We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker for 2023 is Dr. Bernard Thébaud of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. 

His presentation is entitled: “Regenerative medicine in perinatal medicine: A bench to bedside story

Dr. Thébaud is a clinician-scientist with a focus on the clinical translation of stem cell-based and gene therapies for lung diseases. He is a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a neonatologist with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, providing care to critically ill newborns. He is also a pediatrics professor at the University of Ottawa and a former WCHRI member.

Dr. Thébaud studies the mechanisms of lung development, injury and repair to design new treatments for incurable lung diseases. His focus is on answering clinically relevant questions for translation into real-life applications. He is now translating innovative cell and gene therapies from the lab into patients to improve outcomes.

He has participated on numerous peer review committees and scientific advisory boards at the international, national and provincial levels, including CIHR and NIH. Dr. Thébaud holds the University of Ottawa Partnership Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine and is the Associate Scientist Director of the Stem Cell Network. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Stem Cell Network.

Date: October 18
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.

  • 1 – 1:15 p.m. Welcome from our partners
  • 1:15 – 2 p.m. Keynote

Location: The Westin Edmonton

Regenerative medicine in perinatal medicine: A bench to bedside story

Next-generation therapies that enable both, injury prevention/repair and appropriate organ development are required to substantially impact the outcome of extreme prematurity. Cell-based therapies offer new hope in preventing organ damage in extreme preterm infants. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the lung and brain protective effects of exogenous administration of a variety of cell therapies in animal models of disease. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) represent the front runners and have reached the phase of clinical translation. Early-phase clinical trials indicate feasibility and absence of toxicity in a small number of extreme preterm infants. However, clinical translation of promising therapies is extremely slow and often fails.

This presentation will summarize the current state-of-the-art of MSC therapy in neonatology, highlight the “INCuBAToR” concept to accelerate and enhance the success of clinical translation and finally, address important knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in order to harness the true therapeutic potential of cell-based therapies for complications of extreme prematurity.