In Fall of 2015, Drs Inés Colmegna, Steven Paraskevas, Michel L. Tremblay, Pierre Laneuville and Linda Peltier documented the need of McGill University and its affiliated centers and institutes to increase collaborative research in stem cells and regenerative medicine. More than 76 McGill Principal Investigators agreed on the need to create a network to position regenerative medicine research at McGill nationally and internationally in order to expand basic regenerative medicine knowledge; to improve clinical practice and health outcomes; and to enhance research, training and economic outputs, with the objective of improving tomorrow’s healthcare by acting today.
To achieve these goals, the McGill Regenerative Medicine Network Executive Committee created 8 different committees, each with specific objectives:
Scientific Programming Committee
Chair: Dr. Natasha Chang
The MRM is committed to promote the impact of our clinical and research network. Since November 2015, the Scientific Programming Committee mission is to promote knowledge exchange among the McGill Community through the implementation of scientific sessions.
Its role covers the organization of the MRM Annual Symposium, as well as the introduction of small-group cross-talk seminars with invitations to guest speakers such as the MRM Talks, and implementation of several training workshops in collaboration with affiliated core facilities and industry partners and the MRM Education Committee.
Funding and Infrastructures Committee
Chair: Prof. Terry Hébert
One of the main goals of the MRM Network is to encourage research that seeks novel forward-looking insight and discovery in a basic understanding of biological concepts of stem cells, which translate into novel technologies and regenerative medicine. In that sense, it is crucial that MRM supports our researchers in using the numerous quality platforms that have been built across the McGill network. It has therefore put in place a special fund to support small research projects using one of the MRM affiliated core facilities: the MRM Internal Funding competition.
Web and Communication Committee
The primary mission of the MRM Network Website and Communication Committee is to promote McGill advances in this thriving biomedical field and increase collaborations between Faculties and/or Departments conducting research on stem cell and regenerative medicine for fundamental or clinical applications.
To this end, its role is to provide content for the MRM website and social media platforms in order to keep the members informed about the latest news, events or funding opportunities relevant to stem cells and regenerative medicine within McGill and beyond.
Clinical Pipeline Committee
This committee is responsible for identifying clinical research related to regenerative medicine currently happening or in development at McGill University and affiliated hospitals. It will support researchers from McGill in structuring future clinical research to move projects forward and to comply with regulatory agencies. This committee is mainly composed of clinical researchers working in McGill-affiliated hospitals. This clinical pipeline will promote translational research involving stem cells and/or regenerative medicine. This committee could also be involved in monthly clinical seminars and clinics.
Chair: Prof. Terry Hébert
The Education Committee works on the identification and development of an educational platform. This platform would include courses and programs to prepare students to work or do research in the domains of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. This includes the development of links within the regenerative medicine community at McGill and its affiliated hospitals to facilitate the development of such educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Education Committee met frequently over the past three years and created a 15 credit graduate certificate within the Division of Experimental Medicine. This first step will allow graduate students at McGill University to increase their knowledge in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
Seasonal laboratory internships and workshops will be developed to teach laboratory methods used in fundamental stem cell research. Clinical laboratory internships will also be provided by the Clinical Research Cellular Therapy Laboratory located at the MUHC-RI, and the Human Islet Transplant Laboratory located at the Genome Center. Both laboratory internships will also help in understanding the importance of a Quality Management Plan, Standard Operating Procedures and ensuring compliance to different existing regulations.
Prizes and Awards Committee
Chair: Dr. Vahab Soleimani
The Prizes and Award Committee is in charge of evaluating the members’ applications to the many competitions organized by the MRM Network. This includes our yearly Photo Contest, as well as the Lucie Besner Travel Awards competition.
Chair: Molly Shen
The MRM Trainee Committee has been formed with the objective of supporting the emerging generation of regenerative medicine researchers. As the trainee committee, we aim to:
1- Support and represent trainees within the MRM network
2- Facilitate scientific and personal communications between trainees.
3- Host recurring social and academic events tailored to the trainees’ interests and needs.
Chair: Prof. Ma’n Zawati
The MRM Network is committed to develop and sustain impactful actions in ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) related to regenerative medicine research and its clinical applications. The main objectives of the Ethics Committee are to build bridges between basic/clinical research and ELSI research; to maintain and expand McGill’s international footprint in bioethics of regenerative medicine; to simplify the understanding of the Health Canada ethics guidelines for regenerative medicine trials; as well as to engage the public in the social issues of regenerative medicine.