Dr. Pascal Lavoie is a clinician-scientist, staff neonatologist at the Children’s & Women’s Health Centre and principal investigator at the Child & Family Research Institute. His translational research focuses on bench-to-bedside approaches directed towards diseases affecting newborns and infants.
Infection is one of the most common life-threatening complications experienced by infants born prematurely. Nearly one-third of the smallest preterm babies will develop a life-threatening infection in their first weeks of life. Unfortunately, the morbidity resulting from infection in these infants is rising in North America. Lavoie’s main research, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and US March of Dimes’ Birth Defect Foundation, aims to understand how clinical practices in the neonatal intensive care unit and immaturity of the immune system play a role in increasing the risk of infection in infants born prematurely
Lavoie has recently described two major deficits in preterm infant’s innate immune defence mechanisms, one of which was reported on the front page of the national edition of the Globe and Mail (Dec 9, 2010).
Ali S, Hirschfeld AF, Mayer ML, Fortuno ES 3rd, Corbett N, Kaplan M, Wang S, Schneiderman J, Fjell CD, Yan J, Akhabir L, Aminuddin F, Marr N, Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Hegele RG, Becker A, Chan-Yeung M, Hancock RE, Kollmann TR, Daley D, Sandford AJ, Lavoie PM, Turvey SE. Functional Genetic Variation in NFKBIA and Susceptibility to Childhood Asthma, Bronchiolitis, and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. J Immunol. 2013 Apr 15;190(8):3949-58. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1201015. Epub 2013 Mar 13. (PubMed abstract)
Sharma AA, Jen R, Butler A, Lavoie PM. The developing human preterm neonatal immune system: a case for more research in this area. Clin Immunol. 2012 Oct;145(1):61-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2012.08.006. Epub 2012 Aug 17. (PubMed abstract)
Lavoie PM, Ladd M, Hirschfeld AF, Huusko J, Mahlman M, Speert DP, Hallman M, Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Turvey SE. Influence of common non-synonymous Toll-like receptor 4 polymorphisms on bronchopulmonary dysplasia and prematurity in human infants. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31351. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031351. Epub 2012 Feb 14. (PubMed abstract)
Chang BA, Huang Q, Quan J, Chau V, Ladd M, Kwan E, McFadden DE, Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Miller SP, Lavoie PM. Early inflammation in the absence of overt infection in preterm neonates exposed to intensive care. Cytokine. 2011 Dec;56(3):621-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.08.028. Epub 2011 Sep 21. (PubMed abstract)
Lavoie PM, Huang Q, Jolette E, Whalen M, Nuyt AM, Audibert F, Speert DP, Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Soudeyns H, Kollmann TR. Profound lack of interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23p40 in neonates born early in gestation is associated with an increased risk of sepsis. J Infect Dis. 2010 Dec 1;202(11):1754-63. doi: 10.1086/657143. Epub 2010 Oct 26. (PubMed abstract)