Research Highlights

COVID-19: Opening Up the Data

As a high performance computation specialist, Quirion essentially programs really big computers. He connects the super-computational capabilities of Calcul Québec and the Compute Canada Federation, the viral samples coming from test clinics and genomic labs, and the phylogenetic scientists who make coronavirus family trees.

Pierre-Olivier Quirion is the switchboard operator at the centre of a consortium working to track COVID-19 strains in Quebec. This Rube-Golberg-like operation starts when a sample is swabbed from inside your nose and ends when the government releases its latest recommendations. Quirion was also instrumental in making the data accessible to the general public as...

Lire la suite

Jamming the Lock to Close the Door on COVID-19

Professor Nicolas Moitessier describes his task as “finding a key that fits the lock,” except he wants to block the keyhole. His McGill chemistry lab is now a vital cog in the wheel in the global effort to develop a drug against the novel coronavirus known as SARS-COV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

Professor Nicolas Moitessier describes his task as “finding a key that fits the lock,” except he wants to block the keyhole. His McGill chemistry lab is now a vital cog in the wheel in the global effort to develop a drug against the novel coronavirus known as SARS-COV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Moitessier is...

Lire la suite

Dissecting Genetic Variability in the COVID-19 Virus

Julie Hussin wasn’t thinking about taking on COVID-19 when she started looking at the data coming out of affected countries back in January. But this assistant professor of bioinformatics at the University of Montreal and Montreal Heart Institute couldn’t resist feeding her computers the data coming out on the virus’s genome as it crept its way across the globe.

Hussin’s group uses advanced research computing to answer biological questions. These days, they are looking for mutations in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease called COVID-19. “We took all the sequences showing up every week and looked at how they mutated from one generation to the next and from one country to another,” says...

Lire la suite

Resources for researchers and clinicians fighting COVID-19 in Canada

In conversation with Dr.Guillaume Bourque

Can you tell us more about the COVID-19 Resources platform and how it came about? I was contacted by a colleague asking whether I could help them build an online tool to find and share reagents needed for COVID-19 research projects. Before building it, I decided to ask on Twitter if anybody was already working...

Lire la suite

Creating a data base of musical scores

Ichiro Fujinaga
Chair of the Music Technology Area of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University

Ichiro Fujinaga likens his life’s work and goal to something he nicknames “Google Scores.”. Like Google Books, his project aims to establish a huge database of musical scores that will be freely accessible to anyone who uses the search engine. “What I’ve been working on for the last 30 years is optical music recognition,” says...

Lire la suite

Silence, we’re flying!

 Reducing noise:  a public health issue When Professor Stéphane Moreau takes a plane, he’s not like the other passengers. On board, he becomes alert to all of the noises around him. It’s a natural reflex for the University of Sherbrooke Research Chair in Aeroacoustics who has chosen to make the noise produced by these flying...

Lire la suite

The Search for New Catalysts: at the Heart of Green Chemistry

Marc-André Légaré
Département de chimie, Faculté des sciences et de génie, Université Laval

Marc-André Légaré, who is finishing a Ph.D in chemistry at Université Laval, was one of the recipients of the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles awards in October 2015. He received the award for an article published in the prestigious American publication Science regarding his research on metal-less catalysts. Complex molecular modelling computations are...

Lire la suite

Brain Mapping

Maxime Descoteaux
Département d'informatique, Faculté des sciences, université Sherbrooke

With Maxime Descoteaux, white matter takes on the colors of the rainbow and the brain becomes a sophisticated tangle of nerve fibers. He is the image wizard who reads in the diffusion of water to reveal the paths of our intellect, the mathematician who puts the pedal to the floor on the brain’s highways. Why...

Lire la suite

Filtering the Stars Signals

Victoria Kaspi looks at the stars, especially pulsars, which have densities far higher than any other stars. She wants to understand how such density affects matter and space-time, the fundamental principles of physics. What Are Pulsars? When a supergiant star has exhausted its nuclear fuel, there is no longer enough gas pressure produced to counter...

Lire la suite

Molecular dynamics to fight infection

Patrick Lagüe
Department of biochemistry, microbiology and bio-informatic, University Laval

Mode of action of the protein truncated hemoglobin N in the infection process of tuberculosis bacteria   Tuberculosis infects one-third of the world’s population. In the majority of the people infected, the immune system succeed to stop the progression of the disease by producing NO and reducing the concentration of O2 in the infected lesion....

Lire la suite