Roxane Pouliot, Ph.D.
Centre de Recherche en Organogénèse Expérimentale de l’Université Laval/ LOEX
CHU de Québec Research Center-Université Laval
Faculty of Pharmacy of Université Laval
One research topic: One team
Whether it is to better understand how to strengthen and refine its fundamental structures or conversely, to weaken them to achieve greater control over disease, the subject that fascinates our research group is that of the skin. Our specific goal is to advance scientific knowledge about one of the most damaging skin diseases that afflicts many: psoriasis.
One team: Students
The task is daunting in addition to being complex. Nothing is possible without a good and strong team of students. They must both understand and share your passion. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Robert Langer, I had the privilege to join the Faculty of Pharmacy of Université Laval in 2002 as an Assistant Professor. I later became a Professor in 2007 and received my tenure in 2011. As a former doctoral student of the LOEX, Drs François Auger and Lucie Germain, again opened their doors to me when it came time to establish my research team. Marc Lapointe and Jessica Jean were the first two students to initiate team "psoriasis" in 2003-2004! Marc laid the groundwork of our model and Jessica has continued its development, including establishing a bank of psoriatic cells. We then welcomed Geneviève Bernard and Alexandra Duque-Fernandez who have, each in their own way, started to characterize our model. Lydia Gauthier later took over these contributions and Jessica showed interest in obtaining a doctoral degree. Marie-Michèle Rosa - Fortin, Guillaume Martin and Simon Guérard then began working on the immunological aspects of psoriasis pathology, and Martha Garcia-Perez investigated the effects of natural products. Doctoral students, Eren Ayata and Marie Leroy participated in the development of the model during their doctoral studies. Laetitia Angers and Sarah Dubois-Davies both obtained their Master’s degrees while studying the physico-chemical characteristics of the model. Isabelle Gendreau, Claudia Pouliot- Bérubé and Alexandre Morin worked respectively on dermopharmacology studies, gene profiling and biotransformation of drugs. Mélissa Simard and Maxim Maheux are currently focused on lipidomics studies, Isabelle Lorthois to the further development of the immune component model and Audrey Bélanger to the screening of new molecules. Marise
Ouellet, Jean-François Labbé, Yannick Viano and Catiuscia Padilha de Oliveira were our postdoctoral fellows. Alexandra Duque-Fernandez, Jessica Jean, Isabelle Gendreau and Claudia Pouliot-Bérubé remained in the lab for some time as research assistants managing several projects.
Students: A career
Our team was able to gain recognition at many levels. Particularly with the publication of our first articles in 2007 and 2009, many of our graduate students have obtained scholarships and numerous awards. Additionally, many of our graduate students have published their research in the form of journal articles and scientific book chapters. I received recognition as an early career junior researcher by the FRQS thanks to these personal accomplishments. Most recently, I also received recognition as a Senior Scientist by the FRQS. GlaxoSmithKline has also recognized our team's success; in 2004, they presented me with a Young Investigator Award. GSK has literally breathed wind to the sails of the psoriasis team. Two years later, CIHR added their support, and they have never stopped since. In addition, NSERC and FQRNT support us through partnership programs lasting several years.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, I am given the opportunity to sincerely thank you, the wonderful students of team psoriasis, for our great time together, your persistent energy, your proposed ideas, your time invested working, your repeated experiments, and above all, your successful projects. Without you and the collaboration of all our colleagues of the LOEX, none of this would be possible. The anniversary offers us the chance to take a beautiful team photo. Our lab has grown to over seventy people to date! I will always keep the beautiful memories of each of you.