McGill Advanced Therapies Research and Education Centre (MATREC)

Projects currently supported by MATREC


NEW: The MRM and Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) are pleased to announce a call for trainee submissions/applications to participate in a pilot hands-on workshop on current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) applied to pluripotent stem cell-derived products. As our first joint initiative, the workshop will be restricted to trainees who are conducting ongoing projects involving the maintenance of pluripotent stem cell lines under aseptic conditions.

Please submit your application by May 21, 2024.

Learn more and apply


MATREC facilitates the development of skills in current good manufacturing practices among staff and researchers engaged in advanced therapy production. The overarching goal of MATREC is to narrow the divide between preclinical research and the clinical implementation of advanced therapies.

Students, professionals, and researchers supported by MATREC will develop skills related to the production of advanced therapies according to current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). Through collaboration with diverse stakeholders from academic, governmental, charitable, and private sectors, MATREC will offer hands-on training opportunities to students, staff, and researchers. Specifically, MATREC will aid researchers in modifying their bioproduction protocols for therapeutic agents to achieve clinical phase I or II standards.

Advanced therapies encompass human cells, tissues, and their derivatives, necessitating manipulations that may alter the product’s composition from its original source.

To achieve this, MATREC aims to:

  • Develop training modules accessible to McGill students, as well as residents of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada, focusing on cGMP and advanced therapies.
  • Assist researchers in translating their preclinical protocols for advanced therapies into production processes compliant with cGMP standards.
  • Collaborate with academic, governmental, and nonprofit initiatives promoting cGMP training for advanced therapies.
  • Partner with the private sector to train personnel and mitigate risks associated with the development of innovative therapeutic products.
  • Support startup companies in developing advanced therapeutic products.
  • Foster connections between translational research projects and Canadian clinical facilities specializing in the bioproduction of advanced therapies.
  • Provide support for clinical research projects, extending to phases I and II.
  • Transfer knowledge gained within its facilities to external clinical infrastructures when products advance to phases III and/or market launch.


The facilities have been designed for the manipulation and culture of human cells, including organoids such as pancreatic islets. The space is tailored for the production of various types of advanced therapies, such as:

  • Cellular products for regenerative medicine (e.g., insulin-producing cells derived from pluripotent stem cells)
  • Cellular products for immunotherapy (e.g., CAR T cells produced with non-infectious agents)
  • Therapeutic products derived from cultured human cells (e.g., extracellular vesicles)
  • Human tissue-derived products (e.g., extracellular matrix)
  • Combinations of the above products with small molecules, genetic sequences, or proteins, and other non-infectious agents (e.g., mRNA, RNAi, DNA sequences, lipid complexes, nanoparticles)


MATREC’s facilities are located in the McGill Centre for Genomics. The location of the facilities on the McGill campus and in downtown Montreal, near several other academic institutions, makes it an ideal place for student and staff training.

The infrastructure includes a cleanroom that operates according to guidelines for the use of cells, tissues, and organs intended for transplantation. The facilities, covering a total area of 204 m2, comprise an ISO7-certified cleanroom, three ISO8 access rooms, and a declassified area for quality control and quality assurance.

Projects currently supported by MATREC

Isolation of pancreatic islets for the treatment of diabetes

The islet transplantation program at the MUHC, led by Dr. Steven Paraskevas, has enabled the treatment of over 10 individuals with type 1 diabetes. MATREC facilities are utilized to separate pancreatic islets from the rest of the pancreas cells obtained from an organ donation. These islets are then transported to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and infused into the liver of a recipient with type 1 diabetes.

Initially, MATREC’s infrastructure was developed to support this experimental clinical program. Since 2022, the program has transitioned from the experimental stage to a program approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

To learn more:
MUHC designated first provincial establishment for islet cell transplants for patients with type 1 diabetes

Production of organoids from pluripotent stem cells

Prof. Corinne Hoesli leads a multi-institutional project on the therapeutic bioproduction of organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells. This project is funded by several industrial partners as well as Médicament Québec. The project applies principles of chemical engineering and modeling using artificial intelligence to optimize culture protocols and scale them up.

MATREC supports the project by assisting the team in developing protocols and testing them in the clean room.

To learn more:
Scaling up stem cell-derived organoid biomanufacturing
Médicament Québec soutient un projet de mise à l’échelle de la biofabrication d’organoïdes thérapeutiques à partir de cellules souches (FR)

Training workshop in collaboration with CATTI

The MRM is excited to partner with the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) to offer a hands-on workshop at McGill: Cell Therapy Bootcamp – Aseptic Techniques & Cleanroom Biomanufacturing for hPSC-based Therapeutics.

The 5-day course (Cell therapies on hPSC) is designed to teach the participants all the unit operations associated with the expansion of hPSCs in a 2D culture system while also focusing on the best practices for aseptic techniques, which are paramount when working in a clean room environment. In addition, we introduce and integrate aspects of GMP into the modules so that as the participants learn how to manipulate hPSCs as per industry practices they also get to practice elements of GMP.

The first MRM-CATTI Pilot stem cell cGMP workshop will be offered on June 10-14, 2024. For more details, see here.


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