About the Chair


The Shire Chair has a mission to develop interdisciplinary research programs that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular and clinical factors and the organization of care that play a decisive role in the progression of renal failure and its cardiovascular and metabolic complications.

With projects in the fields of molecular biology, cell death, biomarkers, kidney transplant and bioethics, the Chair will target new knowledge in the various fields of expertise and integrate it into an overall approach to the care of renal failure.

Chair holder

Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
Nephrologist – Transplant Physician, CHUM Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montreal.

Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert is Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal, director of the Université de Montréal transplant program, researcher at the CHUM research centre and nephrologist–transplant physician at CHUM. She holds the Shire Chair in Renal Transplantation and Regeneration at the Université de Montréal.

Dr. Hébert completed her medical studies and training in internal medicine and nephrology at the Université de Montréal. She went on to complete a research fellowship under the direction of Dr. Barry Brenner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University. After returning to the Université de Montréal in 1998, she developed an innovative research theme aimed at characterizing the paracrine mediators produced during programmed cell death of endothelial cells. Her group uses cellular, molecular and biology and association with proteomics strategies to characterize the paracrine loop induced by endothelial apoptosis. Their findings are leading to the characterization of new mediators and genes involved in vascular remodelling. They also contribute to a better understanding of the fibrogenesis mechanisms induced by endothelial insult.

Dr. Hébert’s work helps to better characterize the endothelial and vascular damage mechanisms induced by new immunosuppressive therapies used in transplantation and in association with chronic renal failure.

Since spring 2005, Dr. Hébert has also been heading a multidisciplinary research team working on characterizing rejection predictors. The team, funded by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), includes biomedical, clinical, bioethical and psychological researchers. Dr. Hébert has received support from prestigious organizations, both in the form of grants and for training young researchers. She was a founding member of the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) program, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) and the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN).

Dr. Hébert has published more 53 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has supervised the work of some 15 students. She has received more than $3 million in personal and group research grants. Many of her articles have been published in such prestigious journals as Cell Death and Differentiation, FASEB Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Immunology, American Journal of Transplantation, Journal of Experimental Medicine and Kidney International. Dr. Hébert has also been a guest speaker at many national and international forums. At the Université de Montréal, she has been active in the question of balancing work and family life for professors in the faculty of medicine. She founded and chaired the work-family life balance committee in the University’s department of medicine.

Associate researchers

Dr. Marie-Chantal Fortin
Asssitant Clinical Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
Nephrologist – Transplant Physician, CHUM Hôpital Notre-Dame Montreal, Quebec

Marie-Chantal Fortin, MD, Ph.D., FRCP(c) is nephrologist with the kidney transplant team at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, researcher at the CHUM research centre and assistant clinical professor at the Université de Montréal.

She completed a doctorate in bioethics at the Université de Montréal. Her research focused on the importance of varied cultural backgrounds on the representations of transplant physicians of living donation. The results of her research were published in peer-reviewed journals such as Social Sciences and Medicine, BMC Medical Ethics. In 2008, she received a postdoctoral scholarship from the Shire Chair in Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation, which allowed her to study the situation of living donors at CHUM.
Dr. Fortin participated in developing the guidelines for the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Society of Transplantation on the question of transplant tourism. She also heads the bioethics group in the cross-disciplinary research group on rejection predictors, funded by the FRSQ, which examines how organ transplantation is represented in Quebec’s print media and scientific journals. Her current research focuses on the situation of O group recipients in exchange programs.

Dr. Shijie Qi
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
Researcher, CRCHUM
Laboratory of Experimental Microsurgery

Dr. Shijie Qi graduated from Capital Medical University in China and obtained his M.D. in 1982 and practiced as a surgeon specializing in general surgery for 10 years. Today, he is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Université de Montréal in Quebec, Canada. He is also the Principal Investigator of an approved experimental microsurgery research protocol in organ transplantation at the Université de Montréal and at the Research Center of CHUM.

In 1991, Dr. Qi came to Canada as a research fellow to study on human islet transplantation at Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, and then took a position at the Research Center of CHUM to work on the organ transplantation research. Recently, his research focuses on organ transplantation and tissue engineering for reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Qi is also an expert in experimental microsurgery. Over the past nineteen years he has developed many animal models of organ transplantation in rodent, pig, dog and nonhuman primates for the transplantation of heart, kidney, pancreas, intestines, liver, adrenal, ovary and limb. He was the first in Canada to perform face transplantation in rat and mice. This experimental microsurgery was then presented at the Canadian Society of Transplantation’s 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Dr. Qi has developed many animal models in the multiple fields of medical research for Research Center of CHUM and for other Research Institutes of Canada, China and U.S.A.

He was a recipient of an excellence award for his outstanding research work on organ ischemia/reperfusion injury study from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, presented at the 3rd International Congress on Immunosuppression held in San Diego, California.

Dr. Qi’s contributions in the fields of organ transplantation and experimental microsurgery have been acknowledged by many national and international medical research agencies.

Research team

Post-doctoral Students Associated with the Chair

Mélanie Dieudé
Mélanie Dieudé
Jessika Groleau

Graduate students

Monique Bernard
Mathilde Soulez
Isabelle Sirois
Ève-Annie Pilon

Financial partners

  • Shire Canada inc.
  • Fondation du CHUM

Technical support

Danielle Binette
Nathalie Brassard
Katia Hamelin


3rd row (rear): Jessika Groleau, Melanie Dieudé and Heloise Cardinal
2nd row: Monique Bernard, Annie-Eve Pilon, Katia Hamelin and Danielle Binette
1st row (foreground): Mathilde Soulez, Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert, Nathalie Brassard and Marie-Christine Guilbert

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