BIOQuébec congratulates Sylvain Moineau on his CRISPR-CAS9 scientific Breakthrough, a revolution in life sciences

BROMONT (Québec) February 14, 2017 – Among The National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s 20 prizes, Sylvain Moineau, Ph. D., has been awarded the most prestigious of them all.  BIOQuébec congratulates this Université de Laval researcher on receiving the John-C.-Polanyi Award, which recognizes his work on CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology, the results of which will revolutionize the life sciences industry.  

In 2007, while trying to understand how certain lactic bacteria were able to fight off the viruses attacking them, researchers discovered the CRISPR-Cas9 system. At the time, Sylvain Moineau, who contributed to highlighting how this defense mechanism works, was working with French and American counterparts on the Streptococcus Thermophilus bacteria used for fermenting yogurt and cheese.

CRISPR-Cas9 will now allow researchers to correct genetic mutations at the origins of hereditary diseases, to make blood cells more resistant to HIV, and much more…

“The quality of research performed in Québec is acknowledged around the world. The results benefit not only the life sciences industry, which profits from new technology and processes, but also the population as a whole as well as patients who will, within a few years, have access to targeted and effective treatments”, suggests Martin Godbout, Ph. D., President of BIOQuébec’s board of directors. 

This discovery, which went mostly unnoticed a decade ago, paved the way for very concrete applications, as well as others still in development, thanks to partnerships with researchers in California and in France. Its applications are cross-sectional, which means they relate to human health, animal health, agriculture, and other life sciences domains.   

“This recognition underscores Québec’s standing as fertile ground for healthcare innovations, of which we can all be very proud”, adds Anie Perrault, BIOQuébec’s Executive Manager.

This case is one of many healthcare innovations featured in the “Innovation in Québec, it’s in our DNA!” life sciences industry awareness campaign, available at

BIOQuébec, A Dynamic Network

Founded in 1991, BIOQuébec is a NPC which represents the interests of its members in the biotechnology and life sciences industry. Its operations are solely funded by its members’ annual dues. BIOQuébec is committed to supporting the growth of Québec’s biotechnology and life sciences industry, which creates wealth and specialized jobs, is focused on research, innovation, and marketing, and is dedicated to improving everyone’s health and quality of life. For more information, go to