Main areas of research

Structural and functional biology of the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and inactivation of steroidal hormones

Active investigators

Fernand Labrie, Van Luu-The, Alain Bélanger, Georges Pelletier, André Tchernof, Chantal Guillemette, Olivier Barbier, Sheng-Xiang Lin, Léonello Cusan, Donald Poirier, Sébastien Gingras, Jonny St-Amand and Claude Labrie

A leading role in intracrinology

Investigators in this field of research played a leadership role over the last 30 years in developing a new discipline in endocrinology called intracrinology which demonstrates that an important part of androgens and estrogens are synthesized locally in target tissues via the precursor steroids secreted by the adrenals. These sex prohormones play a major role in human physiology and in many prevalent pathological conditions linked to excessive hormone activity (for example, hirsutism or endometriosis) or to insufficiency (osteoporosis and menopause) or whose evolution is sensitive to the action of these hormones (hormone-dependent cancers of the endometrium, breast and prostate, obesity, dyslipidemia and diabetes).

Leadership and cutting-edge technology - Pioneers of high end methods of analysis

Many of our investigators are pioneers in the purification and characterization of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and inactivation of sex steroids and the understanding of the mechanisms of regulation of their encoding genes. They can pursue their research program thanks to the ultrasensitive and specific methods of analysis which are available, mainly mass spectrometry, crystallography and various approaches in functional genomics.