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Dr. Judes Poirier, Ph.D., C.Q.
Director (1997-2007), McGill Centre for Studies in Aging

Born in Montréal, Dr. Judes Poirier is Full Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at McGill University and Senior Scientist of the Canadian Institute for Aging Research. He served as Director of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging from 1997 to 2007.

Dr. Poirier received his undergraduate training at the Université de Montréal. Shortly after, he joined Dr. André Barbeau’s group at the Clinical Research Institute of Montréal where he completed his Ph.D. on the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease. He then moved to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Consortium of Southern California, based at the Andrus Gerontology Centre in Los Angeles. It was in California that he discovered the important role of Apolipoprotein E, a cholesterol transporter that acts as a powerful modulator of brain reinnervation. In 1989, McGill University and the Douglas Hospital Research Centre recruited him back to Montréal to establish a research program specializing in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Poirier has made some key contributions to the advancement of scientific research in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. He is internationally renowned for his work on the role of Apolipoprotein E in the normal and injured brain and in the genetics of Alzheimer's disease. Besides his seminal contribution in the field of the neurobiology of Apolipoprotein E, he has been a pioneer in the establishment of the pharmacogenomic bases of brain disease treatments. Recently, his work on the use of cholesterol lowering drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease has gained international recognition, as several independent epidemiological studies have demonstrated the potential protective effect of cholesterol lowering drugs belonging to the family of statins in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.

International scientific awards received in recent years include the International Society for Neurochemistry Investigator Award in 1995 (Kyoto), the First Parke-Davis International Award in 1996 (Osaka) and the Galien Prize (1997). On the national scene, he was the recipient of the Beaubien Award of the Alzheimer Society of Canada (1994) and the Investigator Award (1994) and Innovation Award (1998) of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP). More recently (1999), he was awarded the Jonas Salk Award (named in honour of the inventor of the polio vaccine), the AstraZeneca/ASC/RxDx Award (2001) and the CSCC Award (2001) for his seminal work in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. In the summer of 2004, he was nominated to the rank of Knight of the Order of Québec by the premier.

Dr. Poirier is the co-founder of two Montréal-based biotech corporations, Nova Molecular Inc. (1996-2000) and, more recently, Spectral Neuroscience Inc. (2004) which have been involved in the development and commercialization of pharmacogenomic services and gene-based therapy for biotech and pharmaceutical corporations.

Click HERE to view a list of publications.