Bernard Thebaud profile picture

Contact Information

Bernard Thebaud, MD, PhD
613-737-8899 ext 73905
bthebaud@ohri.ca

Bernard Thebaud

Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Neonatologist, Department of Pediatrics
The Ottawa Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Ottawa
Partnership Research Chair, Regenerative Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Our lab is interested in making discoveries in the lab and moving them into the clinic. Our focus is currently on developing stem cell-based therapies for patients with incurable lung diseases. Chronic lung diseases will be the 3rd killer in man by 2020. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that follows ventilator and oxygen treatment for acute failure to breath in babies born very prematurely (24-28 weeks gestation instead of 40). BPD is a major complication of prematurity with a short- and long-term burden for infants and their families. Our body contains stem cells, a pool of cells that help organs to grow and to repair. One example of a promising cell therapy we are pursuing is umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells because we showed that these cells can heal the lung of newborn rats exposed to high oxygen (BPD animal model). Our research has the potential to provide a breakthrough therapy that will improve not only the lung disease, but also the overall outcome of premature babies. Ultimately, our findings may extend to other lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Brief Biography

Dr. Bernard Thébaud is a clinician-scientist recruited to Ottawa from Edmonton in 2012 to accelerate the translation of stem cell-based therapies for lung diseases. Dr. Thébaud is a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI), and a neonatologist with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where he provides care to critically ill newborns. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa and holds the uOttawa Partnership Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Thébaud obtained his MD at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France in 1991 and trained in pediatrics and neonatology at the University Paris V in Paris, France, where he also obtained his MSc and PhD. He then completed a 2 year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Thébaud has participated on numerous peer reviews committees and scientific advisory boards at the international, national and provincial level, including NIH and CIHR. He has over 120 peer-reviewed publications, and given over 80 lectures at leading international meetings and institutions in the past 5 years. He was a Canada Research Chair from 2005-2012. He received the “Rising Star in Perinatal Research” award from the CIHR Institute for Human Development, Child and Youth Health in 2008, and the “Best in Current Canadian Child Health Research” Sanofi Pasteur Research Award in 2007.

Selected Publications

Augustine S, Avey MT, Harrison B, Locke T, Ghannad M, Moher D, Thébaud B. Mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in bronchopulmonary dysplasia: systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical studies. Stem Cell Transl Med. 2017 Dec;6(12):2079-2093.

Zhu Y, Xu L, Collins JJ, Vadivel A, Cyr-Depauw C, Zhong S, Mense L, Möbius MA, Thébaud B. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells improve survival and bacterial clearance in neonatal sepsis in rats. Stem Cells Dev. 2017 Jul 15;26(14):1054-1064.

Solomon I, O’Reilly, Ionescu L, Alphonse RS, Rajabali S, Zhong S, Vadivel A, Shelley WC, Yoder MC, Thébaud B. Functional differences between placental micro- and macrovascular endothelial colony-forming cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Mar;5(3):291-300.

Alphonse RS, Vadivel A, Zhong S, McConaghy S, Ohls R, Yoder MC, Thébaud B. The isolation and culture of endothelial colony-forming cells from human and rat lungs. Nat Protoc. 2015 Nov;10(11):1697-708.

Alphonse RS, Vadivel A, Fung M, Shelley WC, Critser PJ, Ionescu L, O'Reilly M, Ohls RK, McConaghy S, Eaton F, Zhong S, Yoder M, Thébaud B. Existence, functional impairment and lung repair potential of endothelial colony forming cells in oxygen-induced arrested alveolar growth. Circulation. 2014 May 27;129(21):2144-57.

Pierro M, Ionescu L, Montemurro T, Vadivel A, Weissmann G, Oudit G, Emery D, Bodiga S, Eaton F, Péault B, Mosca F, Lazzari L, Thébaud B. Short-term, long-term and paracrine effect of human umbilical cord-derived stem cells in lung injury prevention and repair in experimental bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Thorax. 2013 May;68(5):475-84. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202323.

Luong C, Rey-Perra J, Vadivel A, Gilmour G, Sauve Y, Koonen D, Walker D, Todd KG, Gressens P, Kassiri Z, Nadeem K, Morgan B, Eaton F, Dyck JR, Archer SL, Thébaud B. Antenatal sildenafil treatment attenuates pulmonary hypertension in experimental congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Circulation. 2011 May 17;123(19):2120-31.

van Haaften T, Byrne R, Bonnet S, Rochefort GY, Akabutu J, GJ Rey-Parra, Bouchentouf M, Galipeau J, Haromy A, Eaton F, Chen M, Hashimoto K, Abley D, Korbutt G, Archer SL, Thébaud B. Airway delivery of mesenchymal stem cells prevents arrested alveolar growth in neonatal lung injury in rats. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009; 180(11):1131-42.

Thébaud B, Ladha F, Michelakis E, Sawika M, Thurston G, Eaton F, Hashimoto K, Harry G, Haromy A, Korbutt G, Archer SL. Vascular endothelial growth factor gene therapy increases survival, promotes lung angiogenesis, and prevents alveolar damage in hyperoxia-induced lung injury: evidence that angiogenesis participates in alveolarization. Circulation. 2005 Oct 18;112(16):2477-86.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest


Lung disease



Research and clinical approaches


Cell therapy; Molecular and cellular biology; Regenerative medicine; Stem cells; Translational research