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Centre intégré universitaire de santé
et de services sociaux de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal

Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal


Vision health

Leader in the field of ophthalmology

As the only research center affiliated with the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) to have positioned ophthalmology as one of its research divisions, the HMR-RC's leadership in this field allows it to increase its influence in both the clinical and scientific communities.

Major themes

Research in vision health is based on the following themes:

  • Retinal vascular diseases responsible for retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy
  • Corneal diseases and transplants, with a focus on surgical techniques, biomaterials, gene therapy and tissue engineering
  • Technological developments for the detection and surgical treatment for ocular diseases
  • Retinal neurodegenerative diseases, mainly macular degeneration and glaucoma
  • Epidemiology and public health, with a focus on accessibility to eye care, prevalence, impact and intervention strategies.

These themes bring together researchers and clinicians with a wide range of complementary cutting-edge expertise.

In particular, our researchers are investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of oxidative, axonal, biomechanical, vascular, and immune damage affecting retinal ganglion cells, as well as the development of drugs that enable neuroprotection.

It should be noted that imaging, lasers, and light are particularly important in vision health research because of the transparency of the ocular media, a tissue property unique to the eye. Our researchers are also taking advantage of advances in biophotonics, a science that combines biology and photonics to analyze biological structures and their changes using light.

In regenerative medicine, much emphasis is placed on the development of biomaterials for corneal transplantation and corneal tissue regeneration. Clinical research on corneal neurotization aims at re-innervating corneas by nerve transplantation and by the use of growth factors or stem cells.

Finally, in cell therapy, we practice directed differentiation of stem cells into retinal neuronal cells and trabecular meshwork cells for the treatment of degenerative diseases of the neuroretina and glaucoma. Interest in stem cells is also strong in clinical research, where the transplantation of autologous epithelium reconstructed by tissue engineering from stem cells is being evaluated in collaboration with LOEX in Quebec City.

These different proposals put forward new mechanistic models for retinal, corneal and glaucoma pathologies, with the objective of clinical transfer for the prevention of blindness and the promotion of better ocular health.

University Centre of Ophthalmology (CUO) of the Université de Montréal

The designation of the Department of Ophthalmology at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital as the University Center for Ophthalmology (CUO) of the Université de Montréal in 2016 actively contributes to the Vision Health Research axis.

This designation has opened a new era of collaboration, which translates into increased synergy between vision health care, teaching and research, which also involves all of the professors of the Ophthalmology Department of the Université de Montréal.

Division leaders

Fundamental research - Santiago Costantino, PhD
Translational and clinical research - Isabelle Brunette, M.D