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Héloise Cardinal, MD

Award: KRESCENT Infrastructure Award
Institution: University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM)
Year: 2014-2015

Dr. Héloise Cardinal is a transplant nephrologist and independent investigator at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM). After finishing her residency in nephrology at the Université de Montréal, Dr. Cardinal completed a master’s and Ph.D. in epidemiology at McGill University, where she developed an expertise in the characterization of biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis and follow-up of clinical conditions that she eventually translated to the transplantation setting.

When acute rejection occurs after a kidney transplant a biopsy is required to confirm whether the graft vessels were damaged. Previous studies have shown that particles and molecules (membrane vesicles, LG3) released by endothelial cells can fuel the development of antibodies (anti-LG3) and accelerate the damage. By measuring levels of membrane vesicles, LG3 and anti-LG3 in the blood of patients pre- and post-transplant, Dr. Cardinal’s research aims to determine whether these biomarkers can be used to evaluate damage to the graft vessels, predict the survival of the kidney graft, and help identify transplant candidates who may be at risk of acute rejection.