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Jacques Landry

A founding member of the CRC in 1984, Dr. Jacques Landry is a world expert in cell signaling of stress. This activity focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the cellular response to stress, and in particular, the role of small HSPB molecular chaperones in the resistance of cells to thermal, chemical or physical stress. His work is the basis of several of the major innovative concepts that have guided research in this field, and which involve the small chaperones of the HSPB family in the resistance of cancer cells to several stresses, in particular the drugs used in chemotherapy. In addition, Dr. Jacques Landry first made a major discovery when he first demonstrated that the small heat shock protein HSP27 (HSPB1) protects mammalian cells against the toxic effects of heat. hyperthermia (Journal of Cell Biology 1989, >622 citations). This finding served as a paradigm for subsequent studies leading to the identification of key roles for stress proteins in pathophysiological situations such as cancer. Subsequently, his team showed that the protective role of HSP27 was linked to its phosphorylation downstream of the MAP kinase p38, thus supporting the existence of specific signaling pathways activated by stress. This is how he was able to impose a non-classical view of the function of small chaperones, in the regulation of actin dynamics, and more recently, in the targeting of proteins towards degradation by selective autophagy.

Taken together, Dr. Jacques Landry's fundamental work has greatly contributed to the recognition and development of signaling controlling cellular resistance to proteotoxic stress, a field of research with significant implications for cancer treatment. The impressive number of citations associated with his publications testifies to the importance and innovative nature of his discoveries (> 14,000 citations), which earned him a Research Chair in Cellular Stress Signal Transduction as well as a uninterrupted support for 35 years of CRM/CIHR funded research in this area!

Dr. Landry's contributions to the academic and scientific training of our center's graduate students as well as to the development and mission of the CRC have been remarkable.