The PAH research group offers an extraordinary and rewarding training environment thanks to its highly knowledgeable professors and highly qualified staff. Our group is internationally recognized for its translational research work.
Students are the vectors that allow fundamental research to evolve into clinical trials. Carrying out graduate and postgraduate studies in the PAH research group allows our students to leave an imprint on the history of the understanding and treatment of vascular disease. Many of our students have won prestigious national and international awards, published in the best scientific journals in the field, and have a bright future.
Post doctoral's degree
The success of our group depends on the work of a team
of dedicated principal investigators, research coordinators and students.
Every day, each of them contributes to our success.
Sébastien Bonnet, PhD
Fatima Hjeij, M.Sc.
Antonella Abi Sleimen, M.Sc.
Reem El Kabbout, M.Sc.
Tsukasa Shimauchi, M.D., Ph. D.
After obtaining his medical degree, Tsukasa Shimauchi completed anesthesiology and critical care medicine fellowship in Japan. From 2014, He started his career as a basic researcher in the division of cardiocirculatory signaling at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan. His research interest is in cardiomyocytes and hemodynamic control. After obtaining his Ph. D., Tsukasa joined the Pulmonary Hypertension research group at the IUCPQ as a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the mechanism of right ventricular failure induced by pulmonary hypertension.
Keiko Yamamoto, M.D., Ph. D.
Keiko Yamamoto completed her Respiratory Internship after obtaining her medical degree in 2011 at Keikyo University, Tokyo in Japan. In 2014, she entered Chiba University to do basic and clinical research on pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, which earned her her PhD degree in 2019. In 2020, Keiko Yamamoto joined the Quebec Pulmonary Hypertension Research Group to continue her research in hypertension.
Tetsuro Yokokawa, M.D., Ph. D.
Tetsuro Yokokawa is a well-trained doctor specialized in cardiovascular diseases who is certified by the Japanese Circulation Society and Japanese Society of Internal Medicine. He has treated many patients with pulmonary hypertension and heart failure in Japan. He also has performed a great deal of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure-related clinical research such as the significance of myocardial tenascin-C expression, exhaled acetone concentrations, circulating acetoacetate levels. He started basic research career in 2018, and his topic was clonal hematopoiesis on vascular diseases. Now, he was inspired by clinical experiences of pulmonary hypertension patients, and he investigate the molecular mechanism of pulmonary hypertension in Quebec.
Alice Bourgeois, M. Sc.
As she was completing a bachelor’s degree in biology at Laval University, Alice first joined the pulmonary hypertension research group as a summer intern. During her B.Sc. in general biology, her interests quickly turned to cell biology and medical research. The internship with the team only confirmed and strengthened her interests about research in pathophysiology. She thus decided to continue her work and joined the research group to begin her master’s degree in January 2017. As her projects evolved, her curiosity and interest have prompted her to pursue her doctoral studies in order to deepen her knowledge in pathophysiology. Her main PhD project aims to understand the implication of epigenetic factors in pulmonary arterial hypertension and to identify new therapeutic targets. Thanks to the experience acquired in recent years, she also had the opportunity to occupy a position as a research professional in addition to her studies.
Charifa Awada, M. Sc.
After receiving her Scientific License in biochemistry specialty at the Lebanese University, she pursued her Master’s degree in Cardiovascular Pharmacology. During her studies, she carried out a three month course on cardiac rehabilitation, specifically on the training of respiratory muscles in patients with heart failure. This experience allowed her to confirm her interest in this field and to gain a taste for the world of scientific research. Since 2018, she pursued the opportunity to continue her studies and join the Pulmonary Hypertension Research Group as a PhD student. She is working on two separate projects concerning epigenetics in PAH and the paradox of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the disease.
Charles-Antoine Guay, M.D., M. Sc.
Doctoral student in clinical epidemiology - with thesis,
Medical student, Laval University
Dr. Guay is a medical resident in public health and preventive medicine at the University of Sherbrooke and a PhD candidate in epidemiology at Laval University where, in 2015, Charles joined the Pulmonary Hypertension Research Group. In combination with his medicine studies, he first achieved a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology for which he obtained a leadership and sustainable development scholarship from Laval University in 2016. He then embarked on a doctorate in epidemiology while starting his medical training specializing in public health and preventive medicine in 2019. Ultimately, his goal is to learn and flourish within the research group and become a better doctor in support of his community.
Karima Habbout, M. Sc.
Doctoral student in molecular medicine, Laval University
Throughout her university studies, Karima specialized in the field of human pathophysiology. After completing a bachelor’s degree in general physiology, she focused her master’s degree in human physiopathology. Her understanding of the mechanisms that cause pathologies in humans has always intrigued her. The field of basic research is for her a stimulating and enriching field in which she wishes to evolve. To date, she has had the opportunity to deepen her knowledge of human pathology such as pulmonary arterial hypertension within the Pulmonary Hypertension Research Group where she completed her work toward a Ph. D.
Charlotte Romanet, M. Sc.
Victoria Toro, M. Sc.
Victoria graduated with a master’s in Physiology specializing in cardiovascular, metabolic and nutritional regulations in clinical and fundamental research. Her internship at CRNH Rhône Alpes in France focused on the pathology of obesity allowed her to observe and learn the complex and robust nature of clinical research. Between her internship at an HP2 Grenoble laboratory in France studying vascular smooth muscle cell function in normoxia or intermittent hypoxia and at CRIUCPQ studying the interactions between ovarian hormones and corticosterone on cardio-respiratory control, she developed a pronounced taste for fundamental medical research as it aroused her curiosity. She thus decided to pursue a doctorate under the theme of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). She joined the team of Dr. Bonnet and Dr. Provencher in October 2019 to start her doctorate in clinical and biomedical sciences with an original project studying the impact of breast cancer on the penetrance of PAH in individuals with BMPR2 mutations. Looking forward, she plans to embark on a new project focused on the heart in PAH with Dr. Potus.
Géraldine Vitry, M. Sc.
Géraldine obtained a bachelor’s degree in life science majoring in cell biology and physiology, and a master’s degree in life therapies and technologies from the University of Paris 13 in France. Throughout her training, she has been interested in DNA damages and cell adaptation to their environment. In 2016, she enthusiastically joined the pulmonary hypertension research group in Quebec under the direction of Dr. Sebastien Bonnet and Dr. Steeve Provencher. As a Ph.D. student under the direction of Dr. Roxane Paulin, Géraldine studies the adaptation of pulmonary artery wall cells facing the stressful environment induced by pulmonary arterial hypertension, especially how they protect their DNA.
Émilie Breton-Gagnon, B. Sc. Kin.
Émilie completed her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2018. The kinesiologist is the healthcare professional who uses movement for the purposes of prevention, treatment and performance. She then completed a graduate degree in clinical kinesiology where she specialized in pulmonary, cardiac and metabolic rehabilitation. Since 2019, she has been doing her master’s degree in the pulmonary hypertension research group. Émilie is mainly interested in the mechanisms of exertion intolerance in PAH, the potential role that the metabolic syndrome could play in it, as well as rehabilitation through physical activity in this population.
Native of Montpellier city, France, Yann obtained a bachelor’s degree in health biology before specializing in microbiology and immunology for his master’s degree at the University of Montpellier II. During an internship at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development on the genetic diversity of HIV (IRD), he developed a particular interest in translational research, specifically in the physiology of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) being one of the complications of an HIV infection, he enthusiastically joined in 2019 the PAH group of Quebec led by Professors Sébastien Bonnet and Steeve Provencher in order to carry out a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr Bonnet. After studying first the involvement of the FOXO3 transcription factor in the development of PAH, his current interests for cardiac physiology growing, he is actually working on coronary vascular remodelling.
Annie Christine Lajoie, M.D.
Respirology and Research Fellow – Sleep breathing disorders, McGill University
Master student – Clinical epidemiology program, Laval University
After obtaining her respirology certification, Dr. Lajoie pursued her training in research focusing on sleep-disordered breathing at McGill University. She is simultaneously completing a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at Université Laval under the supervision of Dr. Steeve Provencher.
Her research interests include sleep breathing disorders, namely obstructive sleep apnea and pulmonary vascular diseases as well as the interaction between these two entities. She is the recipient of a research award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation (2019), underlining her research work conducted during her years as a medical resident. More recently, she was awarded the prestigious McLaughlin Scholarship (Laval University 2019 and 2020).
Her work is financially supported by the American Thoracic Society ASPIRE fellowship (2020-2021). Dr. Lajoie will join the IUCPQ’s respirology team in the fall of 2021, after the completion of her research fellowship.
Sarah-Éve joined the pulmonary research group for two internships in the fall of 2019 and the summer of 2020. She will soon be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology, from the University of Sherbrooke. This induction into research confirmed her interests in human physiology and medical research, motivating her to pursue her university degree at the master’s level. She will enthusiastically begin her master’s degree in January 2021 in Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, during which she will be able to deepen her knowledge of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Simon Lemieux, M.D,
Master student in Clinical Epidemiology, Laval University
Resident in Diagnostic Radiology, Laval University
While completing his residency in diagnostic radiology, Simon enrolled in a master’s program in Clinical Epidemiology in 2017. His research interest is the evaluation of interventional radiology procedures in thoracic and abdominal radiology, inspired by the clinical applications of novel technologies in radiology. Notably, Simon has started a project that aims to evaluate the utility and possibilities of artificial intelligence in the creation of magnetic resonance images from computed tomography native images. Simon is a laureate of the Réginald-Langelier award (2019-2020) for his oral presentation at the RSNA 2019 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. After a fellowship year at Stanford University in Body Imaging, Simon will join the team of radiologists at Saint-François-d’Assise Hospital.
Mélanie Sauvaget, B. Sc.
Mélanie completed an internship in 2019 within the pulmonary arterial hypertension research group in order to validate the second year of her medical biology license. She had discovered her interest in fundamental research and molecular biology, and so she decided to pursue a master’s degree in molecular medicine at Laval Univeristy after graduating with a degree in experimental analytical biology from Université de Clermont-Ferrand (France) in june 2020. It is with pleasure that she joins Dr. Bonnet’s team again to follow her research project on the role of transcription factors in pulmonary arterial hypertension.