Martin Frasch, MD, PhD

Assistant Research Professor

CHU Sainte-Justine

3175 Chemin de la Côte
Montréal (Québec)  H3T 1C5

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Phone: 514 345-4931 #4048


  • Assistant Research Professor, Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center.
  • Member, Centre de recherche en reproduction animale (CRRA), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal
  • Adjunct Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario.
  • Adjunct Member to the Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics, York University, Toronto, Canada.


Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Children Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, Canada, 2009.
  • Research Topics and Interests
    • Effects of chronic hypoxia without progressive acidemia as might be seen in the human fetus antenatally on brain development and inflammatory response;
    • Effects of acute hypoxia with progressive acidemia as might be seen during labor on fetal electrical brain activity (ECoG, EEG) and systemic and brain inflammatory responses;
    • Developmental changes in fetal electrocortical activity (sleep states) due to chronic hypoxia in the last pregnancy trimester.

Residency and Research

  • Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany. Research on fetal asphyxia and programming of adult diseases (Principal Investigator: Matthias Schwab, Prof. Dr. med. habil.), 2006.
  • Research Topics and Interests
    • Acute and chronic effects of hypoxia with and without acute or long-term effects of betamethasone administration on fetal heart rate variability as well as fetal electrical spontaneous (ECoG) and evoked (SEP, AEP) brain activity and cerebral blood flow;
    • Acute and subacute alterations in autonomic nervous system activiy in adult patients with ischemic stroke.

Doctorate in Neurosciences (summa cum laude)

  • Institute for Pathophysiology (School of Medicine), Friedtrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany. Advisor: Prof. Ulrich Zwiener, Dr. med. habil., PhD. Thesis: Investigating complex coordination of neurovegetative and brain electrical activities in sleep and anesthesia using nonlinear signal analysis. Awarded October 4, 2004.
  • Research Topics and Interests
    • By studying the coupling between heart rate variability and respiratory movements, I was able to retrospectively discriminate human neonates at low and normal risk for adverse outcomes during the first year of life. I also characterized information flow in reticulo-thalamo-cortical communication in an animal model of propofol sedation using analysis of linear and complexity properties of cortical and thalamic electrical activity.

Doctor of Medicine

  • Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany, 2001.


Research Topics and Interests


  • Antenatal brain development under normal and stress conditions. Focus on autonomic nervous system responses to inflammation (fetal neuroimmunology). Fetal cholinergic anti-inflammatory parthway;
  • Monitoring fetal and neonatal well-being using computer-aided EEG and ECG (HRV) analyses;
  • Postnatal consequences of prenatal stress (fetal programming of adult diseases). I am also interested in how methods derived from the theory of nonlinear dynamics can be used to estimate neuronal complexity and to improve prediction of the physiological and pathophysiological behavior mentioned above.


Recent Presentations

  • Modeling fetal ECOG/EEG during labour. 5th Montreal Problem Solving Workshop. A CRM-Mprime Event. Université de Montréal. August 19-23, 2013.
  • Smallest Patients - big data. Challenges of fetal monitoring. University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON. June 26, 2013.
  • Mathematical approach to integrative physiology of the developing brain. February 25, 2013. College of Mathematical Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. (visiting scholar)
  • La réponse fœtale inflammatoire cérébrale: les études du modèle chroniquement instrumentés de brebis. Journée de la recherche Mère-Enfant de Sherbrooke, 7 juin, 2012. Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
  • Mechanisms and manipulation of fetal neuroimmune responses to inflammation. NeuroDevNet Brain Development Conference 2011. June 19-21, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Mécanismes et manipulation des réponses neuroimmunitaires foetales à l'infection. Colloque #117 La cascade inflammatoire chez le prématuré : un continuum de la mère à l'enfant. 79e Congrès de l'ACFAS. May 9-13, 2011. Université de Sherbrooke. Canada.


  • Junior 1 Research Scholar, Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, 2011-2015.
  • Operating grant, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2012-2017.
  • SickKids, 2012-2015 (awarded and returned due to budget overlap with CIHR)


  • Post-doctoral Scholarship, Strategic Training Initiative in Research in the Reproductive Health Sciences, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR/Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, 2008-2009.
  • E-Fellows Award, industry-sponsored mentorship program awarded for academic axcellence and extracurricular activities (e-fellows.net), 1999-2004.
  • Scholarship Award, Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, for academic excellence and social engagement, 1997-2001.

Prizes (selected)

  • Travel Award, Child Health Research Institute, Ontario, 2010.
  • SGI/Wyeth President's Presenter Award, 2009.
  • Travel Award, CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth, 2009.
  • Travel Award, Child Health Research Institute, Ontario, 2007-2008.
  • Travel Award, CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth, 2007.
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, National Institutes of Health, USA, 2007.
  • "The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Young Investigator Award, 2011".

Most Important Publications Selected by the Researcher

  1. Xiaogang WANG, L. Daniel DUROSIER, Michael G. ROSS, Bryan S. RICHARDSON, and Martin G. FRASCH. 2014. Online Detection of Fetal Acidemia during Labour by Testing Synchronization of EEG and Heart Rate. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108119.
  2. Casati D, Frasch M. Analysis of fetal heart rate variability in frequency domain: methodical considerations. Exp Physiol 2014; 99(2): 466-467.
  3. Frasch, MG. 2014. Putative role of AMPK in fetal adaptive brain shut-down: linking metabolism and inflammation in the brain. Front. Neurol. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2014.00150.
  4. Garzoni L, Faure C, Frasch MG. (2013) Fetal cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and necrotizing enterocolitis: the brain-gut connection begins in utero. Front Integr Neurosci. 2013;7:57.
  5. Ross MG, Amaya K, Richardson B, Frasch M. Association of atypical decelerations with acidemia. Obstet Gynecol 2013; 121(5): 1107-1108.
  6. Shapiro G, Fraser W, Frasch M, Séguin JR. Psychosocial stress in pregnancy and preterm birth: associations and mechanisms. J Perinat Med 2013; 41(6): 631-645.
  7. Ross MG, Jessie M, Amaya K, Matushewski B, Durosier LD, Frasch M, Richardson BS. Correlation of arterial fetal base deficit and lactate changes with severity of variable heart rate decelerations in the near-term ovine fetus. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013; 208(4): 285.e1-6.
  8. Frasch M, Frank B, Last M, Müller T. Time scales of autonomic information flow in near-term fetal sheep. Front Physiol 2012; 3:378: doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00378.
  9. Prout AP, Frasch M, Veldhuizen RA, Hammond R, Matushewski B, Richardson BS. The impact of intermittent umbilical cord occlusions on the inflammatory response in pre-term fetal sheep. PLoS ONE 2012; 7(6): e39043.
  10. Frasch M, Keen AE, Gagnon R, Ross MG, Richardson BS. Monitoring fetal electrocortical activity during labour for predicting worsening acidemia: a prospective study in the ovine fetus near term. PLoS ONE 2011; 6(7): e22100.
  11. Keen AE, Frasch M, Sheehan MA, Matushewski B, Richardson BS. Maturational changes and effects of chronic hypoxemia on electrocortical activity in the ovine fetus. Brain Res 2011; 1402: 38-45.
  12. Keen AE, Frasch M, Sheehan MA, Matushewski B, Richardson BS. Electrocortical activity in the near-term ovine fetus: automated analysis using amplitude frequency components. Brain Res 2011; 1402: 30-37.
  13. Seely AJ, Kauffman SA, Bates JH, Macklem PT, Suki B, Marshall JC, Batchinsky AI, Perez-Velazquez JL, Seiver A, McGregor C, Maksym G, Kamath MV, Similowski T, Buchman TG, Letellier C, Filoche M, Frasch M, Straus C, Glass L, Godin PJ, Morris JA, Sow D, Nenadovic V, Arnold RC, Norris P, Moorman JR. Proceedings from the Montebello Round Table Discussion. Second annual conference on Complexity and Variability discusses research that brings innovation to the bedside. J Crit Care 2011; 26(3): 325-327.
  14. Prout AP, Frasch M, Veldhuizen RA, Hammond R, Ross MG, Richardson BS. Systemic and cerebral inflammatory response to umbilical cord occlusions with worsening acidosis in the ovine fetus. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010; 202(1): 82.e1-9.
  15. Frasch M, Müller T, Hoyer D, Weiss C, Schubert H, Schwab M. Nonlinear properties of vagal and sympathetic modulations of heart rate variability in ovine fetus near term. AM J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. R702-707 (2009).
  16. Frasch M, Müller T, Weiss C, Schwab K, Schubert H, Schwab M. Heart rate variability analysis allows early asphyxia detection in ovine fetus. Reprod Sci.509-517 (2009).