Principal Investigator

Guy Sauvageau

Molecular Genetics of Stem Cells

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Guy Sauvageau, founding scientific director of IRIC, is the principal investigator of the molecular genetics of stem cells unit of IRIC and hematologist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. After his studies in medicine, specializing in hematology, he obtained a master’s degree in immunology-virology from the University of Montreal and a doctorate in experimental medicine from the University of British Columbia in the laboratories of Keith Humphries and Connie Eaves.

His laboratory has provided a better understanding of the molecular bases of the self-renewal of normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), by deepening our understanding of the function of Hox genes and other chromatin modifiers (Polycomb, demethylases, etc.). Over the years, the laboratory has also distinguished itself for the development of primary cellular assays adapted to the nonbiased screening of genes and small molecules involved in the expansion and differentiation of HSCs. More recently, in close collaboration with medicinal chemists at IRIC, under the direction of Anne Marinier principal investigator at IRIC, the team identified a new molecule which, for the first time, allows ex vivo expansion CSH. This optimized molecule, UM171, activates a previously unknown mechanism of action, involving a new E3 ligase complex which appears central in the epigenetic control of HSC expansion, both in vitro and in vivo. Initially used to expand cord blood stem cells before transplantation in more than 120 patients, it has led to impressive clinical results, appearing to outperform some more standard transplants.

Guy Sauvageau also codirects, with Marinier, Hébert, Lavallée, Lemieux and Zawati laboratories, the Leucégène project, an initiative that brings together several Quebec researchers aimed at improving the characterization of acute myeloid leukemia and developing new therapies for this disease.

He is also the scientific founder of ExCellThera, a biotechnology company that develops new methods of culturing blood stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

Principal Investigator, Molecular Genetics of Stem Cells Research Unit, IRIC

Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal

Hematologist, Stem Cell Transplant Centre, Department of Hematology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

Scientific Advisor, Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank

Scientific Founder and CEO, ExCellThera

Research unit on molecular genetics of stem cells

Pavillon Marcelle-Coutu, 1343-1355 (1371)

Phone (office)
(514) 343-7134
(514) 343-7780

Molecular Genetics of Stem Cells

The research work carried out in the Sauvageau lab focuses on the study of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Research topics


Awards and distinctions

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 2018

  • McCulloch Price, International Society for Stem Cell Research, 2016

  • Léo-Pariseau Award, Association francophone pour le savoir, 2015

  • Radio-Canada’s and La Presse Scientist of the Year, 2014

  • Till and McCulloch Award, Stem Cell Network of Canada, 2009

  • Member of Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2008

  • Stohlman Scholar Award, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, 2007

  • Till and McCulloch Award, International Society of Hematology, 2006

  • See all awards