Who We Are
Trainees and Fellows
The Meakins serves as an important training ground for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (MD & PhD)
Trainees are supported by the Research Associates, Research Assistants, Technicians and our Administrative Team
Our current director is Dr. Basil J Petrof. Learn more about our current and past directors
The Meakins comprises the largest group of pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine researchers at McGill University and the RI-MUHC
What We Research
Our research is focused around five main pulmonary research themes :
Chronic Airways Disease • Lung Injury and Infection • Neuromuscular Dysfunction in Respiratory Diseases • Sleep-disordered Breathing • Lung Cancer
Meakins investigators work closely with clinical researchers within McGill University and MUHC hospital units, including :
Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit (RECRU)
Respiratory Division at McGill University, Department of Medicine
Department of Critical Care Medicine at McGill University
Our Faculty and Associate Members
The core Faculty Members and Associate Members of the Meakins bring together a broad array of complementary skills and expertise. The Meakins faculty are an approximately equal mix of physician-scientists and PhDs with diverse scientific backgrounds spanning physiology, microbiology & immunology, genetics, artificial intelligence & computational biology, biochemistry, pathology, cellular & molecular biology, bioengineering, and neurobiology.
As a result, our members hold primary appointments and cross-appointments in several departments. These include Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatrics, Physiology, Genetics, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology, and Pharmacology. The Meakins faculty form the largest component of the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program (RESP) of the RI-MUHC, which is funded through the MUHC and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.
History of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories
The Meakins-Christie Laboratories opened officially in August 1972. Unofficially, it was in operation long before then in the tightly-knit group of scientists, clinicians and academics who came together at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This institution evolved from the join cardiopulmonary laboratory into a leading respiratory research centre that welcomed academic freedom, originality and creativity.
Peter Macklem and gang ~1978 at the old Meakins-Christie Laboratories on University Street. Thanks to Brian Berube for identifying some of the people in this photograph. Top row L to R: Brian Murphy, Bob Thompson, Herberto Ghezzo, Malcolm King, Luc Delanois, Robert Boileau, Francois Plante, Jose Jardim, Charis Roussos, Rose Divalero, Michael Habib, Lionel Bartlet, Richard Martin. Bottom row L to R: Ditza Gross, Suzanne Kelly, Sheila Moriarty, Carmen Lisboa, Carol Cohen, Naima Viires.
Lying on floor: Peter Macklem.
HISTORY OF THE MEAKINS-CHRISTIE LABORATORIES
Published in Physiological Basis of Respiratory Disease, Q Hamid, J Shannon, and JG Martin, eds, BC Decker Inc, Hamilton, Ontario, 2005. “The first quarter of the twentieth century marks the beginning of the history of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories for Respiratory Research.”
RESPIRATORY MEDICINE AND RESEARCH AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Published in Canadian Respiratory Journal, Vol 22, No 1, January/February 2015.
COLLAPSE AND EXPAND : ARCHITECTURE AND TUBERCULOSIS THERAPY IN MONTREAL, 1909, 1933, 1954
Published in Society for the History of Technology, Vol 9, October, 2008.
History of our Logo
John Hutchinson (1811-1861) was a surgeon who popularized the spirometer or “breath-meter” in 1846. The spirometer measures lung, or vital, capacity (i.e. the capacity to live). The device was initially described as a “breathing machine” for measuring lung volume and an “inspirator” for measuring power. Scientific papers described the spirometer as an easy and precise way to evaluate respiratory functions in humans with a goal of detecting disease. Mr. Hutchinson evaluated over 2,000 people with his spirometer and developed detailed illustrations and diagrams of his apparatus. He conducted extensive research and evaluations and was described as a pioneer in the investigation of pulmonary physiology and pathology. Diagram 26 from his 1846 paper shows Mr. Hutchinson’s silhouette to illustrate how the body must be positioned before breathing into the spirometer. This diagram inspired the original Meakins-Christie Laboratories logo (1972-2022).
PJ Bishop. A bibliography of John Hutchinson. Med Hist. 1977 Oct; 21(4): 384–396.
EA Spriggs, B Gandevia, PJ Bishop. Abstract: John Hutchinson (1811-1861) Inventor of the Spirometer. Proc R Soc Med. 1976 Jun; 69(6): 450.
TL Petty. John Hutchinson’s mysterious machine revisited. Chest. 2002 May;121(5 Suppl):219S-223S.
A Kouri, R Dandurand, et al., Exploring the 175-yera history of spirometry and the vital lessons it can teach us today. Eur Respir Rev 2021; 30: 210081