Our team

Principal investigators

Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret, MD, PhD

Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret is an endocrinologist at the  Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Director of the Diabetes Clinic and the Metabolic Diseases Research Unit at the IRCM and professor at the Université de Montréal . The primary focus of its type 1 diabetes research program is to reduce the frequency and consequences of hypoglycemia: 1) Test different strategies to prevent exercise-induced hypoglycemia; 2) Test the effectiveness of the external artificial pancreas to control blood glucose; 3) Study the consequences of hypoglycemia on the heart; 4) Evaluate whether hypoglycemia treatment recommendations should be reviewed; 5) Establish a registry of individuals with type 1 diabetes in Quebec and optimize the use of new technologies and therapies to prevent hypoglycemia. His team is also studying ways to increase the duration of the insulin pump catheter. The research group he directs has published more than 300 papers, presented data at over 100 conferences, and supervised 45 graduate students. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Research Award from the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ).

Anne-Sophie Brazeau, RD, PhD

Anne-Sophie Brazeau is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Dietetic Education and Practice in the School of Human Nutrition in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University. She is a registered dietitian and a member of the Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec (OPDQ) where she is involved in several committees, including the revision of the Clinical Nutrition Textbook. Her research program focuses on strategies to improve health behaviours of individuals with type 1 diabetes to optimize their control of the disease and its complications but also on prevention of type 2 diabetes in at risk populations through health behaviors changes. She was awarded the Prix Engagement 2017 – Lussier Dale Parizeau by l’OPDQ.

André Carpentier, MD

André Carpentier is a physician at the Sherbrooke University Hospital Center (CHUS), Director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Complications Research Axis at the CHUS Research Center and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke, Québec. His translational research program aims to promote better management of diabetes and lipid disorders through molecular imaging innovations developed within his laboratory. Dr. Carpentier has published more than 300 abstracts and peer-reviewed papers and 130 peer-reviewed publications. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards and was recently elected a Member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Kaberi Dasgupta, MD, M. Sc.

Kaberi Dasgupta is the Director of the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She is a physician scientist who leads a large research program addressing behavioural and social determinants of diabetes prevention and management. She headed the SMARTER trial which demonstrated that physician-delivered step count prescriptions can increase steps and reduce A1C in type 2 diabetes. This was incorporated into the 2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines. Her studies have demonstrated that gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension have individual and additive risks for diabetes not only in mothers but also in fathers. She has conducted novel studies in family based diabetes prevention. She has examined stigma among youth in type 1 diabetes and co-built a virtual network for peer support. Her studies are funded by the CIHR, Diabetes Canada, the Lawson Foundation, the Medavie Foundation, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and was the recipient of the Jacques de Champlain award from the Société québécoise d’hypertension artérielle in 2012 and the Preventive Cardiology Award of Excellence from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Quebec in 2013. She has held the CIHR New Investigator Award and was an FRQS Senior Clinician Scientist.

Claudia Gagnon, MD

Claudia Gagnon is an endocrinologist at the University Hospital of Laval University (CHU de Québec), researcher at the Research Center of the CHU de Québec and at the Research Center of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University. Dr. Gagnon is also a research associate at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University. Her work focuses on the impact of obesity, diabetes, and other endocrine disorders (and their treatments) on bone health. Dr. Gagnon has received several awards for her research, including the 2017  Research Award of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ), a 2015 Young Researcher Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, and an award at the International Symposium on Nutritional Aspects of Osteoporosis, in 2015.

Paul C. Hébert, MD

Paul C. Hébert is Chief Medical Officer at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Senior Scientist at the CHUM Research Center, and Full Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal . He has published more than 300 articles and editorials, obtained more than $ 63 million in research funding, trained many students, and participated in Pan-Canadian Peer Review Panels (including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement), in addition to receiving numerous awards and honors. He is the recipient of the Chair of Transfusion Medicine and is the Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Research Group. He was a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in June 2010

Mélanie Henderson, MD, PhD

Mélanie Henderson is a pediatric endocrinologist – researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine holding a doctorate in epidemiology from McGill University. Her research interests focus on metabolic health, cardiovascular disease and the etiology of childhood obesity, and their prevention. She is particularly interested in the influence of lifestyle habits (physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, diet, sleep) on metabolic health, in various populations, including healthy children, as well as those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). She is also co-director of the CIRCUIT center at CHU Sainte-Justine (Pediatric Center for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation), which proposes innovative strategies for the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular diseases in children.

Laurent Legault, MD

Laurent Legault is an Assistant Professor specializing in endocrinology in the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University and is head of the Diabetes Clinic at Montreal Children Hospital. Dr. Legault is recognized in Canada for his clinical work on children with type 1 diabetes and his pioneering role in the use of insulin pumps in Quebec. He was the first medical director of the Montreal Children’s hospital’s insulin pump centre, a freestanding centre dedicated to the teaching of families and management of children on insulin pump therapy. He was one of the leaders of a government-mandated pilot project on the implementation of a provincial wide government sponsored pediatric insulin pump program. Dr. Legault has been involved in multicenter trials looking at prevention of type 1 diabetes and exercise-based interventions in the field of pediatric obesity and has been involved in the development of an artificial pancreas.

Meranda Nakhla, MD, M.Sc.

Dr. Meranda Nakhla is a Pediatric Endocrinologist, McGill University Assistant Professor and Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRQS) Clinician Scientist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre. She is a health services researcher whose research focuses on healthcare access and use in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. She has expertise in health outcomes using health administrative data and the transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care. The results of her studies aim to identify the healthcare needs of children and youth with diabetes and ultimately help to inform how best to deliver diabetes care, including transition care for emerging adults. She is the recipient of FRQS Chercheur-Boursier Clinicien junior awards and operating grants from FRQS, Diabetes Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Bruce Perkins, MD, MPH

Bruce A Perkins is Professor, Endocrinologist and Diabetes Complications Clinician-Scientist at the University of Toronto appointed to the Faculty of Medicine and to the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation. He holds the Sam and Judy Pencer Family Chair in Diabetes Clinical Research. His research work focuses on early biomarkers of diabetes complications, and interventions for prevention of complications, including artificial pancreas technologies and adjunctive-to-insulin therapies. In 2015, he was awarded the Canadian Diabetes Association/CIHR Young Scientist Award for his research. Among other projects funded by the NIH, JDRF, and Diabetes Canada, he leads an Innovations in type 1 Diabetes group within Diabetes Action Canada, a national patient-oriented research strategy.

Cynthia Turcotte, PhD

Cynthia Turcotte holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology specializing in Childhood and Adolescence as well as a Research-Intervention Doctorate specializing in health psychology. From 2007 to 2015, she was a hospital psychologist for adults with chronic physical illnesses. As part of her duties, she and a multidisciplinary team (nutritionist, doctor, nurse, pharmacist) gave group classes to people with diabetes who addressed psychological adjustment to physical illness. She is also a speaker and author. Among other things, she has collaborated on the writing of publications on topics such as diabetes and autism spectrum disorders. Over the years, she has given several lectures on various topics, including psychological adaptation to chronic physical illness and the psychology of children and adolescents.



Aude Bandini

Aude was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1991. She teaches at the Université de Montréal . With the team of researchers and patients of the BETTER project, she would like to help people living with type 1 diabetes find simple, effective, safe ways to avoid and overcome hypoglycemia.



Alec Courchesne

Alec has had type 1 diabetes since 2011. He is a recent graduate in science and technology high school education. He is passionate about camping and the outdoors. Alec wishes to take part in the BETTER project to facilitate the spread of information and advice on type 1 diabetes, to develop a sense of community and to ensure that diabetes is not considered a limit to the practice of an activity.


Emily Curry

Emily is a cotutelle PhD student at McGill University and l’Université Paul Sabatier. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in November 2014. She is passionate about access to insulin pump therapy for adults living with T1D. Emily hopes to engage the public, spread information about living with T1D, and the BETTER program, particularly within the Anglophone T1D community in Quebec.


Michel Dostie

Michel Dostie has had ype 1 diabetes for nearly 30 years and wants to highlight the importance of a social approach to diabetes and a reflection on its sociological, ethical and political aspects. He would like to contribute to better access to the latest advances in the treatment of type 1 diabetes and to the empowerment of those who must manage this condition.


Nathalie Kinnard

Nathalie is the mother of Vincent, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6 in 2017. She has been self-employed as a journalist and science writer for almost 20 years. Since her son’s diagnosis, she has been trying to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes by writing articles and features for a Quebec City community radio station. By participating in the BETTER project, she hopes to be able to make the voices of parents with children living with type 1 diabetes heard, as well as to educate people about diabetes.


Fati Merah

Fati has had type 1 diabetes since 2000 and is a massage- and kinesitherapist. She is a very active woman who practices triathlon and running. She also practiced judo at a high level. Through her participation in the BETTER project, Fati hopes to share her life experience with type 1 diabetes and promote research into type 1 diabetes.



Jacques Pelletier

Jacques has had type 1 diabetes for about 40 years. As a patient, he has been with the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) for several years and has been involved in many research projects on various aspects of diabetes. In addition, he was a human resources administrator for twenty years in Quebec research institutes. He hopes that his experience as a patient with type 1 diabetes and his professional experience will be a positive contribution to the success of the BETTER project.


Éloïse Perrier

Éloïse Perrier is currently a student in Secondary V at Collège Saint-Sacrement in Terrebonne. She has had type 1 diabetes since September 2015. She is very athletic and plays volleyball, so managing hypoglycemia has become one of her priorities in order to perform on the court. She wishes to take part in the BETTER project to share her concerns and issues of diabetes management in her daily life.


Andréane Vanasse

Since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16, Andréane has been involved, particularly with children and adolescents, in several projects as a volunteer and as a professional since she is now a clinical nurse. She likes to try out all the new technologies, keep up to date on new products and her eyes light up when she hears about development in the field of T1D. Since diabetes has become a very exciting topic for her, becoming a patient-partner for the BETTER team was one more opportunity to share her opinions and participate in the research team’s conversations.


Research staff

Virginie Messier M.Sc.

Research Coordinator, Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM).
Virginie completed a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences at the Université de Montréal  in 2006. She then completed a master’s degree in nutrition at the Université de Montréal . In 2009, she joined Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret’s research team as a research assistant. Since 2013, Virginie coordinates the research program on the external artificial pancreas of Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret’s laboratory. Since 2015, she has full responsibility for academic research activities in type 1 diabetes.


Delphine Bouchard, Nurse

Research Assistant, Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
Delphine completed her nursing technique in 2017 and decided to pursue her studies at McGill University for a Bachelor of Nursing Integrated. It was then that she discovered Camp Carowanis, a camp for children living with type 1 diabetes. There, she gained unique experience in diabetes and began her career as a diabetes research nurse while continuing her bachelor’s degree. She has now completed her studies and has joined the BETTER project team.


Sarah Haag, Nurse

Research Assistant, McGill University
Sarah graduated as a nurse clinician in France in 2011 before arriving in Quebec in 2013.
From 2014 to 2018, she worked at the CHUM’s Endocrinology Clinic where she monitored and trained people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She developed during these four years an expertise and a greater interest in the education and support that surrounds type 1 diabetes.


Catherine Leroux RD, M.Sc.

Research Assistant, McGill University
Member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec since 2009, Catherine began her practice as a nutritionist at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal (CHUM). In 2011, she joined Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret’s research team as a research professional. She then completed a master’s degree in 2015 and worked as a clinician specialized in type 1 diabetes at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) clinic.


Amélie Roy-Fleming RD, CDE, M.Sc.

Research Assistant, McGill University
Member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ) since 2007 and Certified Diabetes Educator since 2010, Amélie began her practice as a nutritionist in a First Nations’ community in the James Bay region from 2008 to 2012 where she developed expertise for education in diabetes. She then pursued her career in public health at Diabetes Quebec (from 2012 to 2016) and as a clinician at the Université de Montréal  Nutrition Clinic. Her recent master’s degree in nutrition confirms his interest in type 1 diabetes research.



Ran Cheng, MD

Endocrinology Resident and Master’s candidate, Université de Montréal

Ran is working on the effectiveness of current guidelines for the management of hypoglycemia in the context of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM). Her project aims to compare the effectiveness of 16g or 32g of oral carbohydrates in preventing hypoglycemia when the CGM shows a downward trend in blood glucose at a threshold of 4.5 mmol/L.


Li Feng Xie, RD, M.Sc.

Nutrition PhD student, McGill University

Li Feng is working on the current SUPPORT platform. It is an online education platform for adults with type 1 diabetes. This 6-month intervention aims to evaluate the impact of the SUPPORT self-guided platform on the frequency and fear of hypoglycemia.


Alexandra Katz

Master’s in nutrition, McGill University

Alex’s project focuses on adapting the SUPPORT platform for healthcare professionals (HCPs). This projects goal is to with increase HCPs confidence levels in providing their patients with advice on T1D management and care.



Houssein Madar, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow, Université de Montréal

Houssein is conducting research within the collective program for best practices and improvement of care and proximity services (COMPAS+) at INESSS. At the IRCM, he is interested in exploiting data from the BETTER registry on severe hypoglycemia in people living with type 1 diabetes.

Élisabeth Nguyen

Master’s in nutrition, McGill University

Élisabeth is working on a project evaluating the impact of a very low carbohydrate and high-fat diet in people with type 1 diabetes. The parameters studied are glycemic control and cardiometabolic parameters.



Melinda Prévost

Master’s in nutrition, McGill University

Melinda’s thesis project is focusing on gender differences in strategies to prevent physical activity related hypoglycemia in Type 1 diabetes. She will be using data from the BETTER Registry to see if there is an association between the number of strategies used to prevent physical activity related hypoglycemia and perceived barriers towards physical activity in men and women. 


Meryem Talbo, RD, M.Sc.

Nutrition PhD student, McGill University

Meryem’s PhD aims to understand the use of new technologies in relation to hypoglycemia. She will analyze data from the BETTER registry to uncover technology use and prevention strategies to reduce hypoglycemia related fear and burden.  She is also working on reviewing current clinical practices where professionals lack guidelines by defining a clinical practice consensus.


Nadine Taleb MD, M.Sc.

PhD candidate, Université de Montréal 

This project aims to validate the efficacy of current guidelines for hypoglycemia treatment with oral carbohydrates. It compares the efficacy of 16g versus 32g of oral carbohydrates at two different hypoglycemia thresholds with plasma glucose below 3 mmol/L or between 3 and 3.5 mmol/L. 


Zekai Wu MD, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow, Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) & McGill University

Zekai’s project is to investigate the effectiveness and safety of novel diabetes technologies (continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pump, automated insulin delivery etc.) among people living with type 1 diabetes by using data from the BETTER Registry. 


Co-investigators and collaborators

Mirna Azar Hôpital Sacré-Coeur

Simon Bacon  – Concordia University

Claudia Blais – Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec

Geneviève Boulet Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec

Jean-Marie Boutin – Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal

Philippe Caron Chicoutimi

Émilie D’Aoust Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont

Jean-Pierre Després – Laval University

Katherine Desjardins  – Montreal Clinical Research Institute

Marie-Josée Dupuis Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis

Isabel Fortier – McGill University Health Center

Thierry Gaudet Savard – Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec

Antony Karelis – Université du Québec à Montréal

Josée Leroux-Stewart Angus Clinic

Maude Millette Centre mère-enfant Soleil, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec

Daria O’Reilly – McMaster University

Tricia Peters – Jewish General Hospital

Éric Racine  – Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

Elham Rahme   – Centre Universitaire de Santé McGill

Michael Riddell – York University

Monia Rekik  – Laval University

Yves Robitaille – Centre de Médecine Métabolique de Lanaudière

Diane Rottembourg – CIUSSS-Estrie CHUS, Hôpital Fleurimont

Judith Simoneau-Roy – CIUSSS-Estrie CHUS, Hôpital Fleurimont

John Weisnagel  CHU de Québec research center


Content creation and revision of the SUPPORT training program

Sarah Blunden RD, CDE, FAP Regional manager of the diabetes education program, LMC Diabetes and Endocrinology

Inès Boukabous, M.Sc., Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

Steve Chalifoux B.Sc. nursing, CDE, Hôpital Cité-de-la-santé, Laval

Catherine Goulet-Delorme, Clinical nurse, ÉAD, CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS

Dre Laurence Laplante, Endocrinologist, Centre Hospitalier Régional de Lanaudière
Dre Silvia Netedu, Endocrinologist, Centre de Médecine Métabolique de Lanaudière et Institut de Médecine Spécialisée de Montréal

Maha Saadé, RD, M.Sc., CDE, CIUSS Centre-Sud de Montréal

Stéphane Tardif, Clinical nurse, Centre de diabétologie, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont


Thank you to all the people who were involved in the BETTER project.


  • Patricia Kearns
  • Annie Lajoie
  • Frédéric F Perron
  • Melinda Prévost
  • Monia Rekik
  • Sebastien Sasseville
  • Micheal Wright


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