15 Apr 2021 |
Research article |
A revolutionary in radiography and a pioneer of the living laboratory
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Growing up in a family of two cardiologists, an optometrist, a nurse and a teacher greatly influenced Jacques de Guise, who decided to devote his career to developing technologies in the health sector and advancing teaching and research in the field.
Thirty-six years after completing his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, Professor de Guise has an exceptional track record as both an academic and a researcher: along with his collaborators and students in the Imaging and Engineering department that he manages at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université Montréal (CRCHUM), he has published more than 200 scientific articles cited by peers more than 12,000 times.
Multidisciplinary approach for young and not-so-young patients
But the highlight of his career was to bring together general and orthopedic surgeons in the Imaging and Orthopaedics Research Laboratory (LIO) that he founded 25 years ago. In the beginning, Professor de Guise and his students literally “squatted” on the premises of the CRCHUM, where the work of this off-site ÉTS laboratory began.
In partnership with the French group Arts et Métiers ParisTech and the company EOS Imaging, Professor de Guise helped design a revolutionary radiography system that is used to build 3D models of skeletal bones based on two very low-dose X-rays.
This innovation has been the subject of numerous scientific articles, and based on the patents obtained, more than 350 of these systems are now in use in research centres and clinical settings in more than 30 countries. Several million patients ─ mostly children and adolescents ─ have benefitted from this technology, which is used to follow up on their pathologies.
Older people suffering from osteoarthritis and people with sports injuries to the knee have not been left out, since Professor de Guise and his team of researchers have developed and brought to market a knee evaluation system, called KneeKG. This system is used to analyse precisely the 3D knee kinematics, using an exoskeleton-type harness that is equipped with motion sensors at the femur and tibia.
Along with their clinical and industrial partners, the LIO research teams have been the source of several other innovations, including the identification of geometric and mechanical biomarkers to help diagnose and treat problems in the musculoskeletal system.
Living laboratory: all for one, and one for all!
All these innovations were made possible through the contributions of all the LIO’s partners, including the patients themselves. For Professor de Guise, who is one of Quebec’s pioneers of the “living laboratory” approach, patients should be systematically involved in the projects that concern them, as much as the other players.
“In the LIO, patient-experts are increasingly involved in our research and in the design of our devices and the interventions that we are developing,” emphasizes Professor de Guise. “The challenge is to find ways to involve them in every stage of a project, for their experiential knowledge of their medical conditions.”
While he may still have several projects underway, the other major challenge facing Professor de Guise is to ensure the long-term success of the laboratory he founded. “I am fortunate to have a great team that is ready to take the reins, so I am not worried about the lab’s future,” he says confidently.
Although he does not plan to leave his many functions anytime soon, this great traveller, sportsman and art lover will keep busy after he eventually passes the baton. He enjoys going to the theatre, reading, swimming, cycling, riding his fat bike in the forest (both in winter and in summer), hiking among Asian, Pyrenean or other alpine peaks, and even scuba diving in warmer climes!
Achievements acclaimed both here and abroad
The excellence that has marked Professor de Guise’s career to date has earned him numerous awards and distinctions over the years.
Among those that give him the most pride are the Prix d’excellence en recherche et création from Université du Québec (in the Leadership category), which he received in 2020, the 2019 CRCHUM Career Award, recognizing his exceptional contributions to science over the course of his career. In the same year, he received an honorary doctorate from Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 for the international scope of his work.
- Professor of Systems Engineering, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
- Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
- Director of the Laboratoire de recherche en imagerie et orthopédie (LIO), ÉTS and CRCHUM
- Co-director of the international laboratory for anatomical and functional evaluation of the musculoskeletal system ÉVASYM, ÉTS, UdeM, TELUQ, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Université Gustave Eiffel
- Head of Imaging and Engineering, CRCHUM