Nominee: Martin Simard
Professeur, Département de biologie moléculaire, de biochimie médicale et de pathologie, CRCHU de Québec-Université Laval
Brief Biosketch provided for the nominee:
Prof. Martin Simard is a researcher and director of the Oncology axis at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center. He is also a full professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Université Laval. He obtained his doctorate from the Université de Sherbrooke in 2001. In 2002, he pursued postdoctoral studies with Dr. Craig Mello at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. During this pivotal period in understanding the regulatory role of small non-coding RNAs, his work, in particular, helped develop new strategies to use siRNAs better and determine the function of microRNAs (a patented method used in developing new drugs used in clinics). Prof Simard established in 2005 in Québec City, the first research group in Canada interested in this new gene regulation. His research focuses on better understanding how microRNAs contribute to effectively maintaining the proper functioning of our cells and improving our knowledge of RNA interference to use this approach as a therapeutic tool. His group has notably highlighted the presence of different cellular complexes involving microRNAs in animals. Prof Simard already has more than fifty research publications to his credit. Over twenty students/trainees have graduated from his laboratory, including some who are currently continuing their scientific training in the largest research institutions and started their own groups. Prof Simard was the recipient of the CIHR New Investigator grant and a FRQ-S Research Chair. In 2014, he received the André-Dupont prize from the Club de Recherches Cliniques du Québec, a prize awarded annually to a young researcher for the quality of their achievements in biomedical research. His work benefited from the support of the CIHR, the FCI, the SRC and the NSERC.
Justification provided for the nominee:
Prof. Martin Simard has been an active member of the RNA community for more than twenty-five years. He has participated in the Riboclub since his origin when he was a graduate student under the supervision of Prof. Benoit Chabot. His contribution to the Canadian Community has been acknowledged by his nomination as Alumni of the Year in 2004 and Blue Jacket Awardee in 2012. Prof. Simard played a leadership role in our RNA community by bringing and organizing the Annual Meeting of the RNA Society in Quebec in 2014, which contributed to highlighting the great RNA science made here and as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Riboclub. RNA has been his scientific passion for many years, and he believes that RNA Canada ARN will be a great vehicle to showcase our community’s great diversity, success, and quality to the Canadian population and beyond. He is ready to put his leadership and communication skills to contribute actively to our organization.