Gordon Shore Prize 2020: 2nd edition

 

 

Created in November 2018 in tribute to Professor Shore, this award aims to reward new graduates demonstrating excellence in their Ph.D. thesis in life sciences. The laureates will receive a grant to support a 6-month internship in a biotech company, a first industrial research experience. The two laureates for this second edition have been selected through an open competition that has been launched in 2020 across the province of Quebec.

This award, the result of a collaboration this year between CQDM, Diazon and Mitacs, aims to support an industrial research training opportunity that will facilitate the transition of new graduates from universities to companies.

The 2020 winners for this 2nd edition

For this second edition, the winners are :

  • Omar Al Rifai: obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology from Université de Montréal in 2019 and will have the chance to complete a 6-month post-doctoral internship, valued at $ 24,000, at KisoJi Biotechnology

To view his presentation:

 

  • Soudeh Fakhari Tehrani: obtained a PhD in Pharmaceuticals Sciences from Université de Montréal in 2019 and will have the chance to complete a 6-month post-doctoral internship, valued at $ 24,000, at Ovensa.

To view her presentation (in French):

Who was Gordon Shore?

Gordon Shore was an internationally renowned scientist who dedicated his career to cancer research. Professor Shore was not only an outstanding scientist, he was also an accomplished entrepreneur – a visionary in the early days of biotechnology who actively promoted the importance of scientists and business professionals working together as a team in order to successfully bring important new discoveries to market.

Gordon Shore was an exceptional scientist who dedicated his career to cancer research. Internationally known for his research on cell survival and death mechanisms, he was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University and member of the Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Professor Shore was not only an outstanding scientist but also an accomplished entrepreneur. In 1998, he leveraged his research knowledge and co-founded Gemin X Pharmaceuticals to advance his first novel drug candidate to a successful clinical proof-of-concept for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. In parallel, a second novel compound was identified and in-licensed, advancing from preclinical to clinical stage before the sale of the company in 2011. Combining his research and commercial development experience, in 2010 Professor Shore, together with his colleagues Anne Roulston, Jerry Pelletier, William Muller, Nahum Sonenberg and Michel Tremblay raised funds from CQDM and Genome Quebec to build an integrated functional genomic platform. This technology exploits genome-wide approaches focused on synthetic lethality and personalized medicine, resulting in the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development. This platform has generated the knowledge and tools that helped Professor Shore to elucidate the clinical path forward for drug candidates.

In 2013, Professor Shore co-founded and became the Chief Scientific Officer of Diazon Pharmaceuticals Inc. where, together with his team at the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development, they discovered the mechanism of action of a potent anti-tumor molecule, DZ-2384. This compound is being investigated for the treatment of multiple different cancers and exhibits strong activity across multiple preclinical models through a unique mechanism of action that translates into a superior safety profile. This discovery, published in Science Translational Medicine, was critical to the development of the compound’s clinical strategy.

Gordon Shore was not only an exceptional scientist and a successful entrepreneur, but also a man of honour and passion that was admired by his students and colleagues alike. Sadly, Gordon passed away on September 7, 2018 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.