Michel Bouvier is a professor of Biochemistry at the Institute for Reseach in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal. He is also the President and Chief Executive Office of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer - Commercialization of Research – IRICoR. Following his Ph.D in Neurological Sciences at the same university in 1985, he completed a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. In 1989, he returned to Montréal as a professor of biochemistry and a scholar of the Medical Research Council of Canada at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal. He was Chairman of the Biochemistry Department between 1997 and 2005 and was awarded the Hans-Selye/Bristol-Myers Squibb chair in Cell and Molecular Biology that he held between 1997 and 2005. He now holds the Canada Research Chair in Signal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology.
Dr. Bouvier is the author of over 245 scientific papers and delivered more than 390 invited conferences. He supervised the studies of 42 graduate students and 33 post-doctoral fellows. He is a world-renowned expert in the field of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and made seminal contributions to our understanding of this major class of drug targets that led to applications for human health. His work led to paradigm shifts that had significant impact on drug discovery including the discovery of inverse agonism at GPCRs and pharmacological chaperones to restore folding of disease-causing genetically mutated GPCRs. Both discoveries led to the development of new therapeutic classes. His work on the functional selectivity of GPCRs contributed to establishing the concept of ligand-biased signalling that is now integrated in many drug discovery programs. He also pioneered the use of bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based methods for the study of protein-protein interactions and signalling activity in living cells. In addition to the development of screening assays that are now used for drug discovery, this methodology led his group and many others to reveal the oligomeric nature of GPCRs. He regularly serves as member or Chair of many peer review committees and scientific advisory boards for funding agencies as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His contributions to the field of Molecular Pharmacology were recognized by the attribution of many awards and distinctions including the Hans Selye Chair of Cell Biology, the Merck-Frosst award from Canadian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cell Biology, the Leo Pariseau and Adrien Pouillot awards from the Association Francophone pour le Savoir, the NRC Senior Investigator award from the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences and his election as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Science.
Currently independant board member of Bellus Health (BLU,Toronto Stock Exchange) and former site head and vice president of R&D at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. He holds a PhD in chemistry (University of Montreal), an executive MBA from LFGSM (Chicago, IL) and conducted post-doctoral studies at the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA). Following his studies, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in pharmaceutical R&D in the US and Canada, including Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie), Athersys and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Over the span of his career, he has worked in the fields of oncology, neurology, immunology and rare diseases.
His research team studies the molecular basis of cancer and more particularly the role of G proteins, GPCR and chemokine networks in cancer initiation, metastasis, and immune evasion. His translational efforts are aimed at targeting GPCRs and their signaling circuits in the new era of precision oncology and cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Gutkind is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was a Branch Chief at the NIH from 1998 until 2015. He has been a member of many editorial boards of scientific journals as well as national and international advisory committees. He has published more than 400 studies in prestigious journals and organized multiple international symposia and meetings.
With a background in chemistry (MSc, the University of Manitoba), pharmacology (D. Phil., Oxford University) and medicine (MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Pr. Hollenberg’s research is focused on the signaling pathways triggered by peptide hormones and by proteinases that regulate the Proteinase-activated receptor (PAR) family of GPCRs. He has published more than 500 papers and is an expert in signaling pathways connected to arthritis, intestinal inflammation, atopic dermatitis, neurodegeneration and pain.
A graduate of the University of Strasbourg (France), Pr. Kieffer joined the IGBMC (Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology) in 2001 and directed the institute from 2012 to 2013. She is recognized as an international expert in molecular neurobiology, particularly in the field of opiate receptors, and leads major investigations in addiction, mood disorders and other mental illnesses. Pr. Kieffer has been honoured with three major distinctions from the US National Academy of Sciences and the French Académie des Sciences. She is author of more than 250 publications, reviews and book chapters, and has been invited to speak at more than 200 conferences and institutions worldwide.