Our Team

The Axel Center consists of a co-management and an advisory committee.

The Chairs

The Centre Axel is run jointly by Stéphane Guay, Research Director of CR-IUSMM, and Stéphane Vial, Researcher at CR-IUSMM.

Stéphane Guay Co-director, Centre Axel

Research Director, Montreal Mental Health University Institute Research Center

Adjunct-director, Research, Montreal East Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Center

Full professor, École de criminologie and Departement of Psychiatry and Addiction, Université de Montréal

Stéphane Guay holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and specializes in the study of the management of victims of serious violence, especially in the workplace, and individuals who have developed a state of post-traumatic stress following various types of events. His research aims to improve psychosocial interventions for people at risk of developing post-traumatic reactions by taking into account the differential needs of women and men. He is the director of the Center for the Study of Trauma and the head of the VISAGE research team whose main objective is to improve the care of individuals exposed to serious violence in their workplace.

Stéphane Vial Co-director, Centre Axel

Creator and leader of Mentallys

ChairHolder of the Diament UQAM Chair in Design for e-Mental Health

Researcher, Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal (CR-IUSMM)

Professor, School of Design, Université du Québec à Montréal

With a doctorate in philosophy and a degree in clinical psychology, professor and design researcher Stéphane Vial specializes in responsible digital innovation in mental health through codesign and interaction design. Chairholder of the UQAM Diament Chair in Design for E-Mental Health, his work focuses on creating high-quality digital interventions in mental health through human-centered design and codesign. He is the creator and leader of Mentallys, a free mobile application that facilitates access to mental health care.

Advisory Committee

An advisory Committee ensures the consistency of the Axel Centre's strategic orientations with the realities of the different members of its ecosystem.

Jonathan Brière

Director, Mental Health, Homelessness and Addiction Program, Montreal East Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Center

Jonathan Brière has almost 16 years of experience in the field of health and social services with a focus on mental health and addiction as well as neuroscience. He has actively contributed to the development of a continuum of services aimed at populations with complex and diverse needs. One of his key accomplishments is the transformation of mental health and addiction services within the « La force des liens » action plan, and he remains active on regional projects in the field of mental health. Thanks to the breadth of his experience, Jonathan possesses an in-depth understanding of both the delivery of health services, as well as their administration.

Jérôme Dussault

Director, Legal Affairs - Integrity and Litigation - SNC-Lavalin Group inc.

Board Member, Fondation de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal

A lawyer by training and father of two young children, Jérôme Dussault is particularly sensitive to the importance of research in the field of mental health. He is a board member of the Fondation de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and a member of the consulting committee for AXEL. He is interested in seeing more research on innovation in the field of mental health through the use of new technologies.

Ted Hill

CEO, Applied R&D Technology and Funding Solutions Inc.

Edward (Ted) Hill holds a PhD in Software Engineering from ETS (automatic emotion detection in speech) and a master’s degree in Applied Computer Science from Concordia University. Ted has 30 years of experience providing R&D services, developing applications, and leading teams in speech recognition, machine learning, Internet of Things, patient monitoring, mental health, and SR&ED tax credit services. Ted is developing an system (internet of things) and mental health applications for MMHUI, McGill Brain Health Now, Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, and HandHeld Monitoring.

Paul L’Espérance

Psychiatrist, CHUM

Adjunct-director, innovation and clinical network, Department of Psychiatry and Addiction, Université de Montréal

Paul L'Espérance holds a degree in medicine at Université de Montréal and is the head of the Department of Psychiatry at the CHUM. Associate professor of the clinic at the University of Montreal, he is co-medical manager of the group of psychiatry, mental health and addiction. Paul is an important player in the mental health community. The subjects on which his research is based are adult psychiatry, refractory affective disorders, neuromodulation and neuropsychiatry. In 2017, he was appointed deputy director of the Clinical Network and Innovation of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal. His fields of expertise are refractory affective disorders, neuromodulation and neuropsychiatry. Paul is an important player in the mental health community. For example, he demonstrated on the largest pool of patients implanted with a nerve stimulator in Canada that their short-term memory improves faster and more significantly.

Thi Be Nguyen

Director, Office of the President and Philanthropy - Public Affairs, National Bank of Canada


Thi Be graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor in Commerce, major Marketing and minor in MIS. She has over sixteen years of experience in the marketing and communication fields, having acquired and developed expertise in donations and sponsorships, corporate community involvements, corporate events, public relations and market and clients strategies. Thi Be is very involved in the community and supports multiple causes for the last 20 years. She founded UniAction and UniAction Films with the mission to bring awareness to the population on different social issues such as poverty, access to education and health. She is an Ambassador of diversity at National Bank of Canada and a founding member of the Montreal Mental Health Youth Circle.

Luc Sirois

Executive Director, Prompt

Co-founder, Hacking Health

An engineer with an MBA from Harvard, an experienced executive, investor and entrepreneur in medical technology and digital health, Luc is known as a passionate driver of innovation, creativity and positive change. In 2012, Luke co-founded the Hacking Health movement, with the purpose of breaking down barriers to health care innovation. Since 2017, he has led a fund that aims to facilitate the creation of partnerships and the financing of ICT R & D projects between businesses and the public research community. Over 20 years, he has been General Manager at EMR vendor NightingaleMD, Vice-President of Consumer Health at TELUS Health, and Vice-President of Business Development at Telesystem, where he also directed Plexo, their medical clinic and related services network. In 2002 he co-founded Resonant Medical, which later became Elekta Canada, a leading cancer radiotherapy equipment manufacturer. Luc is an advisor and board member of numerous non-profit organizations dedicated to youth education and health.