Sherif Abou Elela Professor Université de Sherbrooke

Professor Abou Elela obtained his Ph.D. from University of Guelph in 1994 where he generated a system for studying ribosomal RNA processing in vivo and demonstrated the role of rRNA in translation. During his postdoctoral study at the University of California Santa Cruz he revealed the function of the first orthologue of eukaryotic RNase III and demonstrated its role in pre-rRNA processing. Prof. Abou Elela joined the Université de Sherbrooke in 1997 and became a member of the oncology group of the Centre de recherche clinique and the RNA group. Few years later he became the director of Sherbrooke laboratory of functional genomics, the scientific director of Genome Quebec RNomics platform, and the coordinator of the RiboClub. In 2013 Prof. Abou Elela became Canada Research Chair in RNA Biology and Cancer Genomics.

Recent work in Abou Elela lab demonstrated that RNA is a major source of cancer biomarkers and may predict tumour behaviour and drug resistance. His research has also indicated that messenger RNA is programmed to respond to cellular signals and degrades rapidly under exposure to drugs and other cellular stresses. Abou Elela aims to develop a model to explain how RNA production and degradation can influence cellular functions.