Portrait of Annie Levasseur, Senior Advisor – Medical Technology Development

Annie is the quiet force of the co-development unit. She works closely with Marie-Pierre Faure, our Deputy Director Living Lab and Special Projects, and her mission is to collaboratively support projects within the TransMedTech Institute.

«…my mission is to facilitate the development of medical technologies that meet the needs of users within the healthcare system.»

Annie Levasseur

Tell us about your background:

I have always been in the academic field and I have a ‘research’ profile.

It is surprising because when I was younger, I wanted to quit school after Grade 6 and sell donuts at Dunkin Donuts!

More seriously, I wanted to be an occupational therapist. I started with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology which, at the time, was the only way I  could find to get into the health sector.

During my undergraduate studies, I fell in love with the Biomechanics course. 

The development of orthotics, prostheses, and technical aids to restore motor functions, piqued my curiosity.

The use of various technologies, measurement tools to quantify anything and everything drew my attention to research. 

I then carried on with a master’s degree on shoulder kinematics (rotator cuff rupture) in a laboratory affiliated with ÉTS, where the research team was either doing kinematic analysis of the knee or image analysis. 

Already at that time, I was introduced to co-creation by working in tandem with a shoulder surgeon who was also doing his master’s degree, as well as with engineers specialized in programming and design to articulate various aspects of the project.

I then worked for several years in a research laboratory affiliated with ÉTS in the field of engineering, which allowed me to develop rigorous working methods and to acquire various technical skills at the cutting edge of technology.

I finally decided to do a PhD in engineering on multimodal characterization of ex vivo bone adaptations and a postdoctoral fellowship on ex vivo culture out of curiosity and for the pleasure of taking on challenges and solving problems.   The journey was rather long for a girl who wanted to quit in Grade 6!

What is your mission at the TransMedTech Institute?

As a Senior Advisor – Medical Technology Development, my mission is to facilitate the development of medical technologies that meet the needs of users within the healthcare system.  My tasks are to support research teams in their efforts, by promoting collaborative research and by directing them to the right resources and expertise that will accelerate or optimize their research and development.

Tell us about a project you collaborated on:

We recently helped a researcher restructure the definition of his project so that it was more oriented towards product development rather than scientific study. We put him in touch with experts who could provide him with advice to facilitate certain phases of the project with which he was less familiar.

Describe a day when you just had the best day of your life workwise. What was it about that day that made you so happy?

I like to help out and be able to have a positive impact.

An accomplished day is a day where I feel that what I have done or proposed has been useful and may have served someone. Progress, or even the completion of projects, is what stimulates me.

What are your values at work and in life in general?

Humility, mutual aid and cooperation are essential values for me. Mutual aid and cooperation help us to join forces and maximize the chances of success.

Perseverance and tenacity are also essential. There is nothing easy about  finding solutions. You have to work hard, be proactive, and learn from your mistakes. 

There are different ways of looking at success, for you, what would it be?

For me, accomplishment is something personal, whereas success is determined by others.

I appreciate  ‘accomplishment’ more than ‘success’ in itself. For me, achieving my goals is a success  when, for example, a project comes to fruition  and meets the needs and expectations anticipated. This is accomplishment. Success is the valorization of accomplishment by others. I like to be a quiet force.

A person who inspires you and why?

Everyone is unique and has a little something that makes him/her special, that makes him/her an example or a source of inspiration.

For example, my mother’s strength of character is an inspiration. My father’s patience and calm. The ease with which certain work colleagues assimilate information and synthesize it, or the dedication of certain friends, are also sources of inspiration. They’re all role models in their own way and inspire me to try to be a better person.

Source : Géraldine Dumesnil
Communication Services, Institut TransMedTech