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Laurent Tessier

Laurent is the muse and inspiration behind the Projet Laurent. He is a boy with an overflowing energy who loves sports and especially extreme sports! He enjoys downhill skiing, sailing and surfing. At the age of 10 Laurent was diagnosed with liver cancer. He underwent long and very aggressive chemotherapy followed by a liver transplant. For him, his cat Mini-Zoro and Sushi, his Border Collie dog are very important family members. Laurent is involved in fundraising campaigns for research (Fondation Ste-Justine and Charles Bruneau) and recently in a project that is very close to his heart: Projet Laurent!

Helene Tessier

Hélène, DVM graduated from the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire (FMV) of Université Montréal in 1995. She has been practicing in the field of pets since graduating from the faculty. Three years later, she became co-owner of a veterinary clinic that she kept for almost 20 years, until her youngest son's illness. Diagnosed with liver cancer, followed by a transplant, Dr. Tessier remained at her son's bedside for a few years. When life returned to normal, she started a veterinarian mobile service. This will give her greater flexibility in her schedule, while continuing to practice veterinary medicine, which she missed during this period of downtime.

Sylvain Bedard

Sylvain first heard of the word transplant in 1980 when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that had taken the life of his 18-year-old sister. Sylvain fought for 20 years before finally obtaining the gift of life. Involved with the transplant community (CEPPP) and patient-partner of the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP), Sylvain shares his life with Charlie, his dog who has been providing him with motivation and comfort for many years.

Michael Carrier

Michel, DVM, IPSAV, MSc graduated from the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire (FMV) of the Université de Montréal in 1982. Dr. Carrier is now a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the FMV where he has been teaching veterinary ophthalmology since 1989. Involved dynamically in the administrative side of his faculty, he was head of the pet hospital for 10 years, vice-dean of clinical affairs for 4 years and, most recently, dean of the faculty for 8 years. Convinced for a long time of the positive contribution of the human-animal bond, it only took a call from his colleague Hélène Tessier for the idea of the Projet Laurent to be born!

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Melanie Dieude

Mélanie, PhD is an immunologist, adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal, researcher at the Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), and Director of Research Operations of Medical Affairs and Innovation at Héma-Québec. Dr. Dieudé's research aims at revealing the impact of 1) immunosuppression and 2) tissue injury derived autoimmune responses of importance in Solid Organ Transplant rejection, Graft vs Host Disease and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. 

Christopher Fernandez Prada

Christopher, DVM, MSc, PhD is a molecular parasitology researcher devoted to tackling zoonotic parasites. Dr. Fernandez-Prada holds an assistant professor position at Université de Montréal - Veterinary College. He is adjunct professor at McGill University, and Director of the Parasitology Diagnostic Lab of University of Montreal. His research is focused in the discovery of drug-resistance mechanisms, and the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines.

Michel Pepin

Michel, DVM is a veterinarian, president of the Fédération des associations francophones de vétérinaires pour animaux de compagnie ( and communications officer for the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec en pratique des petits animaux ( He is also editor of Le Rapporteur magazine.

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Isabelle Dore

Isabelle, PhD is a professor at the School of Kinesiology and Human Kinetics in the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal and a researcher at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM). Her research focuses on physical activity as a strategy to promote mental health and reduce the risk of anxiety and depressive disorders and aims to understand the mechanisms that may explain the benefits of physical activity on these mental health indicators.

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Stephanie Lariviere

Stéphanie has a background in Biotechnology from Cégep de St-Hyacinthe. She is a basic research coordinator in transplantation at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) as well as data manager and social media specialist for the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP). Always accompanied by her cat, Stéphanie is in charge of the coordination of the COVID-19 sub-study of the Projet Laurent.

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Aida Minguez

Aïda is a scientific graphic designer. After a BSc in Environmental Sciences, an MSc in Geological Risks, and a PhD in Geomorphology through GIS and Remote Sensing, She reoriented her career towards science outreach, scientific graphic design and research support. She is very much enjoying working at the Université de Montréal veterinary faculty, learning about parasites, molecular biology and cows. "When I'm not drawing bedbugs or making Projet Laurent website, I love to read and to knit — but no, I'm not that old!"

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Chantal Bemeur

Chantal, Dt.P., Ph.D., is an associate professor and director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Nutrition at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal and co-director of the HepatoNeuro laboratory at the CRCHUM. She is a specialist in nutrition related to liver disease and its many complications. A dietitian/nutritionist by training, her research activities are generally basic and clinical in nature. As an expert member of the International Society on Hepatic Encephalopathy and Nitrogen Metabolism, she has participated in the development of guidelines for nutrition and liver disease. She is also part of a team of Canadian experts who developed an evidence-based nutrition education guide in collaboration with people with chronic liver disease and their caregivers in Alberta.

Francis Levesque

Francis, PhD is an anthropologist, associate professor at the School of Native Studies of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), a regular member of the Centre interuniversitaire d'études et de recherches autochtones (CIERA) and director of the Native Studies module at UQAT. His research focuses on the relationship between humans and animals in the Canadian Arctic, more specifically on the relationship between dogs and Inuit. He is interested in the benefits and risks associated with having dogs, as well as Inuit knowledge and changes in human-dog relationships following sedentarization.

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Marion Desmarchelier

Marion, DMV, MSc, is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Université de Montréal. A graduate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, she has a lifelong interest in all animal species and their interactions with humans. Her research interests include chronic stress, from dogs to narwhals to therapeutic horse riding. She brings her expertise in animal welfare and canine training to the Projet Laurent team.


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Simon Gagnon

Simon is a Master's candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Fernandez-Prada at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Université de Montréal. After completing his bachelor's degree in microbiology and immunology at UdeM, he did two internships in the laboratory of his director on Lyme disease, where he discovered parasitology and his interest in this subject. Thrilled to be able to combine his passion for animals and his desire to help people, Projet Laurent is for him a good way to contribute to research on immunosuppression.

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Manila Sophasath

Manila, Dt.P., Ph.D. (cand.), is a nutritionist and doctoral candidate in nutrition at the CHUM Research Center. Under the supervision of Dr. Chantal Bémeur, her research interests focus on nutrition education and intervention for patients with chronic diseases, specifically cirrhosis, and also extend to predictors of dietary changes in immunosuppressed patients.

Special mention to the students who contributed to the content of the Zoonoses and Immunodeficiencies sections: Mira Hajjar (UdeM), Victoria Wagner (UdeM), Alexis Gendron (UdeM), Sandrine Juillard (UdeM), Alexandre Brodeur (UdeS and UdeM), Marie-Hélène Normand (UdeM), Simon Gagnon (UdeM), Océanne Mérette (UdeM) and William Gaudreault-Fortin (UdeS).


Thank you to our alumni for their contributions: Gabrielle Cadotte (UdeM), Victoria Wagner (UdeM)


* The website was created by Aïda Minguez-Menendez, scientific graphic designer and illustrator.

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