Principal investigators

Home The Group Principal investigators

The Quebec PAH research group is made up of university professors, clinicians and fundamentalists, with varied but complementary and multidisciplinary expertise mainly covering epigenetics, metabolism, cellular response to stress and cardiopulmonary physiology and exercise. This allows us to carry out transdisciplinary projects from the study of the gene and its regulation to the establishment of clinical trials.

Sébastien Bonnet
Steeve Provencher
Roxane Paulin
Olivier Boucherat
François Potus

The success of our group depends on the work of a team
of dedicated principal investigators, research coordinators and students.
Every day, each of them contributes to our success.

Sébastien Bonnet, PhD

Sébastien Bonnet Ph. D., FAHA

Principal Investigator

Full Professor, Faculty of medicine, Laval University
Director of the Canadian research Chair in translational research in pulmonary vascular diseases

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); coronary disease.

Career path

After having completed a doctorate degree in vascular physiopathology in France and a post-doctorate degree in vascular biology in Alberta, Dr. Bonnet settled in Québec city, as an associate professor at Université Laval and a researcher at the Research Centre of the IUCPQ where he continues his research in the cardiovascular field.

Professor Bonnet was named Fellow of American Heart Association and Director of the Canadian Research Chair in vascular pathology. This title, considered as one of the greatest honors in the scientific community, is allotted to researchers who showed leadership, creativity and exceptional competence in the advancement of fundamental and clinical research in the cardiovascular field.

The accomplishments of Professor Bonnet led to the discovery of mechanisms causing pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal disease which strikes mainly young adults. His team also discovered two substances likely to treat this disease effectively. Drs Bonnet and Provencher are the founders and directors of the pulmonary hypertension research group.

Work description

The group of Dr. Bonnet uses a multidisciplinary and translational approach (from genes to population) in order to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the development of the process of vascular and bronchial remodeling. This work allows the identification of new biomarkers, thus improving the identification and clinical management of individuals afflicted by PAH. His research also identified new therapeutic targets such as Pim-1, miR-204 or PARP-1 in PAH. In addition, numerous works carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Bonnet aim at evaluating the impact of these targets in the COPD and the coronary diseases which have several similarities with PAH.

The recent association of Drs Bonnet and Provencher creating the pulmonary hypertension research group offers new prospects of research in PAH. Indeed, the association of the fundamental research of Dr. Bonnet to the clinical research of Dr. Provencher allows research projects initiated in the laboratory to reach the patient’s bedside which will accelerate, without any doubt, the discovery of new therapies.

Awards and distinctions

2019: Yves Morin Price, awarded to highlight the quality of its supervision of graduate students for residents and the transmission of his passion for research, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University

2019: Recognition award, scientific chair of Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute annual congress

2018: Chair elect program committee of the American Thoracic Society (2018-2020)

2017: Chair SCILL committee of the American Heart Association (2017-2019)

2017: Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute North America representative

2017: Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute Research award

2015 European Respiratory Society Research Award on Pulmonary Hypertension

2014: Prix Louise Rousselle-Trottier awarded by Fondation des maladies du coeur et de l’AVC-Québec for his study entitled ” Role for DNA damage signalling in Pulmonary Hypertension”. This award of excellence is given to the researcher who has attained the highest rating evaluation for a research project on hypertension.

2013: “Jonathan Ballon” Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation – Québec, for the highest rated scientific research project: “Role of miRNAs in pulmonary hypertension”

2012: Nominated for the Springer Junior Investigator Award of the North Amarican Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO)

2011: Honored and distinguished member of pulmonary hypertension association

2011: American Heart Association best abstract award

2011: Nominated as fellow of the American Heart Association

2011: SQHA young investigator award

2010: Best Canadian Researcher of the month of December by CHR

2010: Hypertension Canada young investigator award

2010: Canadian Cardiovascular Society young investigator award

2009: The Cardiovascular Health Network (CHN) – Pfizer Canada Grant for the Future award

2009: American Heart Association best abstract award

2008: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada New Investigator Salary Award

2006: Paul Mann Award for Translational Research

2005: Fraser Mustard Award from CIHR

2004: American Heart Association Cournand & Comoroe Young Investigator Award


CIHR: Replication stress and pulmonary hypertension: Role for checkpoint kinase 1 (2018-2023)

HSFC: Role for FOXM1 in DNA damage response and cell survival in pulmonary hypertension (2014-2017)(2017-2020)

CRC: Translational research in pulmonary vascular diseases (2015-2020)

CIHR : Role for miRNA in pulmonary hypertension (2012-2017)

CRC : Vascular remodeling diseases (2010-2015)

HSFC : miR-204 in pulmonary hypertension (2011-2014)

CIHR : Experimental therapies for vasculare remodeling diseases (2008-2013)

Steeve Provencher, M.D., M. Sc., FRCPC

Principal Investigator

Director of the Pulmonology Research Axis at the IUCPQ-UL Research Center
Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Program
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval
Principal Investigator

Interests :
Pulmonary arterial hypertension, exercise physiology, muscle adaptation, hemodynamics, pulmonary embolism

Career path

After completing his specialty in pulmonology and a master’s degree in experimental medicine, Dr.Provencher completed two years of post-doctoral training in pulmonary hypertension at the Antoine Béclère Hospital in France. Since his return, he has been director of the pulmonary hypertension program at Laval University in Quebec City. His research program focuses on the pathophysiology of exercise, as well as the mechanisms leading to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Work description

Dr. Provencher is working on the mechanisms of stress intolerance in pulmonary arterial hypertension. In collaboration with his colleague, Professor Sébastien Bonnet, he is also interested in the mechanisms leading to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as the clinical validation of biomarkers of this disease. Together, in clinical trials, they are currently evaluating the clinical effects of two new treatments from their pulmonary hypertension laboratory. His interests in exercise pathophysiology and biomarkers have also led to work on pulmonary embolism, post-pneumonectomy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Awards and distinctions

Yves Morin Award, awarded to recognize the quality of the supervision of graduate students or residents as well as the transmission of his passion for research. Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval 2019

Award of Recognition, leading the scientific program of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute Annual Conference, January 2019

Recipient of a Senior FRSQ Fellowship as a clinician-researcher from 2015 to 2019 entitled “Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Translational and Multidisciplinary Approach”.

Jacques Leblanc Award (nominee), awarded to the Director of Research with the highest level of excellence in student education (2011).

Marc Julien Recognition Award, awarded by the Internal Medicine Residents of Laval University (2011) in recognition of the outstanding work done in teaching hospitals with residents, dedication to its patients, clinical competence, and quality of care.

François Brenot Award from the European Respiratory Society (2004), recognizing the most promising young investigator in the field of vascular pulmonary sciences.

Contributions and activities

Director of the Pulmonology Research Axis at the IUCPQ-UL Research Center

Member of the World Symposium’s Canadian Practice Guidelines Committee on Pulmonary Vascular Disease and International Practice Guides.

Research Committee Chair, PHA Canada

Associate Editor of European Respiratory Review and Respiratory Medicine & Research.

Member of the editorial board of the European Respiratory Journal and editor for many scientific journals.

Jury member of granting agencies, including Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec, PSI Foundation, Medical Research Scotland and Netherlands Asthma Foundation.

Over 150 conferences invited to provincial, national and international conferences.

Organizer of several provincial, national and international medical conferences.

Head of Pulmonology Division, Department of Medicine, Université Laval


IRSC: BET inhibition in PAH: a phase 2 clinical trial (2019-2024)

IRSC: PARP inhibition in PAH: A Phase 1 clinical trial (2018-2021)

IRSC: RUNX2-related pulmonary artery remodeling and calcification in pulmonary arterial hypertension (2015-2020)

Roxane Paulin, Ph. D.

Principal Investigator

Pulmonary hypertension, right heart failure, metabolism, chronobiology, inflammation

Career path

After completing a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genomics and having received basic research training, she went to the laboratory of Dr. Sébastien Bonnet for a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She was then continuously exposed to the principles of Translational Research aimed at applying fundamental discoveries for the improvement of clinical practice and the treatment of patients. She was able to highlight the involvement of the oncogenic axis Src/STAT3/Pim1 in the etiology of pulmonary hypertension, show the importance of this signaling pathway in the diagnosis of pathology and propose new therapeutic solutions.

She then continued her post-doctoral studies in Dr. Evangelos Michelakis’ laboratory, where she was particularly interested in right heart failure, the most important factor of mortality and morbidity in pulmonary hypertension but also in many other pathologies. Particular emphasis was placed on determining the parameters that cause the right ventricle to respond sub-optimally to increased pressures. Compared to the left ventricle, which can take several decades to fail, right heart failure can occur in just a few years. She was able to highlight the implication of the MEF2 transcription factor, which in synergy with environmental factors such as inflammation, disrupt metabolic and angiogenic signaling pathways in the right compensated ventricle, resulting in decompensation. This post-doctoral internship also allowed her to specialize in the metabolism of the right ventricle but also in systemic manifestations of PAH. She was able to demonstrate the role of the SIRT3 protein in the development of PAH and an association between the presence of polymorphism in humans and the development of PAH.


Work description

Now a principal investigator in the pulmonary hypertension research group, Roxane is interested in signalling pathways that regulate the cell cycle, metabolism and inflammation, and that would offer an interesting therapeutic option to correct several faulty aspects of PAH. She is particularly interested in the signaling pathways regulating the biological clock, the pathways regulating mitochondrial function, and the reactivation of the X chromosome.

Awards and distinctions

Young researcher presentation award, Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute Annual World Congress, January 2019

Travel award, Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute Annual World Congress, January 2019


Research Excellence Fund, Apogée Canada – Sentinelle Nord (2019-2021)

IRSC: Prohibitin: a circulating mitokine involved in the pulmonary arterial hypertension syndrome (2016-2021)

HSF ERLI: RV-T cells axis in PAH (2016-2019)

Olivier Boucherat, Ph. D.

Principal investigator

Pulmonary hypertension, lung development and alterations

Career path

Olivier Boucherat a obtenu son doctorat en physiopathologie respiratoire en 2007 à l’Université Paris XII. Les travaux effectués pendant son doctorat avaient pour but l’identification des mécanismes moléculaires du développement du parenchyme pulmonaire et de leurs altérations dans deux pathologies fréquentes du développement : la hernie de coupole diaphragmatique et la dysplasie bronchopulmonaire du grand prématuré.

Il a ensuite effectué un stage post doctoral au Centre de recherche sur le cancer de l’Université Laval, explorant chez la souris les conséquences de la perte de fonction de différents facteurs sur le développement pulmonaire. Depuis 2015, Olivier a rejoint le groupe de recherche en hypertension pulmonaire afin de mettre à contribution son expertise dans l’étude des mécanismes responsables de l’HTAP associée à la fibrose pulmonaire.

Work description

Awards and distinctions

Prix Résumé/Poster jeune chercheur, congrès du Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute, janvier 2019

Bourse salariale nouveaux chercheurs de la Fondation des Maladies du Coeur 2018 (declinée)


APQ-FQSR: Targeting PRC2 for treating PAH (2019-2020)

IRSC: Role of the lncH19 as a novel biomarker and therapeutic target in RV failure in PAH (2019-2024)

FRQS: Targeting mechanisms that drive PAH cells’ survival proliferation (2018-2022) (bourse salariale + subvention de recherche)

CMREF: Targeting replication stress coping mechanisms in PAH (2017-2019)

ATS: Forkhead-box (FOX) transcription factors in pulmonary arterial hypertension (2017-2019)

ENTELLIGENCE: Impact of Heat Shock Protein 90 inhibition in pulmonary arterial hypertension (2016-2017)

François Potus, Ph. D.

Principal investigator

(à venir)

Career path

De 2005 à 2007, il a réalisé, à l’université Jean Monnet de Saint Etienne, une première année du cycle d’étude médicale. De 2007 à 2009 il a effectué sa licence en biologie mention physiologie animale, végétale et microbiologie à l’université Blaise Pascal de Clermont Ferrand France. Il a aussi complété 4 mois cumulés de stages volontaires au centre hospitalier de Roanne qui ont abouti à la rédaction et l’amélioration du “protocole d’exploration dynamiques de Biochimie” présenté aux JIB à Paris.

De septembre 2009 à juin 2011, il a effectué son Master 1 de génétique et physiologie (mention assez bien) obtenu à Clermont Ferrand avec un stage de 3 mois sur “l’interaction entre le récepteur nucléaire orphelin ERR α et la protéine Bacurd II” dans l’équipe du Dr Vanacker à l’IGFL/CNRS UMR 5242/ENS de Lyon, France. Il a aussi effectué son Master 2 génétique et biologie de la cellule (mention bien) à l’Université Claude Bernard, Lyon 1 avec un stage de 9 mois dans la même équipe sur “la Régulation de la stabilité et de lʼactivité transcriptionnelle de ERRα par SPOP”.

Work description

Awards and distinctions

Tableau d’honneur de faculté des études supérieures, faculté de médecine 2017

Abstract Scolarship, ATS 2015

“2015 Cardiopulmonary Best Abstract Award” en tant que premier auteur du résumé scientifique ayant obtenu la meilleure évaluation de tous les résumés de la section cardio-pulmonaire du congrès international de l’American Heart Association. Le titre du résumé est: “Role for Mir-126 in Right Ventricle Failure in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”.

Bourse d’étude CRIUCPQ 2014-2015

Prix du Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) pour la meilleure présentation orale à la Journée scientifique de la recherche universitaire du CRIUCPQ (5 et 6 juin 2014) pour sa présentation intitulée ” Rôle de miR-126 dans la décompensation cardiaque droite en hypertension artérielle pulmonaire “.

Prix James C Hogg 2014 remis par la Canadian Thoracic Society pour le meilleur abstract en recherche fondamentale soumis/présenté à l’ATS par un jeune investigateur du Canada.

Bourse de voyage “Young Investigator Travel Award”, American Thoracic Society, 2014

Bourse d’étude CRIUCPQ 2013-2014

Prix Young Investigator, Grover Conference, American Thoracic Society, Septembre 2013, Sedalia, Colorado, USA

Prix mérite, American Physiological Society, Cardiovascular section Research, Experimental Biology (EB) avril 2013, Boston, MA, USA

Premier prix pour présentation orale, niveau doctorat, Journée scientifique de la recherche universitaire du CRIUCPQ, Mai 2013

Prix Merck (rendu possible grâce au soutien financier de Merck), Journée scientifique de la recherche universitaire du CRIUCPQ, Juin 2012