Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Translational Proteomics

Under the direction of Benoit Coulombe

Research Unit

The Translational Proteomics research unit of Dr. Benoit Coulombe exploits the power of proteomics to understand how mutations that cause rare genetic diseases alter the function of their target proteins. In recent years, this team has mainly focused on hypomyelinating leukodystrophies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), some cardiometabolic conditions and rare cancers.
The identification of mutations causing rare diseases and the concomitant identification of the genes they target has become the norm in medical research, but these advances say little about the mechanism of disease onset and progression. Really useful clues, more difficult to obtain but also more informative, come from characterizing the defects caused by these mutations to the normal function of their target protein and downstream pathways. This information on disease mechanisms is a gold mine for biomarker and drug discovery, and the development of new treatments.
The Coulombe laboratory focuses more specifically on rare disease-causing gene products involved in protein-protein interactions. Indeed, it is estimated that an important proportion of rare diseases target protein-protein interactions, protein complexes and protein networks. The Coulombe laboratory being a pioneer in the study of the PAQosome, a molecular machine involved in the assembly and the maturation of protein complexes, this group is well positioned to characterize the organization and the biogenesis of the human interactome, and the faulty connections that cause diseases. Differential interactome data is presented at as part of an Open Science initiative.

Benoit Coulombe

Research Unit Director

  • Director, Translational Proteomics Research Unit, IRCM
  • Director, Biomarker Pipeline for Precision Medicine Strategic Initiative
  • Full IRCM Research Professor
  • Full Research Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (accreditation for the Molecular Biology Programs), Université de Montréal
  • Holder of the Bell-Bombardier Chair of Excellence

Degrees and relevant experience

  • PhD in molecular biology, Université de Montréal (1988)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto (1990-1992)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Free University of Brussels, Belgium (1992-1993)
  • Assistant professor, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke (1993-1996)
  • Associate professor, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke (1996-1999)
  • Full professor, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke (1999-2001)
  • Full professor, Department of Biochemistry, Université de Montréal (since 2001)
Benoit Coulombe
Research Unit Director
Marie-Soleil Gauthier
Research Associate
Maxime Pinard
Research Associate
Esen Sokullu
Postdoctoral Fellow
Alexa Derksen
M. Sc. Student (supervisor: Dr. Geneviève Bernard)
Vijaya Madhoo
Administrative Assistant

Major Discoveries


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Contact information

Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
110, des Pins Avenue West
Montréal, Québec  H2W 1R7

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Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases