Marie-Josée Hébert and Mélanie Dieudé chosen La Presse’s “Scientific Personalities of the Year”

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January 3, 2018
Marie-Josée Hébert and Mélanie Dieudé

La Presse has named researchers Marie-Josée Hébert and Mélanie Dieudé of the CHUM Research Centre 2017 “Personalities of the Year in the science category”. 

The December 31st edition of the newspaper devote an article to them, after having chosen them “Personalities of the Week” on April 16, 2017.

This well-deserved tribute is further recognition of their discovery – one that could potentially revolutionize organ transplants – having already received the CRCHUM’s Award of Excellence – Scientific Contribution of the Year for 2016.

“We very humbly accept this honour on behalf of all our collaborators from the Canadian National Transplant Research Program and our students, but, most importantly, on behalf of the donors and their families, as well as transplant patients and those awaiting transplants,” declared Mélanie Dieudé, Associate Scientist at the CRCHUM.

With the collaboration of the Canadian National Transplant Research Program, Marie-Josée Hébert and Mélanie Dieudé have solved the mystery of organ language.

Drs. Hébert and Dieudé have discovered a new cell structure responsible for previously unexplained rejections following an organ transplant. Before transplanting an organ, physicians check compatibility between the donor and recipient. Despite these precautions, approximately one in ten transplants ends up being rejected by the recipient.

“We have found the mechanism that causes a person to react against components in his own blood vessels even before receiving an organ transplant. We have also identified a drug capable of preventing this type of rejection,” says Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert, transplant specialist, CRCHUM researcher, professor and Vice-Rector of Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation at Université de Montréal. 

This discovery published in December 2015 in Science Translational Medicine could revolutionize transplant practice by changing the assessment of rejection risks in heart, lung, kidney or liver transplant recipients.

To find out more

Article – La Presse+ (FR)

Vidéo – Organs can talk

Press release – When rejection comes from within