Nabil G. Seidah, PHD, OQ, MRSC, MC
Director, Biochemical Neuroendocrinology Laboratory, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), Montreal, Canada
Born in Egypt and educated at Cairo University, Dr. Nabil G Seidah obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1973 from Georgetown University. He published his thesis on the Mathematical models of bi-layer lipid membranes. With Professor Herman Dugas, at the University of Montréal, he continued to study molecular transport across bilayer lipid membranes using Electron Spin Resonance. In 1974, he decided to join Dr. M. Chrétien at the Clinical Research Institute of Montréal, whereupon he rapidly became fluent and innovative in a field that he has since independently elevated to new heights.
Amongst his many accomplishments, he is the co-discoverer of human ß-endorphin, for which he shared the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry award. He was deeply involved in the extensive studies that fully demonstrated the biosynthetic pathways of pro-opio-melanocortin (POMC) and pro-Atrial natriuretic Peptide (proANP), among many others. Starting in 1990, he led the efforts to define the family of proprotein convertases (PCs), whereupon he discovered 7 out of the 9 known convertases, including PC1/3, PC2, PC4, PC5/6, PC7, SKI-1/S1P and PCSK9. The latter play major roles in many pathologies including viral infections, cancer/metastasis and cardiovascular diseases such as hypercholesterolemia. He has achieved international recognition in the field of processing enzymes and proteases, organizing the first Keystone conference on convertases in 1995 and chairing the Gordon conference on Endoproteolyis in 2006. In 2005, he was a plenary lecturer in the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas, USA; and in 2010 he was the Jacques Benoit’s lecturer at the 7th meeting of the International Society of Neuroendocrinology in Rouen, France.
At the Canadian level, he shared the Manning Award of Distinction and the R&D Gold Medal of PMAC (the latter has been awarded only 15 times since 1945) with Michel Chrétien. He was elected as member of the Royal Society of Canada, he is a member of the Order of Canada and an officer of l’Ordre National du Québec. In 2001, he received the McLaughlin Medal of the Royal Society of Canada and the Parizeau Prize of the Association Canadienne-Française pour l’Avancement des Sciences, and in 2009 he was awarded the Pfizer Jean Davignon award. Dr. Seidah is a prolific writer, having published more than 590 articles in top-quality journals. Presently, Pubmed ranks Dr Seidah 1st in Canada and among the best 20 scientists worldwide that studied "Precursor Processing" since 1971. He has supervised more than 100 students and post-doctoral fellows.