Simon Drouin

Team Leader, Applied Genomics, National Research Council of Canada

Role: Scientist

Sites: CDL-Oxford, CDL-Toronto, CDL-Vancouver, CDL-Wisconsin

Stream: Advanced Therapies

Simon Drouin’s research interests are focused on the development and translation of genomics and bioinformatics applications to real-world situations. His 20 years in the field of genomics and bioinformatics span fundamental discovery to clinically-oriented projects, specifically in pediatric oncology. Specifically, he has coordinated large projects in pediatric cancer survivorship (over 40 people, five teams, $3M budget, 250 participant cohort, over 70 publications), provincial and federal genomic pediatric cancer characterization for drug repositioning ($25M budget, centres across Québec and Canada), and other various oncogenomics projects, from the very fundamental to those closer or even in the clinic.

As team leader of the applied genomics team in the NRC Human Health Therapeutics (HHT) research centre, Simon’s objective is to support and enable large-scale, high-throughput genomics technologies and approaches within NRC, but also in partnership with academic, clinical and industrial collaborators. Under his leadership, the applied genomics team has developed cutting-edge platforms for pooled CRISPR/Cas screening, precision genome engineering, single-cell analyses and bioinformatics approaches to cancer relapse risk prognosis.

Furthermore, Simon is implicated in NRC’s Disruptive Technologies in Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) program as sub-program theme leader. As CGT co-lead, he has enabled the development of the Concordia Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology automated iPSC genome editing platform, a critical tool for the Canadian CGT ecosystem, and led the establishment of the first NRC-Japan research collaboration agreement, which was signed with the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (Kyoto University).

Finally, Simon led the creation and development of the CHU Sainte-Justine (CHUSJ)-NRC Collaborative Unit for Translational Research (CUTR) as HHT Scientific Lead. This collaboration center is a flagship for NRC and a strong and critical foothold in a leading clinical and research environment. The synergy between CHUSJ, the largest mother-child hospital in Canada, with their cutting-edge research expertise, clinical insights, access to patients and structuring platforms and biobanks, and NRC’s experts, technological platforms and biologics development expertise.