Charles Dupras, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(c) is research assistant at the Center of Genomics and Policy (CGP) under the supervision of Professor Yann Joly. He was recently awarded the 2017-2020 post-doctoral fellowship by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), for pursuing his research on the translation of knowledge from epigenetics. Charles completed a Master's Degree in Cell Biology at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, then completed a PhD in Bioethics at the University of Montreal, under the supervision of Professor Vardit Ravitsky. He is associated with the Center for Research on Ethics (CRE) and sits on the Executive Board of the peer-reviewed journal BioéthiqueOnline.
His work focuses on the potential epistemological consequences, as well as the ethical, legal and social implications, related to the conduct of research and knowledge translation in epigenetics, an emerging field of study that focuses on mechanisms for programming and regulating gene expression, which can be influenced by the physico-chemical (e.g., pollutants) and psychosocial (e.g., family context, social adversity) environments to which people are exposed during their development. He examines, among other things, the impact of epigenetics on traditional nature vs nurture dualism and questions of environmental and social justice.
More specifically, and as part of his work at CGP, Charles is interested in Canadian laws and public policies potentially applicable to - or to be amended to accommodate - epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation. The main objective is to ensure that Canadian regulatory mechanisms, such as the recent Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (S-201), or existing guidelines for the ethical conduct of genetic research (e.g., database management and protection of privacy), apply consistently and justifiably to epigenetic information.