François A. Auger, M.D., FRCP (C), CQ, MACSS
Centre de Recherche en Organogénèse Expérimentale de l’Université Laval/ LOEX
CHU de Québec Research Center-Université Laval
Department of Surgery within the Faculty of Medicine of Université Laval
Dr. Auger received his M.D. at Université Laval in 1978 and his specialist certification in medical microbiology at Université de Montréal in 1982. In 1983 and 1984, he did a postdoc, as recipient of the prestigious McLaughlin fellowship, at the University of Maryland and at a NIH laboratory in Washington. In 1985, he returned to the “Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement” in Quebec City and founded the laboratory for the severely burned (“Laboratoire des grands brûlés”), which quickly became the LOEX (“Laboratoire d'Organogénèse Expérimentale”) in order to introduce the technology of epidermal substitutes.
Since its inception, the LOEX has augmented its staff and increased the scope of its scientific work in regenerative medicine while continuing, at the request of the surgeons, to produce autologous tissue-engineered epidermal substitutes for the severely burned patients in Montréal and Québec City. LOEX is part of the CHU de Québec Research Center-Université Laval. Although he is interested in all the work carried out at the LOEX, Dr. Auger scientific projects are more specifically related to tissue engineering of skin, cornea, blood vessels including those of smaller size and heart valves by the self-assembly method. Recently, he started a project for the reconstruction of bone tissue through the recruitment of a postdoctoral fellow in collaboration with Dr. Julie Fradette.
Dr Auger is considered as a world leader in Regenerative Medicine through his unique tissue engineering approaches. Thus in particular he was, with his team, at the forefront of a paradigm shift in creating tissue and organ substitutes with the unique and revolutionary self-assembly tissue engineering approach. This discovery shines nicely as a core technology for all domains of investigation and clinical translation at the LOEX team.
He has thus authored almost 200 scientific publications and has over 500 abstracts. One must also realize that energetically supported by his research professionals, excellent graduate students and post doctoral fellows, and superb LOEX investigators he has been the senior leader of many world premieres in Regenerative Medicine : a completely biological small diameter blood vessel, a unique capillary microvascularisation in skin, the first team ever to recreate physiologically active vasa vasorum micocapillary structure and also the appearance of pericytes in a microcapillary network. Dr Auger is still fascinated by new knowledge and original results after thirty years of multidisciplinary endeavors. He is always thankful for the hard and productive work achieved by everyone in the LOEX.
As a trailblazer he has coordinated the continuous growth of the LOEX team up to nearly 120 members. This development was mapped out by five year strategic planning exercise ever since 1990. His investigators are always close partners in this continuous expansion. He also has a unique ability to find strong donators at critical time points.
He currently leads the work of the LOEX in a new 55 000 ft2 infrastructure dedicated to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The new building under the acronym CMDGT, was inaugurated in early 2010, was made possible through grants from the CFI, the Government of Quebec and other sources. Dr. Auger is the principal investigator for many of the subsidies that supported the development of this technological center with a total budget of 28.6 M$.
In 2003, Dr. Auger was appointed “Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec” (CQ). In 2005, he was an early elected member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) as it was created. In 2010, he has been appointed Member of the “Académie des Grands Québécois” and he was awarded with the Medal of the “Gloire de l'Escolle”, a prize given by the “Grands diplômés de l’Université Laval” Finally, in 2013, his medical colleagues gave him the award “Prix d'excellence du Collège des Médecins du Québec” for his remarkable career.