Director, Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Douglas Institute
Judes Poirier, PhD, has attained international recognition for his scientific contributions towards understanding two prominent diseases afflicting the elderly; namely Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases. Recruited in 1989, by both McGill University and the Douglas Institute Research Centre, Judes Poirier is now full professor of psychiatry and medicine at McGill University.
Judes Poirier and his team achieved important scientific breakthroughs in 1993 and 1995. They discovered that a novel genetic risk factor associated to heart disease is at play in triggering the common form of Alzheimer’s disease. The same genetic anomaly was found to affect the treatment response to several medications designed to treat dementing illnesses.
In june 2014, he and his team discovered that a relatively frequent genetic variant actually conveys significant protection against the common form of Alzheimer’s disease and can delay the onset of the disease by as much as 4 years. This discovery opens new avenues for treatment against this devastating disease and recieved international attention. Judes Poirier played a pivotal role in the creation of the Centre for Studies on the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease based at the Douglas Institute. He also wrote, with fellow colleague Serge Gauthier, MD, a popular caregiver/family guide on Alzheimer’s disease which is now available in Europe both, in French and German.
In 1996, L'Actualité magazine named Judes Poirier scientific “Personality of the Year” - one of five leading personalities in the field of science in Quebec. In 2012, he and Serge Gauthier received the prestigious Hubert-Reeves Award. He is also one of the three Canadians to have received the prestigious Honoris Causa Doctorate in Medicine from Montpellier University in France, the world’s oldest faculty of medicine.
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