Center of Excellence in Orphan Disease Research - Courtois Foundation (CERMO-FC)

The Center of Excellence in Orphan Diseases Research – Fondation Courtois (CERMO-FC), founded at UQAM, brings together more than 40 researchers with complementary interests in biomedical and biopharmaceutical research. The center has given itself the following missions:

1. To support translational research approach using diverse technology platforms, providing the opportunity to create new collaborations among members working in transdisciplinary areas. These infrastructures include platforms of:

2. Through research, develop knowledge on orphan diseases in order to identify therapeutic targets to improve patient care, monitoring and quality of life, especially in children, and prepare the next generation of researchers in this field through education and training.

To learn more about research projects done at CERMO-FC, please visit the Research Projects page.


History of activities of CERMO-FC 2018-2019



What is an orphan disease?

An orphan disease is a pathology that does not have effective therapies, mainly due to the lack of knowledge. These diseases are usually rare, each affecting less than one person in 2000. The small number of cases seen in the clinic also complicates the diagnosis. These rare / orphan diseases are more than 7,000 in the world, 80% of which are of genetic origin. Other causes include infections or intoxications. Most of these diseases are life-threatening and about 75% affect children. According to the Regroupement Québécois des Maladies Orphelines (RQMO), close to one in 20 people would be infected or have a rare disease in Quebec, which is about 500,000 Quebecois. While identifying the genes involved in rare diseases greatly benefits from the Human Genome Project, much research is still needed to understand the pathogenic mechanisms and develop therapies.

Do you have an orphan disease or are you a caregiver?
Get more information about your disease by contacting RQMO