Dr. Marie-Claude Sincennes: Pioneering Stem Cell Research & Improving Lives

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June 2023

Dr. Marie-Claude Sincennes is a force to be reckoned with in the world of muscle stem cell biology. As an accomplished Professor at the Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), she has contributed significantly to the field through her groundbreaking research and publications in high-impact journals such as Nature, PNAS, and Cell Reports.

Recently, Dr. Sincennes was honored with the prestigious Jarislowsky Fellowship-Banting Discovery Award. This award, part of the 2023 Banting Discovery Awards, is given to exceptional early-career researchers in health and biomedical sciences, and is a testament to her potential for making significant contributions to her field.

From right to left: Ariella Zelniker, Liam Massey, Evelyne Martineau, Marie-Claude Sincennes

“This funding represents a springboard for our young team to launch our research program on oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy.”

Dr. Sincennes completed her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the Université de Montréal. She then pursued her Ph.D. in molecular biology at the Institut de Recherche en Immunologie et en Cancérologie (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal, focusing on the role of the transcription factor LMO2 in hematopoietic stem cells. Afterward, she undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), where she studied the role of the transcription factor PAX7 in muscle stem cells.

Her research interests are centered on diseases associated with muscle tissue. Using molecular and cellular biology techniques, she investigates the role of genes influencing the onset and progression of neuromuscular diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and rhabdomyosarcoma.

One of her key focus areas is oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD), a rare neuromuscular disorder prevalent in Quebecois populations due to a founder mutation. Dr. Sincennes aims to uncover the role of loss-of-function mutations in PABPN1, the gene associated with OPMD, in muscle stem cell biology. Her research, supported by the Jarislowsky Fellowship-Banting Discovery Award, will utilize both established and new cellular and molecular techniques to explore this hypothesis.

Dr. Sincennes’ dedicated efforts and outstanding contributions in the field of muscle stem cell biology exemplify the spirit of the Banting Discovery Awards. Her work not only furthers our understanding of neuromuscular disorders but also opens new avenues for potential treatments. As we celebrate her achievements, we look forward to seeing the impactful research she will continue to produce in the future.

Interested in learning more about what we do at The Banting Research Foundation? Or perhaps you’re interested in supporting the next generation of young Canadian researchers? Feel free to contact max@bantingresearchfoundation.ca to find out more.