Montreal, May 12, 2016 – This year, in continuing the tradition of past years, the Cole Foundation will be offering twenty-one new fellowship grants and one new investigator grant for a total funding value of $1 million to be disbursed over the course of the next two years towards research into the fight against pediatric and young adult leukemia and lymphoma.

Since the inception of these grants ten years ago and including this year, the Cole Foundation will have contributed over $10 million to more than 150 researchers in laboratories and hospitals situated in the Greater Montreal area through collaborations with l’Université de Montréal; McGill University; and INRS – Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre.

“The Cole Foundation is committed to helping to develop the next generation of researchers, said Barry Cole, President of the foundation. The medical faculties at the Université de Montréal and McGill University, as well as the Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) – Institut Armand-Frappier are working diligently to advance the fight against pediatric cancer and we’re pleased to be able to contribute to these efforts by providing grants to deserving young researchers.”

“The continued support of the Cole Foundation to McGill and Québec’s other leading institutions enables our early-career scientists to be at the forefront of pediatric leukemia research,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine at McGill University. “This is a wonderful example of how philanthropic collaboration fosters discovery for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

“It is an immense pleasure for me to be able to once again thank the Cole Foundation on behalf of the fifteen grant recipients researching pediatric leukemia from the l’Université de Montréal, declared Dr.  Hélène Boisjoly, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at l’Université de Montréal. The announcement of the financial contribution from the Cole Foundation has been a highly anticipated day for researchers over the past ten years. It provides them with very good news.”

In connection with the new round of grants, the Cole Foundation is also organizing a day of discussions on the state of research in the field of pediatric cancer, to be held on May 13 this year at McGill University. The day-long event will include a special presentation by Dr. Stephen Hunger of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA, who is going to speak about developing precision medicine therapies on pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

About the Cole Foundation

The Cole Foundation offers two-year fellowships to clinical, doctoral and postdoctoral 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 $10 million to support leukemia researchers in Greater Montreal laboratories and hospitals. The Cole Foundation was created in 1980 by the late businessman John N. (Jack) 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.

Cole Foundation Research Fellowships (2016–2018)
McGill University
Hosni Cherif, Lady Davis Institute
Project: Identification of novels targets and biomarkers for the treatment and the diagnosis of the GCB-DLBCL pediatric lymphoma
Heather Duncan, McGill University Health Centre, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Project: G protein-coupled receptor 56 as a potential regulator of leukemic stem cells
Deanna MacNeil, Lady Davis Institute
Project: Telomeras regulation through post-translational modifications of dyskerin
Claudia Wever, Lady Davis Institute
Project: Understanding apoptotic blocks in primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma samples
Ke Zhi Yan, McGill University
Project: Role of the epigenetic regulator BRPF1 in leukemia development

Université de Montréal

Rachid Abaji, CHU Centre de recherche Sainte-Justine,
Project: Using whole exome sequencing data to identify pharmacogenetics markers in childhood leukemia
Léo Aubert, IRIC, Pathology and Cell Biology
Project: Characterization of the surfaceome of normal and leukemic stem cell expanded with UM171 to improve the development of novel therapies for leukemia
Yahya Benslimane, IRIC, Medecine
Project: Investigation synthetic sensitivity to telomerase inhibition in leukemia
Aubrée Boulet-Craig, CHU Centre de recherche Sainte-Justine, Neuropsychologie
Project: Corrélats neuroanatomiques et neurofonctionnels prédisposant à l’apparition de difficultés en mathématiques chez des survivants de leucémie lymphoblastique aiguë pédiatrique
Willow Burns, CHU Centre de recherche Sainte-Justine, Psychologie
Project: Towards a better understanding of the adjustment of parents facing childhood leukemia: Exploration of dyadic interactions for acting at the family level 
Margaret Davis, IRIC, Pathology and Cell Biology
Project: Novel functions of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (elF4E) in leukemia.
Marion Dubuissez, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
Project: Rôles du facteur de transcription Ikaros dans la terminaison de la transcription
Fida Khater, CHU Centre de recherche Sainte-Justine, Hemato-Oncology
Project: Identification et validation fonctionnelle de nouvelles cibles thérapeutiques chez les patients leucémiques réfractaires au traitement ou en rechute dans le cadre de l’étude de faisabilité TRICEPS. 
Céline Laumont, IRIC, Immunobiology
Project: Identification of leukemia-specific antigens: a k-mer profiling approach
Vincent-Phillippe Lavallée, IRIC, Medicine
Project: Towards an optimized prognostic classification of AML patients using novel markers, and improvement in diagnosis and treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia related coagulopathy
Charles-Etienne Lebert-Ghali, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
Project: The role of CD271 in the suppression of graft-versus-host-disease by mesenchymal stem cells 
Sophia Morel, CHU Centre de recherche Sainte-Justine, Nutrition
Project: Place du microbiote intestinal dans la genèse des maladies cardiométaboliques chez les survivants de la leucémie lymphoblastique aiguë 
Nandita Noronha, IRIC, Medecine
Project: Validation of the HOX-MEIS1-PBX oncogenic complex as a bona fide therapeutic target in primary human leukemias
Pierre Priam, IRIC, Chromatin Structure and Stem Cell Biology
Project: Role of SMARCD2, SWI/SNF subunit, in leukemia maintenance
Christine Sawchyn, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
Project: Characterization of the KDM4A histone demethylase in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia
Aditi Sood, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
Project: Optimizing the T cell repertoire for T-cell therapy for leukemia
Cole Foundation New Investigator Program
Alexandre Orthwein, Lady Davis Institute 
Project: Genomic instability and B-cell malignancies: Insight into DNA double-strand break pathways

McGill Faculty of Medicine:

Faculté de médecine de l’Université de Montréal:

INRSInstitut Armand-Frappier:

Cole Foundation:


Media contacts:

Jason Clement

Communications Officer

McGill University

514 398-5909

Hélène Mercier

Press Officer

Université de Montréal

514 343-7593
Nadine Blackburn

Director of Communications

INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

418 654-3814

John Moran


Cole Foundation

819 563-1716

May 12, 2016