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Normand Marceau

Dr. Normand Marceau joined the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University in 1971. He subsequently accepted Dr. Luc Bélanger's invitation to found the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec research center (CRHDQ), leading a few years later to CRC university training/recognition. There, he set up a very efficient and useful cell imaging unit for the research programs of researchers and students in the university community. A visionary, he enabled the Center to acquire the first confocal microscope in the Quebec City region in the early 1990s and to develop cutting-edge research in cell biology focused on the dynamics of living cells.

Dr. Marceau has left his mark internationally in the area of ​​liver cell differentiation in relation to normal and cancerous development in the liver, as well as in the area of ​​intermediate filaments (IFs), more specifically the multifunctional character of keratins simple epithelium. His initial interest in keratins came from the fact that they form a multigene family of proteins expressed in pairs according to cell type and stage of differentiation, hence their usefulness for typing normal and cancerous epithelial cells. However, the keratin IFs of keratinocytes were already known for their viscoelastic properties and from there, his team became interested in their functions, both mechanical and non-mechanical, focusing on liver cells. For the past fifteen years, his team has focused on the involvement of K8/K18 FIs in the regulation of migration, metabolism and death by apoptosis of these cells, in a context of cell signaling. Among other things, his data shed light on the modulating action of K8/K18 FIs at the level of lipid rafts through signaling pathways regulating the formation and distribution of actin filaments to the plasma membrane. The significant significance of this research is found in the context of liver disease, particularly cancer.

Research is not Dr. Marceau's only passion. He has always shown great commitment to his community, but he has always had an academic vocation. His gestures show that he considers himself a researcher, but also a teacher. Dr. Marceau's various achievements were made with exceptional vigor and determination. Nevertheless, they were carried out with constant respect for his colleagues. In this respect, Dr. Marceau was an example of a generous and helpful professor-researcher. Many will remember his expert advice, tinged with a wisdom that is particular to him.