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Molecular geneticist wins Genome Quebec award


Montreal, QC – Dr Alain Moreau, a world renowned clinician-scientist recognized for his excellence in research, associate professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the Universite de Montreal and head of the molecular genetics laboratory of bone and musculoskeletal disorders at the CHU Sainte-Justine’s Research Center, has won Genome Quebec’s Biotechnology Award of Tomorrow award, given out for the second time at the 2008 Genesis Awards Gala.

Dr Moreau has helped the field of molecular genetics move forward by developing diagnostic tools. His work focuses on molecular and genetic diagnostic testing for idiopathic scoliosis, the most common orthopedic deformity, osteoarthritis and the selection of compounds of pharmacological interest for preventing the development of scoliosis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis or halting their progress.

“Currently, there are no tests for the early detection of idiopathic scoliosis, which is why the work of Dr Moreau and his team will help revolutionize the way clinicians treat this disorder,” said Carole Jabet, vice-president of scientific affairs at Genome Quebec. “Dr Moreau’s discoveries will have a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of children around the world.”

Genomics has become the preferred approach to research for the scientists at the CHU Sainte-Justine. A better understanding of molecular genetics has led to the development of three diagnostic tests for identifying osteoarthritis, scoliosis and a new molecule for treating osteoporosis. In May 2006, Sainte-Justine and Paradigm Spine signed a licensing agreement that will see the biochemical and molecular diagnostic tests developed by Dr Moreau and his team commercialized in North America, Europe and Asia.

Head of the molecular genetics laboratory of bone and musculoskeletal disorders at the CHU Sainte-Justine’s Research Center, Dr Moreau has built an interdisciplinary team of close to 22 scientists, graduate students and research personnel who are pursuing studies to find solutions to various public health problems. The research centre’s molecular genetics laboratory of bone and musculoskeletal disorders is a strong presence in the field of molecular genetics in Canada and around the world.

Dr Alain Moreau was the first Canadian scientist to be a laureate of the prestigious Fondation Yves Cotrel de l’Institut de France and the only one in the world to receive this honour three times (2002, 2005 and 2008).