About us

All our biobanks are registered at the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet), a pan-Canadian biobanking consortium. JGH Central, Breast Cancer, and Gynecologic Cancer biobanks are also certified by the organization. This certification is a proof that the biobanks meet the standards set by the CTRnet, that we stay up to date with the latest guidelines through their educational program and that our samples are of high quality and reproducibility.

Here are additional descriptions of our biobanks:

JGH Biobank

Disease type

Director

Coordinator(s)

Central Biobank

Gastro intestinal cancer
Head and Neck cancer
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Alan Spatz

Reem Merza

Breast Cancer Biobank

Breast cancer

Mark Basik

Josiane Lafleur
Adriana Aguilar
Urszula Krzemien

Gynecologic Cancer Biobank

Gynecologic cancer

Walter Gotlieb

Amber Yasmeen

Angela Tatar

Lymphoma Biobank (Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec – lymphoma axis)

Lymphoma

Nathalie Johnson

Liliana Stoica

Mher Aghajanyan

Montreal Immune Related Adverse Events (MIRAE) Biobank

Various cancers for which immunotherapy is indicated

Marie Hudson

Christel Dias

McGill Clinical Genomics (McG) Biobank

Type 2 diabetes
Coronary heart diseases
Breast cancer
COVID-19

Brent Richards 

Central Biobank

Cancer research has had an important impact on our understanding of the disease resulting in better treatment options, better outcomes, and better quality of life for patients. However, we still have a long way to go. We need to better understand how cancers begin, what causes them, how they spread, how best to treat them, the long-term effects of treatments, and resistance to treatments. To conduct such research, investigators need to study cancer cells that are derived from patients affected with these diseases. These cancer cells are found in the tumour, but may also be found in circulation in the patient’s blood or saliva. Often, researchers also need a source of normal cells from healthy tissue against which to compare the abnormal cancer cells.

The JGH Central Biobank was created to support fundamental and clinical cancer research within the Jewish General Hospital by archiving cancer specimens and their associated normal tissue, blood samples, and clinical data according to strict guidelines.

Breast Cancer Biobank

The Breast biobank contains blood and tissue samples from various breast cancer sub-types. More than 1000 patients have contributed their samples to our Breast biobank and the impact of the use of these samples is already seen at different levels. These samples are being used to investigate novel drug treatments, novel biomarkers to predict tumor response to various chemotherapies and to understand drug resistance. Novel research models have been developed such as patient derived xenografts, cell lines and organoids.  The contribution of your biological sample is important for scientists as it provides the material necessary to further understand breast cancer and to develop new treatments. In the near future, it may be possible that this research will result in the development of new clinical tools, such as early detection tests and new therapies.

Gynecologic Cancer Biobank

The Gynecologic Cancer (GC) Biobank at the Lady Davis Institute/Jewish General Hospital is a CTRNet certified specimen repository, which was initiated in 2003, and is led by Dr W. Gotlieb (principal investigator) and the Biobank coordinator (Dr. A. Yasmeen), following strict compliance with confidentiality, safety and all regulatory standards. The GC Biobank, under the JGH umbrella protocol, provides high-quality human tissues, blood and other biospecimens with related clinical information that are prospectively collected, processed, and stored for future research. GC biobank researchers have been involved in developing primary cell lines and xenografts, derived from patient samples. These tools as research models have been utilized in the  laboratory to analyze gene expression profiles, and evaluate the effect of cytotoxics, including IGF-IR kinase, PI3K, PARP and PARG inhibitors and to investigate novel treatment strategies for targeting specific types of tumors.

Lymphoma Biobank (Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec (LCBQ) – lymphoma axis)

Numerous researchers are investigating cancers of the blood to better understand what causes them in the hope that this research will help improve the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers. To conduct their research projects, researchers need blood, bone marrow and lymph node cells from humans with leukemia and other blood cancers and so the Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec (LCBQ) was created to support fundamental and clinical blood cancer research. Different hematological cancers are represented in the bank, including lymphomas, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple myelomas. The bank also includes normal bone marrow and tonsils to be used as normal controls for research.

The LCBQ is located at two sites. The storage of leukemia/myeloma cells is located within the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) research centre and directed by Dr Josée Hébert. The storage of lymphoma cells/tissue is located within the Jewish General Hospital research centre and directed by Dr. Nathalie Johnson.

Montreal Immune Related Adverse Events (MIRAE) Biobank

The purpose of the MIRAE Biobank is to facilitate future research on cancer immunotherapies and traditional autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. Cancer immunotherapy refers to various treatments that enhance the power of human immune cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells. These treatments can lead to remarkable cancer remissions, but their use is sometimes limited by significant autoimmune toxicities. The goal of the study is to answer questions such as why some patients taking a cancer immunotherapy develop immune side effects while others do not, and what are the immune mechanisms responsible for these side effects during treatment. Answering these questions will lead to the development of more personalized treatment for patients with cancer requiring immunotherapy in the future. By comparing patients with immune side effects from immunotherapy with patients with traditional autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, we also seek to gain novel insights into naturally occurring autoimmune diseases.

McGill Clinical Genomics (McG) Biobank

A key strategic priority for the Jewish General hospital is the development and rollout of genomics for our hospital participants and across the CIUSSS – ‘the future of our organization (Dr Rosenberg CEO)’. This is within the wider context of a major digital transformation at the Jewish General hospital that will help provide 21st century digital infrastructure for participants, healthcare professionals and hospital administrators, improving outcomes for participants and the wider healthcare system.
 
The purpose of the McGill Clinical Genomics program (‘McG’) (www.McGillClinGen.ca) is to respond to this ambition with a robust clinical research program to develop a biobank repository linked to phenotypic data derived from questionnaires and the hospital electronic medical record (EMR) system (and other hospital clinic data repositories e.g. imaging), through an explicit opt-in model.  
 
The McG is designed to deliver a cutting-edge research resource for the Jewish General hospital, CIUSSS and wider public benefit that will advance our understanding of common complex and rare diseases and infectious disease risks to human health.  
 
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which presents a major global health threat, the McG program is seeking to urgently identify interventions to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand, improve clinical care at the Jewish General Hospital, understand risk factors for infection severity and provide the opportunity to identify participants for subsequent intervention studies. (Such intervention studies will require separate REB approval).
 
Recruitment for the McG program is open to patients tested for COVID19 (which includes individuals who tested positive and those who tested negative), however, as the epidemic eventually becomes less of an urgent challenge, we will recruit widely.
 
The McG contribution to this urgent challenge is part of a longer-term strategic vision (see www.McGillClinGen.ca) to aggregate collections of biomaterial and data from participants with and without diseases. Dr. Richards, an endocrinologist at the Lady Davis Institute is the custodian of the infrastructure necessary for the operation of the McGill Clinical Genomics (McG) Biobank at the Jewish General Hospital.

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