Dr. Christiane Auray-Blais has more than one title to her name:
- Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Sherbrooke.
- Attached to the Genetics services of the CHUS Department of Pediatrics and the Faculty of Medecine as Program Director of urine screening for hereditary metabolic diseases.
- Director of the Waters-CHUS Centre of Expertise Clinical Mass Spectrometry.
The native of Sherbrooke has pursued all her studies here, including a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, a Master's degree in health law and a Doctorate in radiobiology - with the exception of a post-doctorate from Duke University in North Carolina. Her academic background is unusual, but is strongly connected with her research projects.
Dr. Auray-Blais is pleased to work with a great team dedicated to research. She insists that for her and her team members, what counts most in their work is the small babies they help.
The urine samples are collected to detect biomarkers that may indicate inherited metabolic diseases, such as illnesses of the urea cycle and the organic acidurias. The goal is to provide treatments in order to avoid severe clinical conditions for patients, to follow-up on treatments and to assess the evolution of the illness.
Various research projects regarding children diseases are also ongoing, in order to better screen, identify and monitor patients with illnesses such as Fabry disease.
Their goal is to find therapies to prevent severe clinical disorders in patients, to monitor treatment and evaluate the progress of the disease.
Among Dr. Auray-Blais’ achievements are:
- 2008 ADESAQ Award of Excellence, best doctoral thesis in the province of Quebec
- 2007 CHUS Award of Excellence in the Multidisciplinary Council category;
- 2005 Exemplary Prize from the Estrie Sherbrooke, QC, Rehabilitation Centre;
- Research partnership with CIHR, Genzyme(Sanofi division), Shire, BioMarin, HGT and Waters Corporation from 2008 to 2013: more than $ 2 million;
Her qualifications and expertise are:
- Expertise in screening the population for inherited metabolic diseases in Quebec (more than 2.95 million newborns over the years)
- Implementation and development of the Waters-CHUS Centre of Expertise in Clinical Mass Spectrometry;
- Metabolomics and biomarker discovery for lysosomal storage and other diseases.
- Quantification and validation methodologies for these new biomarkers to provide clinical tests;
- Development of a new methods in mass spectrometry offered to higher education entitled "Mass Spectrometry and health applications" (name of the course: RBL 740);
- Expertise in ethics, genetics and biobanks.