Jessica Kachmar and Antoine Desilets Win Scientific Subspecialty Scholarship

Clinical Subspecialty Scholarships are for medical residents who are undertaking additional training outside of Quebec. The two selected candidates, Jessica Kachmar and Antoine Desilets, will each receive US$25,000.

These scholarships are offered by the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal through the Clinical Subspecialization Scholarship Fund, created in recognition of grants from the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation and contributions from past grantees.

“Very popular, these fellowships facilitate the completion of additional advanced training, often outside of Canada, and allow future physicians to acquire new knowledge that will be put to good use in our network when they return,” underlines D.r François Girard, vice dean of postdoctoral medical studies at the faculty.

Jessica Kachmar

A fifth-year resident of the Faculty of Medicine’s nephrology program, Dr.D Jessica Kachmar intends to undertake additional training in hereditary kidney disease at the Imagine Institute located at the Necker-Enfants Malades University Hospital. This establishment, affiliated with the University of Paris Descartes, is recognized worldwide in the field of hereditary kidney diseases.

For two years (from next October), the DD Kachmar will focus its research on X-linked Alport syndrome, for which there is no cure. She will thus attempt to determine the effect of antisense oligonucleotide therapy on RNA in fibroblasts from patients suffering from this syndrome and carrying intron mutations, but also in other monogenic nephropathies.

At the end of her training, she will join the rare kidney disease clinic at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute, continuing her activities as a nephrologist at the Center Hospitalier de la Université de Montréal (CHUM).

“Management of inherited kidney diseases requires unique expertise that is rare in Quebec. In my future career in nephrology, I aspire to care for patients with genetic kidney disease at CHUM. I would like to participate in the therapeutic advances in this field and offer my patients specialized treatments”, summarizes Dr.D Kashmar.

Antoine Desilets

Sixth-year resident of the hematology program at the UdeM Faculty of Medicine, Dr.r Antoine Desilets plans to complete additional training in the department of head and neck oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the world’s largest private oncology center affiliated with Cornell University.

For at least two years (since early autumn), the Dr Desilets will study the use of Tipifarnib in patients with advanced or refractory head and neck cancer. It will also attempt to describe treatment-associated resistance mechanisms in patients whose disease progresses towards the development of second-generation HRAS inhibitors.

“I want to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, improving treatment options for patients with advanced head and neck cancer, in order to prolong the survival associated with this type of cancer”, he explains.

After graduation, he will join the team of CHUM’s hematology-oncology department and the CHUM Research Center’s therapeutic innovation unit, where he intends to bring interdisciplinary research knowledge and make him benefit from different medical specialties.

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