The Quebec Network for Research on Aging was officially established in July 1995, with the financial support of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ : Quebec fund for health research). The network’s first Director was Dr. Réjean Hébert of the University of Sherbrooke, in Sherbrooke. He served in that capacity from the Network’s founding until March 2001, when he resigned to accept an appointment as the first Director of the Institute of Aging at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke from January 2004 to September 2010. He is currently Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister responsible for Seniors and Minister responsible for the Estrie region.
In keeping with the process set out in the Network’s Charter, and with the approval of the FRSQ Board of Directors, Dr. Pierre Durand of Laval University, in Quebec City, was appointed as the network’s second Director, in March 2001. He headed the Network until December 2002, when he stepped down to take the position of Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University.
In January 2003, Dr. Howard Bergman of McGill University in Montreal was appointed as the Network’s third director. He recruited Professors Pierrette Gaudreau and Yves Joanette of the University of Montreal to serve as Associate Directors. Dr. Bergman headed the Network from January 2003 to April 2009, when he stepped down to take the position of Vice-President of the Scientific Affairs at the FRQS.
The Network’s fourth and current director is Pierrette Gaudreau, full Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Montreal and director of the Neuroendocrinology in Aging laboratory at the Research Center of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM).
The Quebec Network for Research on Aging currently has 425 members, nearly eight times more than when it was founded, and 240 of them are graduate and postdoctoral students. They are affiliated with Quebec’s various universities and the FRSQ’s various research centers and institutes. The Network’s members are grouped into the following eight thematic groups according to their primary and secondary research interests: 1) Cognition, 2) Mental Health (formed in 2000-2001), 3) Nutrition, 4) Urinary Incontinence, 5) Geriatric Rehabilitation (formed in 1999-2000), 6) Long-Term Care, 7) Social Interaction and Social Support, and 8) Health Care and Services.