A distinctive research model focused on results

A multidisciplinary approach focused on integrated systems biology
Around ten years ago, the simultaneous emergence of highly sophisticated technologies and new scientific disciplines—genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics—spurred a remarkable acceleration in research work and led to the birth of integrated systems biology. This novel approach, which has a multidisciplinary focus, attempts to study all components of a biological process at the same time, and no longer just one component in isolation. IRIC was one of the first research centres in Canada to use this model.

A unique anticancer drug discovery chain
The Institute set up the first Canadian anticancer drug discovery chain in an academic setting. Therapeutic targets are initially validated by conducting a broad range of tests to identify the active compounds. Next, the Institute’s medicinal Chemistry core facility optimizes their properties. Lastly, IRICoR, an IRIC subsidiary created in 2008, establishes partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies with the aim of marketing the discoveries.

Close involvement with the clinical community
IRIC investigators maintain close ties with hospitals enabling them to increase the pace of their research and to validate their findings in clinical trials. The collaborating partners include Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, CHUM, Montréal’s Jewish General Hospital and McMaster University Medical Centre (Hamilton). In addition, Institute investigators are active in local, national and international networks dedicated to the advancement of science and public health.

An environment and facilities at the leading edge of research
IRIC is located in the Marcelle-Coutu Pavilion at Université de Montréal, a building specifically designed to meet the needs of collaborative and multidisciplinary research. Every investigator has access to 11 cutting-edge technological core facilities, rare and sophisticated research tools in an academic setting. These core facilities also meet the needs of the scientific community at Université de Montréal, in Canada and elsewhere.

An innovative teaching method for training the next generation of scientists
The next generation of investigators trained at IRIC must not only become experts in their own field, they must also integrate multidisciplinarity and collaboration into their practice. To do so, the Institute was the first in Canada to set up a graduate study program in systems biology, adapted to both the job market and academic research. This program has had unprecedented success and attracts students from around the world.

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