Montreal will be getting North America's first research chair on homophobia, Premier Jean Charest announced Monday.

The Universite du Quebec a Montreal's sexology department will study the consequences of homophobia on mental, physical and sexual health.

It will also look into how sexual minorities can be socially-isolated and alienated, said UQAM's Line Chamberland, a professor in UQAM's sexology department.

"I think the chair will help us to better understand what's happening and what are the progresses that we've made -- and what are still the obstacles that are in front of us," she said.

The program, which will receive a $475,000 grant from the Quebec government, will benefit from the work of 20 researchers, coming from a handful of Quebec post-secondary institutions.

The project has also received private donations and there are plans to do corporate fundraising -- as well as asking for a federal contribution.

The new research chair will be in place until 2016.

The announcement comes a month after the suicide of Ottawa teenager Jamie Hubley, whose death prompted a national conversation on homophobic bullying.

With a report from The Canadian Press