Research grants

When Dr. Heather Melichar began her postdoctoral studies at University of California, Berkeley, she never dreamed that she would one day move nearly 5,000 km away to Montréal. “I decided to come here because of the HMR Foundation’s generosity,” explained Dr. Melichar. “The Foundation has invested a great deal in advancing research. I was also familiar with HMR’s reputation: I knew that people work hard here to turn research into treatments. This was one opportunity I couldn’t pass up; it’s every researcher’s dream!”

Dr. Melichar’s work as professor and assistant researcher in the Department of Medicine at Université de Montréal deals with T cells, the immune system’s mechanism for destroying defective cells in the human body. More specifically, Dr. Melichar is trying to understand exactly why T cells do not always recognize defective cells, which at least partly explains why cancer cells develop. “We’ve discovered that a protein produced by cancer cells interacts with T cells to prevent them from carrying out their destruction work. Now, we hope to develop a molecule that will hinder this interaction,” she said.

“I am very pleased with my decision to come here,” explained Dr. Melichar. “Although I had other options, the HMR Foundation’s funding offer definitely influenced my decision!”

For now, research is focusing on skin cancer, but the findings could potentially be used to develop treatments for a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer.

In summary





Amount Invested