Anne Marinier, Ph.D.

Awards & Honors

  • NSERC award (Postdoctoral scholarship) 1990-1992
  • FQRNT award (Postdoctoral scholarship) 1990-1992
  • NSERC award (Postgraduate scholarship – Ph.D.) 1988-1990
  • FQRNT award (Postgraduate scholarship – Ph.D.) 1988-1991
  • NSERC award (Postgraduate scholarship – M.Sc.) 1985-1987
  • FQRNT award (Postgraduate scholarship – M.Sc.) 1985-1986
  • Prêt d’honneur de l’Est du Québec 1985


  • Postdoctoral studies with Garland Marshall, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, 1990
  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, 1987
  • M. Sc. in Organic Chemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, 1985
  • B. Sc. in Chemistry, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 1982

Research support

  • Research collaboration, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
  • Research collaboration, Pfizer Inc.
  • Génome Québec
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Stem Cell Network
  • Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export TradeQuebec Ministry of Finance and the Economy

Anne Marinier’s interests lie at the frontier between chemistry and biology. The design and synthesis of new molecules for therapeutic applications or as molecular tools allow for the study or modulation of biomolecules and more complex biological systems, all of this in the context of drug-discovery research.

Anne Marinier earned a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the Université de Sherbrooke, where she applied a novel methodology to prepare corticosteroid-like scaffolds using a transannular Diels-Alder reaction developed in Prof. Pierre Deslongchamps’ laboratory. She then did postdoctoral studies at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she developed new HIV-1 protease inhibitors following a structure-based drug-design approach under the guidance of Prof. Garland Marshall, founder of the molecular modeling company Tripos Inc.

Following her postdoctoral studies, in 1991 Anne Marinier joined Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Candiac, Quebec. She started as a research investigator, working on the development of new antibiotics, and then in various immunology research programs and contributed to the design, synthesis and optimization of various leads in these programs. Among other things, she and her team developed new potent and selective retinoids using the crystalline structure of the RAR-g receptor for the design of the new molecules. She also designed and prepared a new class of malonate-substituted galactocerebrosides as cell-adhesion modulators.

Anne Marinier was then appointed to lead research projects. As chemistry co-chair of a kinase early-phase program in oncology she worked in close collaboration with the biology co-chair to design and implement the screening tier of the program and plan the in vivo proof-of-principle experiments. Under her direction, her team identified, validated and optimized various screening hits that resulted in lead series for the program. She also participated in directing various research subprojects, including those relative to the inhibition of kinases IGF-1R, VEGFR and IKK. Lead compounds were optimized via either classical or array approaches to improve their potency and ADME properties, which led to the identification of orally efficacious anti-cancer agents. In addition, new active chemotypes were designed and synthesized to provide additional leads in each of these research programs.

In 2007, after the closing of the Bristol-Myers Squibb research facilities in Candiac, Anne Marinier joined the Université de Montréal’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer with the mandate of establishing a new model of partnership between academia and the biopharmaceutical industry. With the support of IRIC’s leadership team, she coordinated the implementation of the Medicinal Chemistry Core Facility at the Institute, which was made possible thanks to a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb and an $8.7 million grant from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program of the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. She built a research team comprising some 30 scientists, and these chemists and biologists develop and advance internal drug-discovery programs as well as collaborative research projects with the pharmaceutical industry. The team is involved in all stages of drug-discovery research, primarily in the area of cancer and related illnesses. These projects identify and optimize hits up to candidates for clinical trials.

In addition to medicinal-chemistry research activities, Anne Marinier’s team is also working on designing and synthesizing chemical libraries of novel and unexplored chemical scaffolds. The hits coming from these libraries, after screenings in various cell-based systems, are then used to identify novel therapeutic targets, following various biochemical and genetic strategies.

Some articles and videos

View a series of stories about research made on the multiplication of stem cells in a unit of cord blood and the molecule UM171 to treat certain types of cancer.

  • Radio-Canada News, September 18, 2014: Click here (available only in French)
  • Québec Science, December 3, 2014: Click here (available only in French)
  • La Presse, January 1, 2015: Click here (available only in French)
  • Les Années lumière of Radio-Canada, October 1, 2015: Click here (available only in French)
  • Découverte of Radio-Canada, October 1, 2015: Click here (available only in French)

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