Queen’s Cardio Pulmonary Unit

Author: Queen's Department of Medicine

Nestled in the heart of Queen’s University sits the Queen’s Cardio Pulmonary Unit, a state of the art 8,000 square foot translational research facility.  Translational research sounds complicated, but in fact the premise is quite simple.

Think about the scenario where there are researchers working towards the goal of creating tests or treatments to cure your disease, and these results come right from the lab bench to your bedside. This “bench to bedside” approach to research in medicine is at the core of translational medicine.

The goal of QCPU is to be a unique research hub, working alongside collaborators both internally and externally to the university, as well as with national and international partners, to improve the understanding of heart, lung, blood and vascular diseases. The research includes a focus on diseases such as right heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia and blood disorders among others.


“Translational research is a buzz phrase that we hear commonly, and what it basically means is to take a basic science discovery and turn that into a diagnostic test or therapy you might give to a patient.” – Dr. Stephen Archer


Queen’s Cardio Pulmonary Unit is the brain child of Dr. Stephen Archer, Head of the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University. As with many of his innovative ideas, Archer made the decision to open this unique research unit over a cup of strong black coffee whilst meeting with his friend and colleague Dr. Stephen Vanner, Deputy Head of Medicine and an avid researcher in the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU). Fast forward 4 years, through many hours of research grant writing, pouring over building blueprints, and interviewing Highly Qualified Personnel to run the lab, and voila, QCPU is now up and running.


L-R: Drs. Mark Ormiston, Don Maurice and Stephen Archer “There is nothing worse than having a question you can’t address, not because it’s answer is unknowable, but because you lack the technology to discover the answer.” – Dr. Mark Ormiston


Thanks to a $10M grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research Innovation, combined with the hard work and dedication of Dr. Archer and his team of co-investigators (led by Dr. Don Maurice), this facility is set to make tremendous research headway in Kingston and beyond.

The 20-plus investigators in QCPU, some of whom are quoted in this article, will without a doubt enhance research in Kingston and at Queen’s University.

This collaborative, one-stop research facility brings together researchers who may never have crossed paths before. By bringing together multiple researchers, each with their own area of expertise, the quality and quantity of collaboration wil increase and more outstanding ideas will be generated. This can only mean great things for trainees in Medicine and Science and for patients in Kingston and beyond.

QCPU is proud to be a satellite unit of the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, bringing patients and research together under one roof.

The flow of patients from Kingston General Hospital through the QCPU will bring a vitality to this research unit, allowing patients to receive cardio-pulmonary testing such as echocardiograms and pulmonary stress testing in the core of a research facility.


“The reason we are doing all of this is to improve the quality of life of our patients.” – Dr. Paula James


It will also offer them access to state of the art, new medications a dn procedures through research protocols. Very few facilities in the world have brought this type of high caliber research human capital and high-tech equipment together in a central location and housed it alongside state of the art clinical testing equipment and a patient care facility.

Having all of this under one roof makes QCPU a research innovation that Kingston, KHSC and Queen’s University can all be proud of.

QCPU is proud to make itself at home in the heart of Kingston. Working together with the amazing group of internationally renowned researchers at Queen’s allows the QCPU to harness the power of cutting edge research tools with the highly qualified staff and researchers to achieve greatness.

Combining existing infrastructure and research talent with the new and innovative forum of QCPU is bringing together some of the world’s brightest researchers in a collaborative approach to diseases such as pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, von Willebrand disease, COPD, asthma and more.

In QCPU you can journey from the cell to preclincial models of human disease and arrive at the patient!  QCPU is focused on making the biggest impact possible on the lives of patients.

“To know that patients are being brought in through one door, and we are able to generate molecular answers through the other door is extremely exciting” – Dr. Charles Hindmarch


“We are looking for those medical miracles, and when we get it right it is like a piece of music played in tune, you can tell it works, the patient is cured. It is only by bringing in the best from around the world, that we are able to make these breakthroughs and give them a chance to make their mark on the world.”

– Dr. Archer


To find out more about the Queen’s Cardio Pulmonary Unit please visit: http://deptmed.queensu.ca/qcpu/qcpu_home

Let’s Get Together.

Contact Us!