Université de Montréal awarded prestigious research chair

Yves Brun

Yves Brun

Credit: Université d'Indiana

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Microbiologist Yves Brun will join UdeM next January as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Bacterial Cell Biology.

UdeM will have the honour of welcoming microbiologist Yves Brun next January as one of the 25 Canada 150 Research Chairs announced this morning in Ottawa by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. Each chair is endowed with a total budget of $7 million over 7 years.


Dr. Brun, who is currently the Clyde Culbertson Professor and Distinguished Professor of Biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, will join UdeM’s Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Bacterial Cell Biology. Dr. Brun and his team will explore the growing and alarming phenomenon of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which the World Health Organization has declared one of the most serious threats to global public health. Aimed at countering the ability of bacteria to evolve and develop resistance to antibiotics, Dr. Brun’s research will focus on two main targets: bacterial cell wall synthesis and the adhesion of bacteria to surfaces or biofilms. Capitalizing on techniques developed in his lab in Indiana, he will pursue his multidisciplinary collaboration with chemists, biophysicists, bioengineers and public health experts.


“I’m very happy with the arrival of Yves Brun on our campus,” said Marie-Josée Hébert, Vice-Rector of Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation. “The highly strategic expertise he brings will help build bridges between various disciplines with the aim of solving a critical public health issue. This Canada 150 Research Chair will be a catalyst for innovative, cutting-edge research in microbiology by strengthening cooperation between faculties, hospital research centres and Polytechnique Montréal.”


“For me, joining Université de Montréal is a great opportunity to return to Quebec,” said Dr. Brun. “UdeM offers a highly stimulating multidisciplinary environment that will allow me to push my research into the mechanisms of bacterial growth and adhesion even further. In this way, I hope to be able to help develop solutions to the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance.”


Hélène Boisjoly, Dean of UdeM’s Faculty of Medicine, welcomed the recruitment of Yves Brun to the Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology as “a key building block for biomedical research on the campus. The entire university community stands to benefit from his research and collaborations.”


A native of Acadia, Dr. Brun has had a remarkable career. After earning a B.Sc. (1983) and M.Sc. (1985) from Université de Moncton and a Ph.D. from Université Laval (1990), he did his postdoctoral research at Stanford University before joining the faculty at Indiana University, Bloomington. From 1993 to 2018, he rose to IU’s highest academic rank, after several stints as visiting professor (notably in France) and numerous guest speaker invitations. Over his career, he has published more than 130 articles in prestigious journals such as Cell, Science and Nature. Since 1994, the National Institutes of Health has consistently recognized his research efforts by awarding him grants totalling over $20 million. A world-renowned researcher in the field of cellular and molecular microbiology, Yves Brun’s talent and creativity will be a huge asset for Université de Montréal.

About the Canada 150 Research Chairs program

Announced in the 2017 federal budget, the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program invests $117.6 million to enhance Canada's reputation as a global centre for science, research and innovation excellence, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. It provides Canadian institutions with a one-time investment to attract top-tier, internationally based scholars and researchers to Canada, including Canadian expatriates. Following a rigorous peer-review process, over 25 eminent researchers were chosen to carry out new research initiatives in Canadian universities.