ABOUT ALEx

et_2017_Gagnon_Alexandre-014.jpg

BIOGRAPHY

Alex developed a passion for organic chemistry during college while taking an introductory course in organic chemistry given by Professor Roger Gauthier at the Bois-de-Boulogne college. After completing his college diploma in natural sciences, he continued his studies at the University of Montreal in chemistry as a Canada scholarship holder. In 1994, he carried out a first research internship in organometallic chemistry with Professor Davit Zargarian where he worked on nickel(II) indenyl complexes. He then did a second internship in organic chemistry in 1995 as an NSERC fellow with Professor André B. Charette where he worked on the synthesis of an HIV protease inhibitor. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, he joined Professor Charette's group as an NSERC scholarship holder to begin doctoral studies on the reaction of double nucleophilic addition on nitriles and on the development of a metalla-cyclopropanation reaction involving a gem-dizinc carbenoid. In 2001, he joined Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky's group at Columbia University in New York City as an NSERC Fellow. During this post-doctoral internship, he synthesized an advanced intermediate of Xestocyclamine A. In 2003, Alexandre returned to Quebec to start a career in the pharmaceutical industry with the pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim Canada as a senior researcher where he worked on the development of inhibitors of viral targets associated with HIV and HCV. After a stay at Boehringer-Ingelheim in Austria and a brief return in the group of Professor André B. Charette as an invited researcher, he returned to the United States to join the young biotechnology company Constellation Pharmaceuticals where he worked on the development of modulators of epigenetic targets such as EZH2. In 2011, he made the leap into the academic world by accepting an offer from the department of chemistry of the Université du Québec à Montréal as an associate professor.

 

Prof. Gagnon is an expert in the field of organobismuth chemistry with more than 15 publications and 2 review articles in the field which together have been cited more than 260 times. Since his beginnings at UQAM, he has obtained more than 1M in research funds, has established collaborations with several companies from Canada and the United States as well as research groups from Canada, Mexico and France. He has trained more than 40 students of all levels, and has given more than 50 lectures in Canada, Mexico, the United States, England and Europe. Alexandre was invited as a Visiting Professor at Paris Est Créteil University UPEC in 2015 and in 2019. In 2014 he received the Thieme prize, in 2017 the prize for emerging researchers from the faculty of Sciences at UQAM and in 2019 a prize from the Faculty of Sciences of UQAM for the quality of its teaching. He was a member of the board of directors of the Lucien Piché Foundation from 2011 to 2017 and President from 2017 to 2019. He is a member of CERMO-FC and of the center for green chemistry and catalysis (CCVC).

 

Alex's influences in chemistry are numerous. In addition to his mentors, Professors Davit Zargarian, André Charette and Samuel Danishefsky, there are people who contributed to his education in chemistry including Professors James Wuest and William Lubell as well as people who had a major influence on his style of supervision and its approach in science including Brian Albrecht and Jean-Christophe Harmange. Outside of work, Alex enjoys playing drums where his influences are Neil Peart, John Bonham, Gavin Harrison, Nicko McBrain, Bill Ward, Elvin Jones, Bill Bruford, Steven Adler and Sean Reinert. He also likes to travel, listen to music (classical, jazz, rock, progressive, metal), drink Italian, French and Hungarian wine and learn new languages.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Education

1996–2000

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry (CRNSG scholarship)

Université de Montréal

Research director: Pr. André Charette

1993–1996

B.Sc. Chemistry (NSERC and Canadian scholarship holder)

Université de Montréal

Professional experience

2020 – present

Professor

Department of Chemistry, UQAM

2019 (October)

Visiting professor

University of Paris Est Créteil, Paris, France

2017–2019

2017 (May – September)

2014–2017

2015–2020

2015 (October)

President

Lucien-Piché Foundation

Acting Director

Department of Chemistry, UQAM

Vice-president

Lucien-Piché Foundation

Assistant professor

Department of Chemistry, UQAM

Visiting professor

University of Paris Est Créteil, Paris, France

2011–2015

Associate professor

Department of Chemistry, UQAM

2010–2011

Principal researcher, medicinal chemistry

Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA, USA

2011–2014

Administrator

Lucien-Piché Foundation

2010 (Jan – Feb)

Guest researcher, Charette group

Department of chemistry 

Université de Montréal

2003–2009

Principal researcher, medicinal chemistry

Boehringer Ingelheim, Laval, Qc, Canada

2009 (April – July)

2001–2002

1995

Visiting researcher, medicinal chemistry

Boehringer Ingelheim, Vienna, Austria

Post-doctoral researcher (NSERC schorlarship)

Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Research supervisor: Pr. Samuel J. Danishefsky

Student research intern

Université de Montréal

Research supervisor: Pr. André Charette

1994

Student research intern

Université de Montréal

Research supervisor: Pr. Davit Zargarian

Research experience

2021

Strategic research plans - Epigenetics and medicinal chemistry

UQAM Faculty of Sciences

2019

Teaching awards

UQAM Faculty of Sciences

2017

Young researcher award

UQAM Faculty of Sciences

2013

2001–2002

2001

2000–2001

1998–2000

1996–1997

1996

1996

1996

1996

1996

1995

1993–1996

Thieme Chemistry Journal Award

CRSNG Post-doc

Honorary List of the Dean Ph.D.

FCAR (FRQNT)

CRSNG Ph.D.

CRSNG M.Sc.

Bourse des caisses populaires Desjardins B.Sc.

Dean's List, Faculty of Science, Université de Montréal

Silver medal of the Canadian Society for Chemistry

Prix Bio-Méga Boehringer Ingelheim

CRSNG B.Sc.

Lucien-Piché Foundation Scholarship

Canada Scholarship