Simon Rousseau Ph.D.

McGill University

Dr Simon Rousseau is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His research laboratory is situated at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute in the translational program in respiratory medicine. Dr Rousseau obtained his Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology in 2000 from the University Laval in Quebec City. During his Ph.D. he studied the intracellular signaling pathways activated by the Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) 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 Funded by two consecutive fellowships award from the CIHR, Dr Rousseau investigated the signaling 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 as a research director to investigate signal transduction mechanisms driving pulmonary inflammation. A major focus of his recent work has been host-pathogen interactions in Cystic Fibrosis lungs. From 2012 to 2014, he led the strategic research group on Cystic Fibrosis of the Quebec Respiratory Health Network. He received the 2010-2011 Robbie most promising new research award from Cystic Fibrosis Canada and the 2012 Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity from CIHR. His research is currently funded by NSERC, Cystic Fibrosis Canada and CIHR and he his a Chercheur Boursier Junior 2 of the FRQS. To date his work focused on the role of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs) in orchestrating cellular functions has resulted in more than 50 manuscripts that have been cited over 4000 times. Research: Infections are major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Throughout evolution there has been a complex interaction between pathogens and their hosts leading to adaptions on both sides. Dr Rousseau's laboratory is investigating the intracellular signaling mechanisms evolved by the host to respond and fight infections in the airways. A major focus of their recent work has been to understand the role of chronic infections in neutrophilic inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis. They described a heightened response to infection in airway epithelial cells lacking CFTR (highlighted by the Faculty of 1000 (Medicine) as a must-read paper) and established that the activation level of the protein kinase p38 determines the onset of innate immune responses to infections. Recently, they identified another protein kinase (key enzymes involved in the transmission of intracellular signals) named TPL2 as an important regulator of inflammation in airway epithelial cells and a potential target for a small molecule inhibitor to decrease inflammation in CF lung disease. The work of the laboratory continues to map the essential signals involved in the detection of infection and their contribution to host defences.