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Donald Poirier, Ph. D.


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Donald Poirier, Ph. D.
Donald Poirier, Ph. D. Professor, Researcher Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval


After completing a doctorate in organic chemistry at the Université Laval and a post-doctorate in medicinal chemistry and molecular endocrinology, Dr. Donald Poirier became interested in solid phase chemical synthesis of small molecules of therapeutic interest. He is especially interested in the development of steroids, in enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the steroid hormones and in the inhibitors of these enzymes. In addition to chemical synthesis of small molecules, Professor Poirier’s projects in medicinal chemistry involve the evaluation of biological activity using several assays. These inhibitors will be used for treating various cancers (breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreas, leukemia).

Why Choosing Breast Cancer?

Because breast cancer is an estrogen-sensitive cancer, and using an enzymes inhibitor involved in the formation of estrogen is a promising therapeutic approach.

A Scientific Accomplishment You Are Proud of

The development, using medicinal chemistry, of the first non-estrogenic and irreversible steroidal inhibitor of an enzyme, the 17β-HSD1, involved in the formation of estradiol, a powerful estrogen.

Field(s) of Research

  • All
  • Treatment
  • Cancer biology
  • The development of scientific models


2014-2016 – Movember Discovery Grant (Prostate Cancer Canada)

2014-2017 – FRQNT-Team

2015-2016 – Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp and Faculty of Medicine – Université Laval

2016-2017 – CIHR (Proof of Principle – Phase I)

Projects Funded by the Foundation

2008In vitro and in vivo evaluation of three molecules of high therapeutic potential with different mechanisms of action in the treatment of ER+/ER- breast cancers