Life Sciences
Research and infrastructure

Strongly Committed Key Players

Sherbrooke’s Life Sciences key sector is divided into several specialties. Research into these special fields is abundant and has been reliably subsidized for many years.  Sherbrooke’s Life Sciences infrastructure stands out because of its renowned research centres, such as the Research Centre on Aging (CDRV), and by the concentration of its resources.

Sherbrooke Science Park set a good example by bringing together a large number of research, education and industry leaders. Found wherein are the Health Campus of Université de Sherbrooke and its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUSThe Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre), the Centre de recherche du CHUS (CHUS Research Centre), the Centre d’imagerie moléculaire de Sherbrooke (CIMSMolecular Imaging Centre), the multinational company Charles River and thePavillon de recherche appliquée sur le cancer (PRAC – Applied Cancer Research Building). The proximity of these industry leaders glowingly optimizes results leading to noteworthy discoveries and greater international recognition.

Research Specialties



With the objective of improving maternal and infant health, this area attracts researchers with different interests, biomedical and psychosocial. Clinical research on various pediatric and obstetric subjects is very active. The core of these research areas rests on maternal and fetal health, perinatal inflammation and rare hereditary diseases.


Inflammation and pain

Inflammatory and immunity diseases are a major medical challenge in Sherbrooke as elsewhere. More precisely, researchers are trying to understand cellular invasion mechanisms in arthritis and cancer, the auto-immune mechanism in diabetes and the normal and deficient functioning of the immunity system. Fundamental and clinical research regarding pain is just as active, with the aim of better alleviating pain in patients.


Cancer: biology, prognostic and diagnostic

This specialty in full expansion overflows with innovative projects: the construction of the Pavillon de la recherche appliquée en cancer (PRAC – Applied Cancer Research Building); the Université de Sherbrooke’s functional genomics laboratory (LGFUS); the National Bank Chair for research into brain cancer are only a few examples… Research into brain cancer and ovarian cancer are telling examples of the wealth of activity in this sector in Sherbrooke. Expertise from many sources is leveraged to study the different aspects of the development and progression of cancer in order to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Research Overview


Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Complications

Among other aspects, research focuses upon cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and endocrinology.  In this sector, as in all others, fundamental and clinical researches are done in close collaboration, exploring the following techniques: molecular biology, cellular biology, biochemistry, modelling, imaging and epidemiology.  Several researchers focus on the physiopathology of diabetes or determinants of cardiovascular diseases, others develop evaluative research projects focused on improving health care systems, especially in regards to obesity (prevention, treatment, treatment protocols).

Research Overview



The high level of development of this specialty in Sherbrooke stems from two factors: the existing close collaboration between industry and the University Pole and the expertise of organizations whose purpose is to market the results of research work. Among major strengths that Sherbrooke can rely on in this area, there are: the University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS), the Research Centre on Aging (CDRV) and the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT).

Sherbrooke’s Research Centre on Aging (CDRV) is one of the largest expertise centres of its kind.  Hosted by the University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS), CDRV relies on interdisciplinarity, bringing together researchers from 5 faculties and more than 15 Université de Sherbrooke departments. In addition, several research chairs are devoted to this specialty in order to prevent, delay or palliate the loss of autonomy of aging persons.

Research Overview


Health – populations, organization and practices

Performed in a wide range of expertise areas, research work in this field is aimed, among other things, at improving patient health, practices, as well as collaboration between professionals, primary health organizations and decision makers.


Medical Imaging 

Research into medical imaging in Sherbrooke relies on major infrastructures and leading edge expertise leading to breakthrough results. The Centre d’imagerie moléculaire de Sherbrooke (CIMSMolecular Imaging Centre), integrated to the Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel (CRCELBClinical Research Centre), coordinates a research and development program that covers all aspects of PET scanning, a technology developed in Sherbrooke, from the production of radioisotopes to the use of new pharmaceutical agents for clinical diagnostic in humans, including their radiochemical synthesis and validation upon a preclinical model. The new 24 MeV cyclotron, installed in January 2012, has been launched to produce technetium 99m.

Geomatics, as an adjunct in the health sector used as a spatial and temporal analysis tool, is still very rarely used.  Sherbrooke researchers are moving in that direction and believe that this tool has great potential in the area of non-infectious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.  Moreover, cognition changes associated with aging are currently the focus of a research project in collaboration with the Research Centre on Aging (CDRV).

Research Overview


RNA Biology

The RNA research sector in Sherbrooke is going full speed ahead, notably with the Laboratoire de génomique fonctionnelle de l’Université de Sherbooke (LGFUSFunctional Genomics Laboratory) and its RNomique platform. This project is part of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) of Canada. The 4 Canada Research Chairs and RiboClub, an international RNA research group, add to the major assets that benefit Sherbrooke.

Numerous research projects take place in genomics, biochemistry and cellular biology, supported by leading edge equipment. Discovery of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers is among the research objectives of Sherbrooke experts.

Research Overview



This specialty is at the crossroads of biomedical sciences and feeds clinical research and pharmaceutical sciences. The Institut de pharmacologie de Sherbrooke (IPSSherbrooke Pharmacology Institute) is a major asset for the Sherbrooke region. Its multidisciplinary approach brings together researchers, students from 3 faculties (Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and Health Sciences), scientists and businesses stemming from this research.  Among other things, work is undertaken to discover new molecules with diagnostic or therapeutic potential for cardiovascular, respiratory and inflammatory diseases or to highlight mechanisms that play a key role in the development of pathology related to cancer and infections.

Research Overview


 Other networks, centres and research groups in Life Sciences