The Canadian RNA community recently received the very sad news of the passing of one of its most distinguished colleagues. Dr. Jerry Pelletier was a brilliant scientist and a recognized world leader in the field of translational control. Jerry was a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Oncology at McGill University, and a member of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute.
In addition to his landmark work studying mRNA translation and internal ribosome entry sites in (+) sense RNA viruses, Jerry and his team at McGill had recently made critical advances in the study of the translational initiation factor eIF4A, including work that explored the therapeutic potential of new classes of natural and synthetic molecules targeting this factor.
In 2017, Prof. Pelletier was honoured as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2019 he was the recipient of the Robert L. Noble Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society for his groundbreaking work in elucidating the molecular mechanisms surrounding the initiation and control of protein synthesis.
His colleague, friend, and mentor, Dr. Nahum Sonenberg, paid tribute to Jerry at the recently held annual meeting of the RiboClub society, with members of RNA Canada ARN in attendance. RNA Canada ARN wishes to extend their deepest condolences to Jerry’s family, friends, trainees, and colleagues. More information about Jerry’s scientific legacy and outstanding contributions to RNA biology can be found here.