McGill Antimicrobial Resistance Centre to tackle one of humanity’s greatest threats

Montreal, September 12, 2022 – Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global scale threat to human life and economic prosperity. If left unchecked, it has the potential to set medicine back 100 years, jeopardize 10 million lives worldwide and impose enormous economic burdens on society.

AMR occurs when bacteria and other microbes become resistant to antibiotics, disinfectants and other antimicrobial products. The consequences could be devastating: without reliable antibiotics, even the simplest of surgeries could pose risk of major infections. Similarly, hallmarks of modern medicine such as chemotherapy, transplantation and joint replacements — all of which require antibiotics — could come with much more risk in the not-so-distant future.

With the launch of the new McGill Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre, a partnership between McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), Montreal is becoming a powerhouse in understanding and preventing AMR. This new research hub brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines to find solutions to the growing problem of AMR.

“No new antibiotics have been developed since the 1990s, and the discovery pipeline is dry. If we don’t act now, we could be living in a post-antibiotic world by 2050. At the AMR Centre, we will be able to explore innovative new ways to treat resistant infections.”

— Dr. Dao Nguyen, Director, Antimicrobial Resistance Centre

Power Corporation of Canada recently made a $2M donation to the MUHC Foundation to help kick start the AMR Centre and the $20 M fundraising effort.

“Antibiotics changed medicine and public health, Humanity would face terrible risks if they lost their effectiveness. The AMR is dedicated to preventing such a global health crisis. Power Corporation of Canada is proud to support the Center’s visionary research and collaborative efforts.”

— Paul Genest, Senior Vice President, Power Corporation of Canada

To prevent the dire consequences of AMR, the AMR Centre is developing microbe-resistant surfaces and exploring novel treatment and prevention strategies that pathogens can’t outsmart.

“The discovery of antibiotics spurred the creation of lifesaving innovations—organ transplants and other major surgeries would never have been possible without them. We cannot risk losing the achievements of modern medicine.”

— Heather Munroe-Blum, Co-Chair,
MUHC Foundation Dream Big. Solve Humanity’s Deadliest Puzzles campaign

The AMR Centre is an initiative of the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4), a group of over 250 researchers from a wide range of fields who together are solving humanity’s deadliest puzzles: infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Created in 2017 by Dr. Donald Sheppard, MI4 has played an important role in Montreal, Quebec and Canada’s pandemic response. It is also finding solutions to many other health crises, from COVID-19 to hepatitis C to rare immune diseases.

“We are grateful to Power Corporation for their incredible gift. COVID-19 has shown the world how devastating global-scale health crises can be. Dr. Nguyen and her team have the expertise to prevent a world where infections that were once easy to treat become life threatening. The AMR Centre’s research will help save thousands — even millions — of lives.”

— Marc Parent, Co-Chair, MUHC Foundation Dream Big Campaign

The Fiera Capital Awards for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Care