Major achievements

The installation of a highly productive research program

The expertise of the CREMOGH investigators and their innovative approaches has permitted major achievements which have led to important advances in medical knowledge and clinical applications as well as in genetic epidemiology. Over the past 5 years, the CREMOGH investigators have published over 550 articles and been awarded over $50M in grants from organisations recognized by the FRSQ and have obtained several research contracts in order to facilitate their discoveries. These investigators also supervise nearly one hundred graduate students.

Among the CREMOGH investigators’ major achievements:

  1. Discovery of the sources and mechanisms involved in the formation of steroids and hormone-dependent cancers, i.e. intracrinology;
  2. Discovery and clinical development of medical castration with GnRH agonists;
  3. Discovery and clinical development of a combined androgen blockade for prostate cancer;
  4. Characterization of the majority of enzymes involved in the formation and inactivation of sex steroids;
  5. Crystallisation of enzymes and sex steroid receptors;
  6. Development of new inhibitors of the formation and action of steroids;
  7. Characterisation of the therapeutic potential of hypolipemic drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatic diseases;
  8. Identification of modulators of androgen glucuronidation in prostate cancer cells;
  9. Discovery of predisposing genes to hormone-dependent cancers (breast, ovarian and prostate);
  10. Identification of genetic and environmental factors which modify the risk of breast and endometrial cancer;
  11. Development of analytical approaches by highly sensitive and specific mass spectrometry to identify sex steroids and biliary acids;
  12. Identification and characterisation of transcription factors whose expression are modulated by sex steroids in breast and prostate cells;
  13. Production of an atlas providing genome-wide identification and tissue-specific signature of the genes modulated by estrogens, androgens, progestins, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in all mouse tissues.

Many investigators of this research unit have been interested in neuroimmunoendocrinology from the beginnings of Endomol as well as in the influence of steroid hormones on brain activity. Thanks to their work and expertise, we now better understand how steroids have an effect on signalisation, gene expression, modulation of dopaminergic activity and neuroinflammation in different cell classes in the brain. Among their most recent discoveries:

  1. Neuroprotecting effect of DHEA and of estrogenic compounds on dopaminergic neurons;
  2. Demonstration of molecular mechanisms and of the innate immune response of the brain as well as the importance of this response in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration;
  3. Discovery of the chemical mediators involved in the communications between brain tumour cells and endothelial immune cells;
  4. Characterization of cellular and molecular mechanisms induced by oxysterols and macrophages;
  5. Identification of immune cells and inflammatory signalization pathways involved in the regeneration of peripheral nerves.

Finally, the work of CREMOGH has also permitted to better understand the genetic, hormonal, nutritional and environmental factors involved in numerous complex diseases. For example:

  1. Role of estrogenic and androgenic metabolism in the regulation of adiposity;
  2. Role of stem cells in adipogenesis;
  3. Role of Omega-3 fatty acids in the reduction of oxidative stress and in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and the control of muscle protein synthesis;
  4. Demonstration of the relationship between gene expression, ingestion of fat and cardiovascular risk factors;
  5. Focus on the impact of lipid mediators such as LTB4 in innate immunity as well as role of environmental factors in chronic autoimmune disease;
  6. Identification and distribution of genetic determinants specific to the French-Canadian population in relation with several complex diseases such as ocular disease, breast cancer and dyslipidemia;
  7. Influence of environmental factors on the progression of chronic inflammatory disease.

Analysis of the results summarized above shows the strong impact of a multidisciplinary approach and the implication of a highly productive CREMOGH research program since the beginning of this group in 1969. The high consistency of the research program, goals and priorities is apparent and has led to the establishment of a center of expertise and excellence in research and training of students and postgraduate students in the area of endocrinology and cellular and molecular signaling of cancers and hormone-dependent diseases as well as for the development of new diagnostic, prevention and treatment approaches for these widespread diseases.

Researchers Citations (1974 to June 2006)

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