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2021-2022 Vision Network Publication Award Laureates

February 1st 2022  – to come – 


August 1st 2021

fotoSergio

Sergio CRESPO-GARCIA  
Postdoctoral Fellow, CR Hôpital-Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Université de Montréal
Supervisor : Dr Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha

Publication: Crespo-Garcia S, Tsuruda PR, Dejda A, Ryan RD, Fournier F, Chaney SY, Pilon F, Dogan T, Cagnone G, Patel P, Buscarlet M, Dasgupta S, Girouard G, Rao SR, Wilson AM, O’Brien R, Juneau R, Guber V, Dubrac A, Beausejour C, Armstrong S, Mallette FA, Yohn CB, Joyal JS, Marquess D, Beltran PJ, Sapieha P. Pathological angiogenesis in retinopathy engages cellular senescence and is amenable to therapeutic elimination via BCL-xL inhibition.  Cell Metabolism, February 5, 2021.

Sergio Crespo-Garcia is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of retina degeneration and diabetes. His interest focuses on the understanding of the interactions between neurons, blood vessels and immune cells in the diseased retina. Sergio has published a number of papers in first-tier peerreviewed scientific journals and his work has contributed to the understanding of retinal neurodegeneration. He obtained scholarships from Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec as well as from Montreal Diabetes Research Center. Currently, Sergio develops several lines of research at the laboratory of Prof. Przemyslaw Sapieha at the University of Montreal and is the Canada Coordinator of the Marie Curie Alumni Association North America Chapter.

Sergio participated in the European Commission Marie Curie ITN project REVAMMAD to improve the diagnosis and understanding of blindness. During that time, he completed a postgraduate program at University of Lincoln, United Kingdom, and earned his PhD in Biomedicine from the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. He was awarded with the Dr. Margot Engelmann Stiftung prize for his dissertation performance.

Sergio earned his Master in Genetics and Cell Biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, awarded by the Obra Social Fundación “la Caixa” master’s program. He graduated with first class honors with as Bachelor in Biology at IE University, Spain.

*** Relève-étoile Jacques-Genest Award – FRQS – April 2021

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Mercedes GAUTHIER  
PhD student, École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal et Université McGill
Supervisors : Dr Jean-Marc Lina and Dr Pierre Lachapelle

Publication: Gauthier M, Brassard-Simard A, Gauvin M, Lachapelle P, Lina JMMulti-Angular Electroretinography (maERG): Topographic mapping of the retinal function combining real and virtual electrodes. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, April 27, 2021.

Combining technology with biology has always motivated me, which is why I began my bachelor’s degree at McGill University in Neuroscience, with a minor in computer science. Pursuing this idea, I am currently completing my PhD at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal, under the supervision of the professors Jean-Marc Lina from the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Pierre Lachapelle from the Department of Ophthalmology at McGill University. By combining their expertise, I was able to establish new protocols for recording and analyzing the electroretinogram (ERG), the only objective tool that allows the analysis of retinal function. Specifically, we have created a new ERG recording protocol, called the multi-angular ERG, which enables topographic imaging of retinal function. This new technique uses 3 electrodes and 11 gaze positions to record 33 different ERGs around the eye, which are used to recreate the image of the retinal activity that produced these signals. The research produced during my doctoral studies will therefore make it possible to image retinal function, which should make it possible to locate and detect scotomas on the retina more quickly and thus make better monitoring of retinopathies.

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Dominique GEOFFRION  
MDCM-PhD student, Université McGill
Supervisors : Dre Mon Harissi-Dagher (CHUM) and Dr Robert Koenekoop (McGill)

Publication: Geoffrion D, Robert MC, Di Polo A, Koenekoop RK, Agoumi Y, Harissi-Dagher M. Tear Film Cytokine Profile of Patients With the Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1: Comparing Patients With and Without Glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, April 1st 2021.

Dominique Geoffrion is pursuing both her medical degree (MDCM) and her PhD degree at McGill University (2018-2023). She received her Honors Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical sciences from the Université de Montréal in 2017 and completed one year of Master’s studies in cancer genetics at McGill University, before being accepted in the prestigious joint MD-PhD Program at McGill. Under the combined supervision of Dr. Mona Harissi-Dagher at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and Dr. Robert Koenekoop at McGill University, her research in the Department of Experimental Surgery aims to improve the surgical management and the understanding of mechanisms of glaucoma following artificial cornea (keratoprosthesis) surgery, namely with the novel identification of tear film cytokines that may be perpetuating glaucoma damage years after surgery. During her previous training, she developed a strong background in research, having conducted several undergraduates research endeavours in pharmacology, oncology and genomics. To date, she has published 11 papers, gave 43 presentations at international conferences, and was awarded a total of 30 research scholarships and prizes. She is even a co-recipient of two major university peer-reviewed research grants in vision science. More recently, she established international collaborations with the keratoprosthesis team at Harvard University. She built an entire multidisciplinary research program focusing on glaucoma after keratoprosthesis surgery, from humans to mice, and this will set crucial foundations for future interuniversity collaborations.