Thomas Duchaine

Prof. Duchaine holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Université de Montréal where he also obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology. He completed post-doctoral work at both the University of Massachusetts Medical School and at McGill University in Prof. Nahum Sonenberg’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry.

Prof. Duchaine is the founding Director of the McGill Centre for RNA Sciences, which was launched in 2022. He is also the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is currently completing a five-year term as Associate Director of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI). He is also Associate Member of the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology and the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill.

Prof. Duchaine has made significant contributions to the field of RNA-mediated interference (RNAi), which was discovered by his post-doctoral advisor at the University of Massachusetts, Craig C. Mello, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery. Prof. Duchaine’s research program focuses on the regulatory functions of non-coding RNAs in the development and onset of cancer. His lab aims to translate fundamental research on RNAi and microRNA pathways into actionable knowledge for cancer treatment. His research program integrates biochemistry, genetics and proteomics approaches to explore newly discovered RNAi-related phenomena. His group recently made significant advances in determining how microRNA biogenesis defects drive tumorigenesis, unveiling new potential therapeutic directions.

During his career, Prof. Duchaine has trained close to 50 undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. He is highly regarded for his teaching and mentorship, promoting an environment in which trainees acquire proficiency in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary projects, and leadership capacity to leverage collaborations incorporating genetics, genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics.

Prof. Duchaine currently holds operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for two studies: Mechanisms and impact of mRNA alternative polyadenylation in the PI3K/AKT/PTEN Cascade, and Functional genomics of microRNA polycistrons. His research was also supported continuously by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery since 2007. Since his appointment to McGill in 2006, Prof. Duchaine has co-authored 43 peer-reviewed publications, and given more than 92 invited lectures and presentations.