At Sainte-Justine, building a healthy future for mothers and children means first and foremost developing the next generation and the best talent. Among those who contribute to that goal with love and determination is Dr. Gregor Andelfinger, for whom research and teaching go hand in hand. 

A pediatric cardiologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine and Associate Professor-Researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at the Université de Montréal, Dr. Andelfinger devotes himself to treating thousands of sick little hearts. Andrew, 25, who completed his master's degree with Dr. Andelfinger in 2017, has now chosen to pursue his doctoral studies. Determined to find a way to permanently heal children with heart disease, Dr. Andelfinger makes a point of training young people like Andrew, who will ensure sustainability in research.

Sainte-Justine is a whole. Teaching allows us to transmit our knowledge; research lets us drive it further. And through the care we provide, we apply that knowledge. I adopt the same approach. Teaching lets me share my experience but, above all, it allows me to encourage the young people of tomorrow to make their own discoveries

Dr. Gregor Andelfinger

When the Student Surpasses the Master

For Dr. Andelfinger, who completed his own sub-specialization at Sainte-Justine, teaching is about helping students help themselves. It means appealing to their independence and to their critical and creative spirit, in addition to providing the best training. “We give them the tools, and the students develop their capabilities. When we explain a given protocol, we do so not only so they can apply it, but also so that they understand the why behind it. Andrew has even introduced a new approach for his experiments,” explains Dr. Andelfinger.

My proudest moments are when my students surpass me. My role is to share my knowledge with them and, then, to watch their talent flourish. It’s the ingenuity of the team that counts: we are all working for the same cause, and together we will be able to halt the progression of cardiac disease in children

Dr. Gregor Andelfinger

Today, Dr. Andelfinger and his team are working toward the implementation of a biological factory, capable of producing cardiac tissue from stem cells. This will enable the thousands of babies born with heart defects each year to have the opportunity to live a healthy life. It is a mission worthy of the ambitions of Sainte-Justine, whose reputation in pediatric care and clinical research extends beyond our borders

People Who Care, in the Service of Knowledge

Behind professors like Dr. Andelfinger are other caring individuals who provide exemplary support for teaching at Sainte-Justine. The commitment of our donors helps drive Sainte-Justine’s excellence and expertise ever further by making it possible to create grant programs for the next generation – the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals of the future.

Since 1998, the Foundation has supported the fund-matching grant program, which allows Sainte-Justine to host international fellows and send its own recruits abroad to complete their training. Thanks to donors, more than 480 new fellows (pediatric sub-specialists) have gained access to knowledge here at home and around the world. 

So to you, who believe in academic excellence at Sainte-Justine, thank you for helping to build a healthy future for families in Quebec!

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