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Microbiome and Disease Tolerance Centre

Project Information

The Microbiome and Disease Tolerance Centre (MDTC) at McGill is an advanced research and education centre working in the area of human health and how the microbes normally present in our bodies, the so called commensal and long term low pathogenic microbes, can determine our immune health status and prevent or cause the development of chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.  MDTC at McGill University is a research group that promotes and carries out advanced research and education on fundamental mechanisms that govern the interactions between microbes and the healthy human body.  The MDTC will explore how these interactions maintain human health and how they help us to avoid commonly observed diseases.

This proposal is driven by a group of 25 investigators from 3 universities (McGill, Montréal, McMaster), based on 3 Faculties at McGill (Medicine, Science and Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and 5 departments (Microbiology and Immunology, Medicine, Paediatrics, Human Genetics, Institute of Parasitology), to synergize their own internationally renowned research programs into an innovative health research opportunity for McGill, the province of Quebec, Canada and beyond.  

MDTC will become a global leader in research and education in the area of microbial – immune interactions providing answers to questions regarding our health such as: what makes microbes helpful or harmful? How can microbes in our bodies make us healthy or sick? How can we promote healthy immunity? And how can we prevent inflammatory and immune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or infections?  

Project Date: 
2012-01-01 - 2022-11-02
Type of Project: 
Research Area: 
Health Research



McGill University Project Leader Information

Project Leader: 

Joaquin Madrenas

Primary Position

Faculty of Medicine
Microbiology & Immunology
Other Position/Appointment: 
Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University. Canada Research Chair in Human Immunology
Research Interests: 
Dr. Madrenas has made seminal contributions to Science as illustrated by his publications in top journals (Science, Nature Medicine, Immunity, Journal of Experimental Medicine, The Lancet, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA). Among his discoveries are the different patterns of signalling through the T cell antigen receptor, the mechanisms of signalling by CTLA-4, and the signals delivered to T cells by bacterial superantigens. For his research, he has received numerous awards including a Canada Foundation for Innovation Researcher Award, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award, a Canada Research Chair, an Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award, a Canadian Who’s Who, The John B. Dossetor Mission Award in Research from The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the UWO Dean’s Award of Excellence in Research and UWO Faculty Scholar Award. In 2011, Dr. Madrenas was inducted to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Joaquín (Quim) Madrenas is Full Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University.  Previously, he was professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Medicine and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Immunobiology at The University of Western Ontario (UWO), and Head of Immunology at Robarts Research Institute.

Dr. Madrenas received an M.D. degree at the University of Barcelona, specialized in Nephrology and Transplantation at the University Autonoma of Barcelona, and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Immunology under Dr. Phillip Halloran, at the University of Alberta.  He was a visiting associate with Dr. Ronald Germain at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD, USA), before coming back to Canada. He was the founding Director of the FOCIS Centre for Clinical Immunology and Immunotherapeutics in London, ON, the first FOCIS Centre of Excellence in Canada.

Principal Investigator