There are 400 researchers and students, and 60 research teams at the IUGM Research Centre..

All these devoted and talented people work on advancing research in the field of aging, and transferring knowledge.

Aging: A tremendous human adventure

Improvements in economic, social-sanitary conditions and advances in medical research have created a spectacular increase in life expectancy over the last century. Since 2015, more people are over the age of 65 than under 15. This shows the magnitude of the changes that society must face. The mission of the IUGM Research Centre is to advance scientific understanding in order to meet the needs and respond to the aspirations of seniors — who were the creators of contemporary society — so that they can continue to play a key role in the world of tomorrow.

Many ways of aging, many approaches

Aging includes very different realities, depending on whether you are in your 60s, or in your 80s— or even 100 male or female, poor or rich, healthy or ill. To adjust its activities as a function of the complexity and diversity of aging and its needs, the Research Centre encourages interaction among researchers of different disciplines and perspectives. It leads research efforts on factors to promote better aging and on solutions for more effective management—in all ways—of the diseases and illnesses that can limit the quality of daily life for seniors, and their participation in society. These questions are addressed through two major avenues of research.

The secrets of the aging brain revealed

Researchers involved with Research Avenue 1 are interested in the neurocognitive and neurobiological dimensions and determinants of aging well, and the diseases associated with aging.

They have greatly contributed to several important discoveries, which have led to earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Their cutting-edge methods have led to the in vivo identification of the physiological origins of Parkinson’s disease. They were also the first in Quebec to establish a research project on the effects of a physical fitness program on the cognitive functioning of seniors. As well, they uncovered evidence related to significant cerebral plasticity in healthy seniors and in those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They identified the networks which allow for the recovery of language in aphasia cases. Researchers have made important discoveries in the field of sleep and memory, demonstrating that there is a link between sleep rhythms, the consolidation of a new habit and cerebral plasticity. Moreover, innovative work has resulted in a better understanding of the cerebral basis for pain modulation.

All these scientific breakthroughs and the applications that follow them help forge a promising future for an aging population.

At the heart of seniors’ needs

Avenue 2 researchers focus on the daily life of our seniors. They work to improve the quality of life of the elderly, increase their autonomy and improve services provided to them and to those who care for them. With these objectives in mind, researchers structure their inquiries around the following themes: cognition, the role of nutrition, incontinence, ethics, caregiver health, and the health of elderly women.

One of the features of Avenue 2 is the multidisciplinarity of its researchers. Their varied perspectives are invaluable for optimizing the benefits of their collaboration in different aspects of the life of seniors. They also provide a better understanding of the different spheres of aging.

Since their work addresses major societal issues, some Avenue 2 researchers have had a remarkable impact on the evolution of our society with regard to an aging population. For example, the presentation by the Chair Desjardins team to the National Assembly Committee regarding Bill 6 helped to create a support fund for caregivers. As well, input by several researchers from the Ethics and Aging Research Lab to the Dying with Dignity Committee provided important clarifications with regard to the consequences of legislation on end-of-life decision-making. This involvement of Avenue 2 researchers in the decision-making process illustrates the impact their research can have on all dimensions of human reality as well as their commitment to the well-being of seniors.

Research chairs at the IUGM research centre (CRIUGM)

Thirteen CRIUGM researchers benefit from Research Chair status, allowing them to update their scientific programming. In total, there are 14 Chairs since one researcher currently holds two Research Chair positions.

Philanthropic Chairs

Research Chair in nursing for seniors and families

  • Chairholder: Anne Bourbonnais, Ph. D., professor at the Faculty of Nursing Sciences, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To contribute to the well-being and improvement of the quality of life of seniors and their loved ones

Michel-Saucier Research Chair in health and aging

  • Chairholder: Cara Tannenbaum, M.D., M. Sc., professor in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and in the Faculty of Pharmacology, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To develop scientific knowledge for pharmaceutical care of seniors so as to improve their quality of life. To reinforce links between researchers and pharmacists, to train the next generation of researchers and to encourage health promotion among seniors.

Fondation Caroline Durand Research Chair in hearing and aging

  • Chairholder: Jean-Pierre Gagné, Ph. D., professor at the School of Speech Therapy and Audiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To minimize the consequences of auditory deficiency, reduce isolation of people affected, optimize communication with them and improve their quality of life.

Mirella and Lino Saputo Research Chair in cardiovascular health and the prevention of cognitive problems, l’Université de Montréal and the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal

  • Chairholder: Louis Bherer, Ph. D. Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To prevent cognitive and cardiovascular problems related to aging. Multifunctional rooms will be created or renovated in the ICM’s cardiovascular prevention centre for research projects and to provide preventive education.

Industrielle Alliance Research Chair on the economic issues related to demographic change

  • Chairholder: Raquel Fonseca Benito, Ph. D., professor, Department of economic sciences, École des sciences de la gestion, UQAM.
  • Mission: To document the economic impacts of demographic changes, understand their impact on behaviour and help formulate policies to mitigate their undesirable effects.
Institutional Chair

Concordia University Research Chair in sleep, neuroimaging and cognitive health

  • Chairholder: Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, M.D., professor, Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Concordia University, and professor, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
  • Mission: To study the neural correlates of spontaneous brain activity and consciousness, the role of sleep in brain plasticity, the physiopathology of sleep disorders and the clinical biomarkers of neurological disease progression using neuroimaging.
Canada Research Chairs

Research Chair in the cognitive neuroscience of aging and brain plasticity

  • Chairholder: Sylvie Belleville, Ph. D., professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Université de Montréal. (2018)
  • Mission: To study how memory and the brain change and adapt to aging, with the ultimate goal being to develop strategies to prevent diseases associated with aging.

Canada Research Chair in urogynecologic health and aging

  • Chairholder: Chantal Dumoulin, Ph. D., professor at the School of Speech Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal. (2012–2017, Research Chair renewed for 5 years, 2017–2022).
  • Mission: To better comprehend urinary incontinence, for prevention, treatment and to determine which women are likely to benefit from pelvic floor muscle training.

Canada Research Chair in cognitive and experimental sciences

  • Chairholder: Pierre Jolicoeur, Ph. D., professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To study attention in humans and its relationship to perception and thought. The results of this research can provide a better understanding of the reaction of humans to simultaneous attention demands.

Canada Research Chair in computational neuroscience and cognitive neuroimaging

  • Chairholder: Karim Jerbi, Ph. D., professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To increase the understanding of cortical communications and brain network dynamics.

Canada Research Chair in quantitative magnetic resonance imaging

  • Chairholder: Julien Cohen-Adad, Ph. D., Adjunct professor, Department of electrical engineering, Polytechnique Montréal.
  • Mission: To develop new technologies to provide more precise understanding of the complex architecture of the human nervous system. For example, by using highly detailed biophysical models together with advanced image processing tools, it is possible to “see” the health status of our neurons in simple MRIs.

Canada Research Chair in biomedical imaging and healthy aging

  • Chairholder: Habib Benali, Ph. D., Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Concordia University
  • Mission: To provide an integrated biomedical approach, from the modelling of brain activity dynamics to the physiological model observed through neuroimaging.

Chair in chronic stress and health

  • Chairholder: Jean-Philippe Gouin, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Concordia University (2017)
  • Mission: To assess psychosocial and biological factors that increase the adverse consequences of chronic stress.
FRQS Chair

Chairholder: Transforming research for a healthier future and improved quality of life for the elderly

  • Chairholder: Cara Tannenbaum, M.D., M. Sc., professor in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Pharmacology, Université de Montréal.
  • Mission: To test the effectiveness of new actions targeting patient behaviour, health professionals and the healthcare system to reduce the incidence and impact of urinary incontinence, polypharmacy and cognitive problems related to medication in elderly women and men.