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CHU Sainte-Justine
Wednesday, September 28 2022

Big start for the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform – CAMCCO-L

MONTREAL, September 28, 2022 – From across the country and beyond, some forty researchers are joining forces to launch the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L). Researcher Anick Bérard from CHU Sainte-Justine and Université de Montréal is piloting the program focusing on the impact of medications taken during pregnancy. CAMCCOL’s first cohort of 19 students will begin training on October 6 with the goal of becoming future leaders in perinatal drug research.

Made-to-order training

Guided by the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, the CAMCCO-L training platform is a new virtual learning model. It offers specialized online courses, professional research training workshops, including seminars on patient-oriented research, discussion forums, a Summer School on drug development, in addition to Canadian and international professional internship opportunities with CAMCCO-L mentors.

“With CAMCCO-L, the next generation of scientists is provided with a set of tools and activities to innovate in the field of drugs and pregnancy,” states Anick Bérard, director of the research unit on medications and pregnancy at CHU Sainte-Justine.

The first cohort benefitting from CAMCCO-L training is composed of 19 graduate and post-doctoral students, many of whom are from visible minorities. They come from Canadian institutions, such as the Université de Montréal, the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa, the University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia. The CAMCCO-L Scholarship Committee has awarded 5 bursaries to students for 2022-2023*.

CAMCCO-L is also available to everyone with any individual virtual course registrations as needed.

From parent to patient partner

CAMCCO-L also aims to train patient partners in perinatal research. “The presence of patient partners in research is essential and their training through CAMCCO-L will better align future research with the needs of pregnant women,” says Anick Bérard, who is also full professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal and the recipient of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair on Medications and Pregnancy. Fathers, mothers, pregnant women, and families with or without sick children can register on the CAMCCO-L website. Free and adapted sessions are available now and several others will be added soon. “Patient partners are experts in their pregnancies and researchers need their lived experiences,” she says.

Medications and pregnancy

It is estimated that 75% of pregnant women in Canada take medications during pregnancy.

There is little data on the associated risks and benefits for the mother and the unborn child, as pregnant women are often excluded from clinical trials.  

In the absence of clinical studies, interdisciplinary analysis of perinatal impact is essential. To fully appreciate the risks and benefits for the fetus and the mother, it is necessary to acquire knowledge in epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, methods of causal analysis, and to make the most of artificial intelligence modelling.

CAMCCO-L complements the traditional discipline-based academic options with transdisciplinary and intersectoral training that will better equip the researchers of tomorrow.

*2022-2023 CAMCCO-L student bursary recipients


  • Maya Laham, Université de Montréal/CHU Sainte-Justine


  • Lauren Tailor, University of Toronto
  • Laila Aboulatta, University of Manitoba
  • Rong Luo, University of Ottawa


Payam Peymani, University of Manitoba



CAMCCO-L brings together many institutional collaborators and partners: Université de Montréal, McGill University, the Universities of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ottawa, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Queen’s and Dalhousie Universities, University of Toronto, Australian National University, University of Barcelona, Université Paul-Sabatier de Toulouse, and University of São Paulo, as well as Health Canada, the Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists of Quebec, IQVIA, Médicament Québec, and Mitacs.

The CAMCCO-L is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


The CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre is a leading mother-child research institution affiliated with the Université de Montréal. It brings together more than 210 research investigators, including over 110 clinician-scientists, as well as 450 graduate and postgraduate students focused on finding innovative prevention means, faster and less invasive treatments, as well as personalized approaches to medicine. The centre is an integral part of CHU Sainte-Justine, which is the largest mother-child centre in Canada.


CHU Sainte-Justine


Nathalie Prud’homme 
Science Popularizer/Communicator
CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre

Media Contact:

Justine Mondoux-Turcotte 
Advisor - Media Relations and External Relations
CHU Sainte-Justine
514 213-4488

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Updated on 10/20/2022
Created on 9/27/2022
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