Cole Foundation injects $1 million to bolster pediatric leukemia research in Montreal

Thanks to the Cole Foundation, pediatric leukemia research has again this year received support to recruit some of the best and brightest researchers in the field.  The family foundation has generously pledged $1 million over the next 3 years in support of up-and-coming, Montreal-based researchers at the Université de Montréal, McGill University and the Université du Québec's Institut national de la recherche scientifique – Institut Armand-Frappier. The Cole Foundation investment will include:




  • Three Cole Foundation Transition Awards, for a total of $375,000, to allow INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier and the Université de Montréal and their affiliated medical research institutes to hire postdoctoral researchers for tenure-track positions.
  • An additional $700,000 in fellowship grants to bolster research in the area of pediatric and young adult leukemia and lymphoma.  This new support builds on the Cole Foundation's Fellowship Programme, which was created 5 years ago to encourage young researchers in search of a cure for pediatric leukemia and related diseases. Since 2007, the Cole Foundation has generously funded over 80 post-doctoral and graduate research fellowships for a total of over $5 million dollars.

“The faculties of medicine at the Université de Montréal and McGill University, along with the Institut Armand-Frappier, produce scientists who are at the forefront of the international battle against pediatric leukemia,” said Barry Cole, President of the Cole Foundation.  “These new investments, coupled with our ongoing Cole Fellowships, will serve as important tools to empower tomorrow's scientists – right here in Montreal – so they may find new ways to conquer pediatric leukemia and related diseases.”

“This support from the Cole Foundation gives a major boost to the young scientists in Montreal focusing efforts on pediatric and young adult leukemia and lymphoma,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine. “Leveraging the research being conducted across sister universities and institutes helps us stay at the forefront in our fight against disease, especially in current economic times. The Foundation's support is invaluable to these efforts.”

His opinion is seconded by Dr. Hélène Boisjoly, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal.  “We are delighted that the Cole Foundation is supporting our research endeavours in this critical health field,” she said. “These awards make a concrete contribution to both our researchers' work and to the future health of our wider community.”

About the Cole Foundation
The Cole Foundation offers two-year fellowships to clinical, postdoctoral and doctoral graduate scientists dedicated to research in leukemia and leukemia-related diseases in children and young adults.  Through its fellowships, the Cole Foundation has committed more than $5 million to support leukemia researchers in Greater Montreal laboratories and hospitals.  The Cole Foundation was created in 1980 by the late businessman John N. Cole to support Montreal-based research in pediatric oncology and hematology.  He established the Penny Cole Laboratory at the Montreal Children's Hospital and the Jack Cole Chair in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at McGill University.

Transition Awards

Sonia Cellot, MD, RCPSC, CHU Sainte Justine

Project: The role of histone demethylases in modulating hematopoietic stem cell fate, in both normal and leukemic cells

Hélène Decaluwe, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCPC, CHU Sainte Justine

Project: Role of common gamma chain-dependent cytokines in the prevention and treatment of relapsing leukemia


Krista Heinonen, PhD, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

Project: The role of non-canonical Wnt signaling in normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell biology and in pediatric/young adult leukemia

2012 - 2014 Cole Foundation Fellows

McGill University
Daphne Dupéré-Richer, PhD program,
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Experimental Medicine

Project: Molecular mechanism of acquired resistance to histone deacetylase inhibitors in lymphoma cells

Yi Fang, Post PhD program, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Pediatric Oncology & Hematology

Project: Microvesicles as mediators and messagers of leukemogenesis in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (pAML)

Johanna Mancini, PhD program, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Experimental Medicine

Project: Targeting Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Leukemia using G-quadruplex Ligands

Université de Montréal
Gloria Assaker, PhD program,
IRIC, Molecular and Cell Biology

Project: A genome-wide screen for regulators of ligand activity in Notch signaling

Nicolas Montpas, PhD program, CHU Ste-Justine, Molecular and Cell Biology

Project: The role of CXCR7 as a negative modulator of leulemia bone marrow niche homing

Eustache Oussa, PhD program, Hôpital Maisonneve-Rosemont

Project: Rôle de TRAF1 dans la survie des leucémie et lymphomes

Caroline Pabst, Post PhD program, IRIC, Medicine

Project: Identification of self-renewal agonists of primary human AML stem cells

Xavier Robellet, Post PhD program, IRIC, Molecular and Cell Biology

Project: Rôle du complexe condensine dans l'intégrité génomique et la multiplication cellulaire

Sarah Tsao, Post PhD program, IRIC, Molecular and Cell Biology

Project: Inhibition of histone deacetylation as a novel antifuntal therapy in leukemia patients

Diogo Veiga, Post PhD program, IRIC, Hematopoiesis & Leukemia Research Unit

Project: Multi-level approach to discover genetic mutations that drive T-cell transformation

École Polytechnique de Montréal
Mohamed Aissiou, PhD program,
École Polytechnique de Montréal, Biomedical Engineering

Project: Leucémie aiguë chez l'enfant : détection précoce de la cardiotoxicité de la doxorubicine par IRM multi-paramétrique

On the Web:

Media contacts:
Allison Flynn
Media Relations
McGill University
Tel: 514-398-7698

Julie Martineau
Director of Communications
INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier
Tel: 418-2500 ext. 3814

William Raillant-Clark
International Press Attaché
Université de Montréal
Tel: 514-343-7593

John Moran
Cole Foundation
Tel: 819-563-1716