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Biography

Early years

I was born in the canadian prairies and grew up in the distant western suburbs of Montreal. My childhood was spent mostly outdoors as I was well invested in the scouting movement. I went to a private french secondary school that was run by clergymen in a desolate village whith little to do. From early on, I knew I wanted to become a doctor of biology. Choosing natural sciences at CEGEP was thus a no-brainer.

Uni days

At the time, I was fascinated with viruses and resolved to major in microbiology and immunology at the Universite de Montreal. This enthusiasm for virology was short-lived and fizzled out after a few lectures, mainly due to the poor pedagogics of some scientists. I did take a liking to molecular biology, enzymology, and fermentation, not surprisingly. Besides having done some exciting research for an introduction to research class with Prof David Morse, I struggled to find a lab to pursue my studies in the field and thus lost much interest in microbiology.

Brewing

Shortly after having learnt how to brew (bad) beer and wine in conical flasks, I sought to become an expert amateur brewer together with my good friends Sebastien and Nicolas. We succeeded in not much time at all. Our first brew, "la St-Sacrement" was a light honey amber ale and everyone enjoyed it. We drove to perfect our skills, trying almost every variety possible while experimenting with new ingredients to more or less success. Our circle of friends were keen to purchase anything we sold and we re-invested all profits into equipment and ingredients. Let me tell you, beer is a very profitable venture. After 8 years or so, we had a 50L custom built fermenter and kegerator that entailed little if any excess after our personnal consumptiom.

M.Sc. and Quebec City

After spending some time in South America, I felt unsatisfied with my B.Sc and decided to do a Masters. I still loved biology, but I also loved computers. Enter bioinformatics. What an awesome field indeed, that is after having learnt first year computer science and classic bioinformatics algorithms. This time, my motivation fuelled my nerdy passion and I exceled.

My trip to South America made me want to help the less fortunate, which ultimately led me to invest my efforts in parasitology. This involved moving to Quebec City to do research full time with a bunch of quirky infectiologists.

Ph.D. and Australia

I was very eager to start my doctorate and was hesitating between a few different groups. The foremost was Dr John Mattick's lab in Brisbane, Australia, as his group's research was truly the most fascinating for me. Just my luck, he responded to my email mentionning that he would be in Montreal the following week and that we could meet. Awesome! I drove 6 hours in a snowstorm to meet him, which paid off as he accepted to supervise me shortly after.

Postdocing in the big Syd

A few weeks after submitting my PhD thesis, my partner decided to burst and out popped a baby boy! We then moved to Sydney, NSW, where I was offered a position at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Here we stand, research by day, family man by night!