Michel Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer of IRIC, will receive the prestigious 2017 Prix du Québec Wilder-Penfield

Published on October 30, 2017

Montreal, October 30, 2017 –The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal is proud to announce that its Chief Executive Officer, Michel Bouvier, will be awarded the prestigious prix Wilder-Penfield. The honor is one of the six handed out annually as part of the Prix du Québec, the highest distinction bestowed by the Government of Quebec in the scientific field.

Awarded since 1993, the prix Wilder-Penfield marks the invaluable contribution made by its winners to research development in the biomedical field. Mr. Bouvier is being honored for the quality and scope of his work in molecular pharmacology and signal transduction, as well as his remarkable contribution to the evolution of knowledge in this area of expertise.

Following a ceremony that will be held at the Parliament of Quebec on November 1st, Mrs. Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for Digital Strategy, will present him with the award recognizing his exceptional contribution to research.

“It’s an honour to present the prix Wilder-Penfield to Mr. Michel Bouvier. His undeniable contribution to medicine and to Quebec’s Life Sciences industry, as well as his great international influence, have earned him the highest scientific distinction bestowed by the Government of Quebec in the biomedical field,” added Minister Dominique Anglade.

An extraordinary contribution to science

The fundamental research conducted by Mr. Bouvier has resulted in extraordinary advances, notably a deeper understanding of GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors). This family of molecules plays a role in several physiological responses and therefore represents a group of important therapeutic targets that more than one-third of prescription drugs are intended for. More recently, their roles in the development and the progression of several cancers have been recognized and point to the development of drugs targeting GPCRs for cancer treatment.

An undisputed expert on the subject, Mr. Bouvier’s work has earned him many awards and much recognition, and is renowned within the international scientific community. In fact, in 2014, he was in the top 1% of the most frequently cited scientists internationally, according to the list drawn up by Thomson Reuters. He has written almost 300 scientific articles over the course of his career and has contributed to close to 30 patent applications as an inventor.

A key player in the field of Life Sciences

Along with his functions as Chief Executive Officer of IRIC, a position that he has held since 2014, Mr. Bouvier is a Principal Investigator in the Molecular Pharmacology research unit at the Institute and a Full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine of the Université de Montréal (UdeM). He also holds a Canada Research Chair in Signal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology and is Deputy Vice-Rector Research, Discovery and Innovation at the UdeM. Mr. Bouvier is also a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

Moreover, Mr. Bouvier is involved with several organizations that are part of the life sciences ecosystem. He is one of the founding members of IRICoR (Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research) and its Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Univalor and of the Quebec Consortium for Industrial Research and Innovation in Medical Technology (MEDTEQ).

He is a member of the Montréal InVivo Research and Innovation Strategic Committee, the Club de Recherches Cliniques du Québec (CRCQ), l’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) and the Management Committee of the Oncopole, a research, development and investment hub to accelerate the fight against cancer. He founded and managed the Groupe de recherche universitaire sur le médicament (GRUM) and the Quebec Network on Drug Research (RQRM), which groups together more than 200 investigators representing ten Quebec universities.

Training the next generation of scientists: a passion and a priority for Mr. Bouvier

Passionate about science from a very early age, Mr. Bouvier was fortunate enough to be assisted by influential and renowned mentors. His thesis supervisor, the late Dr. Jacques de Champlain, recipient of the prix Wilder-Penfield in 1996, paved the way for biomedical research by passing on his passion for understanding the mechanisms that form the basis of life and consciousness. Later on, the sustained support of his fellowship supervisor, Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012, was a turning point in his career devoted to scientific research.

With an academic career marked by his mentors, Mr. Bouvier is proudly committed to training the next generation of scientists. Above and beyond his many functions at the UdeM, which make him a major player in the success of students, he considers this responsibility to be a passion and a priority. His laboratory is his greatest source of pride, as well as his greatest challenge. Since its creation, he has assisted approximately 85 students and postdoctoral fellows along their academic path.

“It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of IRIC scientific community, to congratulate Professor Bouvier for this prestigious and very well deserved recognition. In addition to its quality and scope, Michel Bouvier’s contribution to biomedical research is also distinguished by the originality of his approaches, both at the fundamental and applied levels. In addition, it is important to emphasize the immense contribution of Michel Bouvier over many years to the development of IRIC and its international reputation. Finally, his commitment as a mentor to the next generation of scientists is also exemplary and helps make IRIC a leading training center,” mentioned Marc Therrien, Scientific Director at IRIC and Principal Investigator in charge of the Institute’s Intracellular Signalling research unit.