Transat A.T. Inc. and the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) / Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) today announced the creation of the Transat Breast Cancer Research Chair, to be affiliated with the laboratory led by Dr. Jean-François Côté, an IRCM researcher and Université de Montréal professor. The Chair is being instituted with a $500,000 donation from Transat.
“Breast cancer is a disease that has affected many of our company’s employees. Combating it is a cause that we care a great deal about,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat. “We believe the solution, clearly, is research, and it is an honour for our company to be partnering with the IRCM, a world-renowned research centre. I am particularly pleased that we are supporting the work of Dr. Côté by creating the Transat Breast Cancer Research Chair,” he added.
Dr. Côté and the members of his team are particularly interested in understanding metastases, which are the cause of more than 90 percent of breast-cancer–related deaths. The Transat Chair will help advance research into the signalling pathways that control metastasis formation. “If we can elucidate the molecular processes that permit the most aggressive forms of cancer to spread, we can counter these invasive tumours, and in the process save many women’s lives,” Dr. Côté explained.
André J.P. Couillard, Chair of the IRCM Foundation, said: “Transat’s contribution is a sign of its confidence in a unique, innovative institution. This donation will support the leading-edge research being conducted by Dr. Côté’s team and enable them to make progress in the fight against this disease, which strikes one in nine Canadian women.”
Added Marinella Ermacora, a member of the IRCM Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of the Institute’s 50th anniversary organizing committee: “We thank Transat for its financial commitment and its great generosity.”
And Dr. Tarik Möröy, IRCM President and Scientific Director, as well as Louise Lambert-Lagacé, Chair of the IRCM Board of Directors, noted: “The research work being done in Dr. Côté’s laboratory on cytoskeletal organization and cellular migration is extremely promising. Having the support of a partner like Transat, well known for its community engagement, opens up new avenues of study for those researchers.” They concluded: “This major donation from Transat, coming as it does during our 50th anniversary year, consolidates the Institute’s reputation for excellence.”
The announcement of the donation, made at the IRCM, was warmly received by those in attendance, which comprised around a hundred Transat employees and people close to them, including several women diagnosed with breast cancer. Among them were Milène Lanthier, Assistant to the President of Transat Distribution Canada, Céline Boudreau, a trainer at Transat Tours Canada, and Linda Harrison, an analyst with Transat, each of whom shared moving stories about their battle with the disease and the importance of research.
“My belief is that through continued research, there will be a day we can eliminate breast cancer as a cause of death,” said Ms. Harrison, summarizing her colleagues’ remarks. “But if we did not have dedicated supporters providing the means for dedicated researchers, we would not be not able to keep up the fight. That is why I personally thank researchers such as those working at IRCM and supporters like Transat, which keep pushing forward.”
Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and active in air transportation, accommodation, travel packaging and distribution. It operates mainly in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, with some 25 destination countries, and distributes products in over 50 countries. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 10 years, and was awarded Travelife Partner status in 2016. The vacation travel companion par excellence, Transat celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 (TSX: TRZ).
About the IRCM Foundation
The Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) / Montreal Clinical Research Institute Foundation is one of the Institute’s key partners. Through the tremendous efforts of people committed to IRCM's present and future, the Foundation can fulfill its mission of supporting IRCM's research, technological development and training activities, promoting its growth.
About the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
Founded in 1967, the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) / Montreal Clinical Research Institute is a non-profit organization that conducts fundamental and clinical biomedical research in addition to training high-level young scientists. With its cutting-edge technology facilities, the institute brings together 33 research teams, which work in cancer, immunology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. The IRCM also operates a research clinic specialized in hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and cystic fibrosis, as well as a research centre on rare and genetic diseases in adults. The IRCM is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and associated with McGill University. Its clinic is affiliated with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM is supported by the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (Quebec ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation). The Institute is proudly celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017.