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Welcome to the Clinical Research Unit at the Montreal Neurological Institute

In 1986, Dr. Gordon Francis led the first clinical trials at the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinic. This research helped to find the first clinically approved medicines, improving the lives of patients with MS.

Today, the CRU team conducts over 100 industry- and investigator-sponsored Phase I-IV clinical trials across all areas of neurology including but not limited to the following domains:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and related
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain Tumour
  • Movement Disorders
  • Stroke and Spine Disorders
  • Neurological Pain Syndromes
  • Rare Genetic Diseases

This research is focused on finding new and better medicines for people living with neurological diseases.

The CRU takes pride in partnering with small biotechs to develop their therapeutic programs.

The CRU is a proud partner of the Tannenbaum Open Science Initiative (TOSI), actively participating in the CBIG-R Biobank project to help build and expand the repository of biological specimens and clinical information from patients with neurological diseases. This platform allows patients to contribute to advancing our understanding of the diseases affecting them.

The CRU is home to the first-of-its-kind Phase 1 Unit dedicated to neurological disorders. Related initiatives, such as the ALS Global Center of Excellence, will fuel the drug discovery pipeline and accelerate the development of new therapies for rare and terminal neurological diseases.

If you or your loved one are suffering from a neurological disease and would like more information on opportunities for involvement in research, please contact the CRU Manager Maxime Boutin-Caron at:

Meet some of our Principal Investigators

A Principal Investigator (PI) is the physician who leads the conduct of a clinical trial at a study site. The leadership role of the PI helps create the foundation of a successful clinical trial. The doctor who chooses to be a PI can provide his/her patients the possibility of participating in the study, while assisting drug companies in evaluating the efficacy and safety of these investigatory treatments.

Dr. Angela Genge

Medical Director of the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at the Montreal Neurological Institute since 2004. 

Since 1998, Dr. Genge has been the Director of the ALS Clinic and Research Program. Consisting of 10 multidisciplinary professionals, the ALS clinic at the Neuro provides the finest clinical care for ALS patients and their families.

Dr. Kevin Petrecca

Currently an attending neurosurgical oncologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital within the McGill University Health Centre, in addition to being the chief of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Simon Ducharme

Co-chair of the American Neuropsychiatric Association committee on research and also an associate member of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging.

Dr. Ducharme is also in charge of several clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia at the MNI.

Dr. Paul Giacomini

A clinical neurologist with expertise in multiple sclerosis, as well as advanced neuroimaging techniques.

Dr. Giacomini’s current focus is on patient care and evaluating novel therapeutics in relapsing remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis. He is very active in clinical research, and is an investigator in numerous clinical trials.

Our Mission:

To provide the best cutting-edge care to our patients by attracting and executing clinical trials of all phases, including those testing the most innovative therapies being development internationally. The CRU supports the principal investigators and clinicians in their efforts to attract and execute clinical studies, aimed at understanding neurological diseases and developing and validating new therapies.