College of Montreal: Selling Social Change

This text is part of the Philanthropy special

Students, graduates or researchers, these members of the Université de Montréal (UdeM) community work hard to help others in their respective fields. They change the world, mission after mission, thanks in particular to the support of small and large donors.

Last June, Dr. Jean Roy, hematologist and holder of the Maryse and William Brock Chair for Applied Research in Stem Cell Transplantation at UdeM, climbed Kilimanjaro with a group of enthusiasts for a good cause: a fundraiser for his research chair. The difficult six-day climb allowed them to achieve their goal: to raise almost a million donations.

On Kilimanjaro for research

“We conduct clinical research, which means it is carried out on people, on patients,” says Jean Roy. The goals of this chair when it was established were to improve the health of patients in order to have a direct impact on the lives of transplant recipients. We also want to be able to build a bridge between basic research and clinical research, i.e. between the laboratory and people. An entire ecosystem must be built to bring fundamental discoveries to the clinic. Our third goal was to gain freedom in our projects. »

The Maryse and William Brock Chair is named after a former patient at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital who suffered from acute leukemia and who underwent a transplant himself. Grateful for the care he received, he wanted to do his part by making an initial donation and asking his colleagues and friends.

“In the beginning it was a fund that was created thanks to these donations,” says the researcher. When we reached two million in funding, as requested by the University of Montreal, we formally created a chair that allows us an assigned holder and more sustainability in projects and work teams. »

After seven years of existence, the chair has a team of about ten people and several projects are running. Among the research projects that will follow shortly is a project on the health of transplant recipients.

“Several complications can occur in women after a transplant, including premature menopause and loss of fertility. We decided, together with the CHUM gynecological team, to establish a protocol and approach 100 transplanted women to participate in a longitudinal study, in which they will be examined every three months for two years to assess their state of health and quality of life. »

Receive to give to the next

For Lydie Christelle Belporo, a graduate student in criminology at the University of Montreal, philanthropy has given her more freedom to dedicate herself not only to her studies, but also to social causes close to her heart.

In fact, the fact that he has received scholarships from foundations prevents him from working part-time to finance his studies. Among others, she received a grant from the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation and a grant from the JA DeSève Foundation.

“Personally, the fact that I no longer had to work long hours to meet my needs allowed me to focus on my research and community involvement, which was also an integration factor during my arrival in Quebec,” she said.

In particular, she is the founder and co-administrator of the International Network of Women Doctorates and Doctors (RIFDOC). “I had the idea to start this network at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 because I understood that in PhD we experience a lot of isolation and we didn’t have space to share about our challenges and the difficulties we face especially as researcher. The idea was to bring together women who can talk about these issues. His idea worked: The RIFDOC now brings together almost 400 doctoral students in the Francophonie.

“The grants allowed me to develop other interests and get involved in community and humanitarian efforts. The funding I receive allows me to give back to others and on campus. It had a snowball effect. »

As part of her doctoral project, she is interested in the careers of people who have been linked to the Boko Haram terrorist group in Cameroon. From 2012 to 2015, thousands of young people from Cameroon joined this movement by crossing the border into Nigeria. As Boko Haram declines and its followers gradually return home, the researcher is interested in public policies that promote their exit from this violence, their deradicalization and their reintegration into society. Originally from Cameroon, she has lived in Quebec for several years and has had the opportunity to return there a number of times to work locally and meet some of these young people.

Make room for young people to change the world

This special content was created by the Special Publications team at Have to, Marketing related. The elaboration of Have to did not participate.

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