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The Pillars of IRIC: meet Raphaëlle Lambert

Published on June 13, 2023

In 2023, IRIC celebrates its 20th anniversary. Among the initiatives put in place to celebrate this anniversary, the series of portraits entitled “The Pillars of IRIC” will highlight the people who have contributed since the very beginning, sometimes in the shadows, to make IRIC what it has become.

Today, meet Raphaëlle Lambert, Manager of the Genomics Core Facility of IRIC.

Raphaëlle Lambert joined IRIC in 2005, immediately after completing a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at the Université de Sherbrooke and a master’s degree in molecular biology on the genetics of hypertension at the Université de Montréal.

It was Pierre Chagnon, who was in charge of the genomics platform at the time, who first recruited her as a research assistant. At the time, Raphaëlle was very interested in the work environment at IRIC and the challenge of setting up a new technological platform.

In charge of the genomics platform since 2013, Raphaëlle now oversees the team’s work. She receives project requests from laboratories and assists them in their research work, carrying out sequencing (Sanger and next-generation) and DNA quantification (qPCR).

She generously shared her memories of IRIC with us:


Do you have a memorable IRIC anecdote?

I remember meeting Charles Tisseyre, host of Radio-Canada’s Découvertes program, who was at IRIC for a shoot. I was happy to say hello to him, as we watched Découvertes every Sunday as a family, which certainly helped develop my interest in science.


What keeps you at IRIC after all these years?

We’re asked to work on a wide variety of stimulating and sometimes surprising projects, so there’s always something new in my work. The atmosphere at IRIC and with my colleagues has always been excellent. I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello to Salwa and Caroline!


Tell us about an achievement that makes you proud of your work at IRIC.

I’ve been involved in the development of the genomics platform from the very beginning, and I’m proud to see how it has evolved.


Can you tell us about a key figure, role model or mentor for you at IRIC?

There are several people who have marked my career. First, Pierre Chagnon, former head of the genomics platform, for his optimism and ambition for the platform. Then there was Jean Duchaine, former head of the screening platform, for his humor, calm and logic. Finally, a few words for Manon Valiquette, head of the scientific platforms section, who is always available and helps me keep an overview of the platform’s management and challenges.


From yesterday to today, what has changed most at the Institute?

There are obviously more research teams today than there were in the beginning. Technology has also evolved in many areas, so we’re working on more complex and interesting projects.

A hobby of the last 20 years:
Best innovation of the last 20 years:
Next-generation sequencers.
Song you were listening to 20 years ago:
Where is the love by the Black Eyed Peas.
Happy disappearance of the last 20 years:
Film camera.
A wish for 20 years from now:
An increase in government funding for research.