Structuring and patnership activities of the CERMO-FC

It is essential for CERMO-FC to contribute to the influence of its members in the province of Quebec, in Canada, and internationally.

The CERMO-FC researcher members are internationally recognized, and several are researchers from the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) and/or holders of a research chair. The training for the next generation of researchers in the field is also at the heart of CERMO-FC’s knowledge transfer strategy. Providing training for our students and trainees today will expand the pool of experts in orphan diseases tomorrow.

CERMO-FC activities :

Find all the programming of CERMO-FC in the calendar of activities

Les pauses-conférences

Structuring activities

The structuring activities are the decisive events for the evolution of CERMO-FC as a reference center in research on orphan diseases:

Annual symposium

2019 Symposium of CERMO-FC. Credits: Kiran Todkar,

Annual symposium are an excellent opportunity for researchers and students members of the CERMO-FC to better know the diversity of our expertise, our research interests and thus open the way to new collaborations.

Learn more about the annual symposium of CERMO-FC

Les pauses-conférences


The purpose of the CERMO-FC conferences is to promote communication among members by presenting their research. It is also an opportunity to explore new areas of expertise and innovation through the invitation of external organizations or scientists.

The conferences take place on the UQAM science campus, and are broadcast live by web-conference.

Careers Day

Careers Day

Co-organized by CERMO-FC, the Institute of Health and Society, and Cinbiose, the first edition of the Careers Day in the Health field was aimed to let students acquire knowledge and tools to better prepare their transition from higher education to working life.

On November 9 2018 at the Université du Québec à Montréal, we were proud to have gathered about fifty graduate students in health from different fields and disciplines, including biology, biochemistry, communication, environment, psychology and human resources management.

During this day, students could participate to free interactive workshops, conferences, panel discussions and a networking cocktail with over 15 experts. A professional photographer was also present to improve student visibility on professional networks. A complete program for this first edition, where students were able to discover the wealth of possible careers in health and thus plan their entry into the job market.



My professional profile | How to show my skills in my resume? How to define and highlight my motivations and my professional goals? This workshop will address these questions to better identify your professional profile, focusing on both reflective work and small group discussions. At the end of this activity, you will have at your disposal a framework and tools to continue the development of your profile or to refine it.

The job interview | How to prepare for a job interview? How to improve? This workshop will be an opportunity to discuss these issues, making links to your concerns and the different sectors of professional activities for which you could be destined. At the end of this activity, you will be better equipped to prepare yourself for this stage of your professional career.

Conference – Chantal Lepire

Maintain a balance of life, is it possible?
The notion of boundaries between work and personal life varies across people and workplaces. Thus, it becomes relevant to question us about our vision of these boundaries. Is it consistent with our workplace? Is it possible to negotiate this aspect with his employer? This conference will provoke reflections on your balance of life and propose actions to be taken to avoid exhaustion and promote your well-being.

Panel discussion

Perspectives and professional challenges in the field of health: points of view from different backgrounds

Animator : Emmanuelle Giraud


Networking Cocktail

Discussions with professionals from different backgrounds:

Professional photo shoot

Geoffroy Ingret, photographer


Vicky Gauthier, School Information and Professional Integration Advisor, Advisory Services, Student Life Service (UQAM)

Cérémonie de lancement du CERMO-FC

Opening ceremony of the CERMO-FC

Scientific comitee of the CERMO-FC: Steve Bourgault, Lekha Sleno, Nicolas Pilon, Claire Bénard, Steve Kembel, and Abdoulaye Baniré Diallo

The Rector of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Mrs. Magda Fusaro and the Director of the Centre d’excellence en recherche sur les maladies orphelines – Fondation Courtois (CERMO-FC), Professor Nicolas Pilon inaugurated on September 19, the first major center in Quebec and Canada for this type of disease. Created thanks to a $ 3 million donation from the Courtois Foundation to the UQAM Foundation as part of the major campaign of 100 million ideas, the Center brings together Quebec researchers, mainly affiliated with the Université du Québec network (UQAM, UQAC, UQTR and INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier). Based at UQAM, it brings together complementary expertise ranging from biology to pharmacology, genomics and organic chemistry.


Pierre Bélanger, Magda Fusaro, Nicolas Pilon and Pierre Lavoie. Photo: Denis Bernier, UQAM

“Finally a center of excellence in research on orphan diseases! said Pierre Lavoie, co-founder of the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie. It’s a dream come true. We can now focus our efforts on making Quebec a global platform for research into orphan diseases. I congratulate the leadership of UQAM and its principal investigator Nicolas Pilon “.

“We have the ambition to improve the management of patients, from diagnosis to the development of therapies,” said Professor Pilon, who also holds the UQAM Research Chair in Rare Genetic Diseases. He concluded the evening by saying that “it is important to raise the awareness of researchers, doctors and decision-makers about orphan diseases, they affect more people than we might think (…). Through its structure, CERMO-FC wants to stimulate biological scientists to collaborate with biopharmaceutical clinicians and researchers to bring their discoveries to practical applications. “

Read more (in french)

Source (french) : Rose-Aline LeBlanc,press relations advisor
Press Relations and Special Events Division
Communications Service

Activités partenariales

Partnership activities

With its multiple technological platforms and the complementary expertise of its researchers, CERMO-FC intends to support a mode of operation that offers the possibility of creating new collaborations, not only between the members of CERMO-FC, but also with other actor in the life sciences field. To this end, CERMO-FC is involved in networking activities promoting exchanges with Québec universities and businesses:


Effervescence – April 24th and 25th, 2019

EFFERVESCENCE is a major event in the life sciences and health technologies sector in Montreal organized by a collective of 15 partners including UQAM.

With more than 550 participants, EFFERVESCENCE offers life science researchers, companies and other actors a unique opportunity to network, build business relationships, participate in conferences inspiring and discover new industry, all in an experiential and stimulating environment. The event offered a varied and exploded programming with a B2B focus.

SÉRI Montréal – november 2018

Photo : SÉRI Montréal

SERI Montreal is a networking activity organized several times a year by the Economic Development Department of the City of Montreal and its partners. The edition of SÉRI Montréal under the theme “Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics”, which took place at the Society for Arts and Technology in November 2018, was an opportunity to discuss with representatives of twenty companies on topics such as clean technologies, biomedical engineering, land use planning and artificial intelligence.

Professor Nicolas Pilon, from the Department of Biological Sciences, had the privilege of highlighting the creation of CERMO-FC through a lightning conference. This event also helped to establish personal contacts with companies, which could lead to long-term partnerships in research, but also, on a smaller scale, scholarships or internships for graduate students.
Learn more