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Director

Nabil G. Seidah, C.M., O.Q., PhD, FRSC

  • Director, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases research division
  • Director, Biochemical Neuroendocrinology research unit
  • Full IRCM Research Professor
  • Full Research Professor, Department of Medicine (accreditation in molecular biology, and in biochemistry and molecular medicine), Université de Montréal
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine), McGill University
  • Canada Research Chairholder in Precursor Proteolysis

Dr. Seidah’s research focuses on a family of nine mammalian protein convertases (PCs): PC1, PC2, Furin, PC4, PC5, PACE4, PC7, SKI-1 and PCSK9. These enzymes are involved in the activation of hormone precursors, growth or transcription factors, receptors, or envelope proteins for pathogenic agents. His team is concentrating on the active mechanism and regulation of these enzymes, identifying their substrates and potential inhibitors. The goal of advancing our understanding of the physiological roles they play in cells and in mice is to develop clinical implications, as in the case of PCSK9. The team uses a broad range of techniques: protein and peptide biochemistry, enzymology, molecular and cell biology, proteomics and genetics. The lab possesses a unique collection of mutants and has completed full and/or conditional knockouts on PC5, Furin, PC7 and PCSK9. PCSK9 is a special target for attacking familial hypercholesterolemia.  The role PC7 plays in the central nervous system appears to be connected to the development of anxiety, as mice whose PC7 (PCSK7) gene has been invalidated present with a tranquilizer phenotype. The key roles SKI-1 and PCSK9 play in cholesterol homeostasis have led the team to expand and to devote considerable efforts to developing pharmacological applications related to cardiovascular diseases.

Awards and honours

  • Anne and Neil McArthur Research Award (2015)
  • Jacques Genest Award (2014), Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Simon Pierre-Noël Memorial Lecture Award in Lipid Research (2013)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013), Governor General of Canada
  • Recipient, 2011 Wilder-Penfield Prize du Québec
  • Jean-Davignon Pfizer Distinguished Cardiovascular-Metabolic Research Award (2009)
  • Canada Chair Tier 1 in Precursor Proteolysis (2003-2017)
  • McLaughlin Medal (2001), Royal Society of Canada
  • Recipient, Léo-Pariseau Prize (2001), ACFAS
  • Member, Order of Canada (1999)
  • Medal of Honor, PMAC Health Research Foundation (1999)
  • Officer, Order of Québec (1997)
  • MRC Distinguished Scientist Award (1995)
  • Manning Award of Distinction (1994)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (1991)
  • Marcel Piché Award (1983), IRCM
  • The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Award, Toronto (1977)

Degrees and relevant experience

  • PhD in chemistry, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA (1969-1973)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Department of Biophysics and Chemistry, Université de Montréal (1973-1974)
  • Sabbatical year, Dr. François Rougeon’s laboratory, Institut Pasteur (1987-1988)
  • Senior research scientist, Dr. Michel Chrétien’s laboratory, IRCM (1974-1983)
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