuroscience and regenerative medicine) the fundamental mechanisms regulating the function of stem cells (epigenetics, genomics and proteomics), undertake rigorous preclinical studies to understand how potential therapies work and design the best.

Research Areas

Cell biology\Epithelial cell\Fibrosis\Paediatrics\Pharmacology

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (outgoing initial phase only)

Research infrastructure/facilities

The host lab (900ft2) houses cutting-edge equipment to assess lung function and structure: 8 Biospherix oxygen chambers, 5 Microvent ventilators for neonatal rodents (Harvard Apparatus), high resolution CT scan (Skyscan 1172, Bruker microCT) for lung and vascular morphometry, the latest Flexivent version from Scireq for accurate assessment of lung function in small rodents, and rodent treadmill for exercise capacity. In addition, trainees have access to cutting-edge equipment and expert staff within the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research in 28,000 ft2 of research space: Cell Biology and Image Acquisition Core, Flow Cytometry Suite, Histology, StemCore Genomics and Proteomics, and Bioinformatics.

Research funding/Resources

Our host laboratory in Canada is a pioneer in stem cell and gene therapy-based strategies for pediatric lung diseases. The host lab is extremely well-funded through a prestigious Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation grant ($3,174,029 until 2023) as well as an Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Network, and Heart and Stroke grants all focused on respiratory diseases. In addition, my host PI holds a CIHR project grant as a co-PI specifically dedicated to the development of AAV-mediated gene therapy for surfactant protein deficiencies ($620,000 over 3 years), providing sufficient operating funds for the herein described project.

Links to non-academic sector

This project is part of a larger program to expand the AAV-platform to target an unmet need (curing genetic lung diseases) and launch a start-up company based on a pending patent. The multi-disciplinary program builds capacity in the bourgeoning field of gene therapy. Exposure to the full breadth of translational research from bench discovery to clinical trials provides unique opportunities to launch careers in industry, not-for-profit, and government sectors through: already established links with incubators (OntarioBio, CCRM), business related training offered by the Stem Cell Network and CellCan and specific business development grants (ORF, Stem Cell Network) enabling innovation capacity.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

The Thébaud lab has extensive experience with international trainees. His lab currently hosts 4 Post-docs (Slovakia, Belgium, France, Canada), 3 PhDs (France, Canada), 1 Masters (Canada), one Research Associate (India) and two technicians (China). Trainees are exposed to (1) cutting edge equipment to address clinically relevant research questions from the Petri dish-to-patients; (2) formal training courses to perfect or acquire new technical skills (FACS analysis, omics, manufacturing and clinical trials workshop); (3) weekly lab meetings/journal clubs/Work-in-Progress seminars at OHRI, grant and manuscript writing, international meetings as well as focused, high quality symposia (Gordon Research Conference, Keystone) to excel in scientific presentations and critical thinking and to network with leaders in their field; (4) Outreach activities to the general public and Industry (, Success is monitored through quarterly one-on-one meetings and measured by authorships on scientific papers and skill-and-career development milestones relevant to the trainee’s desired career orientation.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award