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Dr Olivier Barbier

Dr Olivier Barbier


  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Quebec, Laval University


  • Director at Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology



Pr. Barbier established as an independent researcher in the “Oncology, Molecular Endocrinology and Human Genomics Research Center” at the “centre de recherche du centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CR-CHUQ)” (Laval University, Québec city, Canada) in 2004. He obtained his PhD in the same institution in 2000, and then joined the Lille Pasteur Institute for a post-doctoral fellow until 2004. As a Ph.D. student, Olivier Barbier worked on the characterization of animal models for investigating the role of glucuronidation and UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes for the local inactivation of androgen hormones in the human prostate. As a post-doctoral fellow, he investigated the molecular mechanisms at the basis of the UGT genes regulation by members of the human nuclear receptor family. As a principal investigator and director of the laboratory of molecular pharmacology, Dr. Barbier has joined these two expertises to determine whether pharmacological modulation of androgen glucuronidation would be of therapeutic value in the treatment of hormone-sensitive prostate cancers.

Glucuronidation, a phase II metabolic reaction catalyzed by UGT enzymes, constitute a major inactivating way for androgens in prostate cancer cells. Whereas, the role of these enzymes has been clearly established in the early 2000s, the potential of glucuronidation as a pharmacological target in the treatment of hormone-sensitive prostate cancer received only little attention. Dr. Barbier’s work aims at the therapeutic potential of such an innovative pharmacologic approach. For this purpose, members of the laboratory of molecular pharmacology use a variety of experimental approaches such as molecular and cellular biology assays, targeted-metabolomic and -proteomic quantifications and transgenesis. Together these varied expertises allows Dr. Barbier’s group to combine functional analyses to clinical investigations, thus ensuring the translational nature of their work.

Dr. Barbier is a new investigator of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-funded researcher who has been awarded more than $5 million in research grants and fellows, while publishing more than 50 peer-viewed papers in high rank journals. Dr. Barbier is also associate professor at the faculty of pharmacy from Laval University (where he teaches molecular pharmacology) and director of the Bioanalytical services at the CRCHUQ.

Best publications:

  1. S. Pâquet, L. Fazli, Grosse L., Verreault M., Têtu B., Rennie P. S., Bélanger A. and Barbier O. (2012) Differential expression of the androgen-conjugating UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes in prostate tumor cells during cancer progression. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. In press
  2. Verreault M., Kaeding J., Caron, P., Trottier J., Grosse L., Houssin E., Pâquet S., Perreault M., and Barbier O. (2010) Regulation of endobiotics glucuronidation by ligand-activated transcription factors: physiological function and therapeutic potential. Drug Metab Rev. 42(1) 106-118.
  3. Kaeding J., Bélanger J., Caron P., Verreault M., Bélanger A. and Barbier O. (2008) Calcitriol (1a,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3) inhibits androgen glucuronidation in prostate cancer LNCaP cells. Mol. Cancer Ther.7(2): 380-390.
  4. Chouinard S., Yueh M.F., Tukey R.H., Giton F., Fiet J., Pelletier G., Barbier O. and Bélanger A. (2008) Inactivation by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes: The end of androgen signaling. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 109(3-5):247-253.
  5. Chouinard S., Barbier O. and Bélanger A. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes are major determinants of the androgen response in prostate cancer LNCaP cells. J. Biol. Chem. 282(46):33466-33474.

Androgen metabolism, Androgen receptor, Glucuronidation, Targeted metabolomic, LC-MS/MS, Cell biology, Molecular Pharmacology.

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