We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Simon Rousseau has accepted the position as the new Director of the CRRN, starting in January 2023. Dr. Rousseau is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University, and a member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, part of the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program.
Dr. Rousseau obtained his Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology in 2000 from Université Laval in Québec City where he studied the Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) signalling pathways leading to endothelial cell migration, under the supervision of Professor Jacques Huot. He then joined the group of Professor Sir Philip Cohen at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee, Scotland, a world re-known scientific unit in the field of signal transduction to investigate the signalling pathways involved in pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. In January 2008, he was recruited as an assistant professor at McGill University and joined the Meakins-Christie Laboratories. To date, he has contributed to the training of more than 60 graduate students and post-docs.
The major focus of his research program is systems biology of host-pathogen interactions in lung diseases. His research has been funded by many provincial and national agencies (CFI, CIHR, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, FRQ-S, NSERC) and he has published >80 peer-reviewed manuscripts leading to >9000 citations.
Currently, Dr. Rousseau is the director of the Québec respiratory health research network biobank and the co-director of the Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19), a provincial initiative established by FRQ-S and Génome Québec to help the research community investigate and mitigate the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infections. In welcoming Dr. Rousseau, we wish to also acknowledge the extraordinary contributions that Dr. Shawn Aaron has made in creating and managing the CRRN. He developed a network of outstanding investigators and trainees who have proven the value of a network through their many scientific accomplishments and the creation of projects that would not be possible without a national team. Last but not least, the network of multidisciplinary trainees supported by CRRN under Shawn’s leadership, forms the future generation of investigators that will continue to lead respiratory research in Canada. The community is enormously grateful to Shawn for his gentle and generous style, characteristics that motivated loyalty to him and the network, and that has created a legacy that can underpin Dr. Rousseau’s future leadership efforts.