Subscribe to the newsletter


The Pillars of IRIC: meet Isabelle Caron

Published on June 28, 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 Isabelle Caron, Animal Health Technician in vivo Biology Core Facility

Originally from Quebec City, Isabelle Caron completed her studies in Animal Health Techniques at the Cégep de Sherbrooke in 2000, and then worked for a few years at Université Laval. In 2002, she took the plunge and moved to Montreal.

After working at the Fernand Séguin research center, now known as the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal (CR-IUSMM), Isabelle joined Sylvain Meloche’s laboratory on a part-time basis, whose offices were temporarily located in the main pavilion of the Université de Montréal campus, during the construction of IRIC. She then joined IRIC on a full-time basis.

She kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions:


Why did you join IRIC?

There was a brand-new in vivo biology platform, everything had to be built, and for me it was very stimulating.

What does your job at IRIC entail?

As an animal health technician, I ensure the well-being of the colonies and compliance with protocols. I make sure that the best techniques for administration, sampling and surgery are used or developed in collaboration with the various research teams.

What motivates you to stay at IRIC after all these years?

I love my work and the models I work with. I’ve also developed strong ties with the various laboratory teams.

Tell us about an accomplishment that makes you proud of your work at IRIC:

Generally speaking,the development of studies, including to the production of the models and the collection. It’s a bonus if the results of the experiments are conclusive and the research teams are satisfied.

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

Marc Saba-El-Leil gave me the opportunity to start managing colonies of Sylvain Meloche’s laboratory when he was there himself. Now at the in vivo biology platform, Marc wears many hats. He’s available, knowledgeable and always supportive.

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

As far as the in vivo biology platform is concerned, we’ve moved from basic care and colony management to the development and execution of various studies. We have also developed a colony management software called Vivarium.

A hobby of the past 20 years:
Best innovation of the past 20 years:
The COVID-19 vaccine.
Song you were listening to 20 years ago:
Daniel Lanois’ album Shine.
Happy disappearance of the last 20 years:
The discman.
A wish for 20 years from now:
Enjoy my retirement in good health.