Audacious 2019: $1M raised to support IRIC’s research efforts to vanquish cancer


Close to 400 guests were on hand at the Gare Windsor for the 6th edition of the Audacious fundraising event, organized by the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal, and hosted by Ève Laurier, General Manager, Edelman Montréal. As a result of their precious contribution, as well as that of the event’s partners and sponsors, a total of $1M was raised to support oncology research efforts carried out at IRIC.  

A leader in basic and applied research, IRIC sets itself apart through its threefold mission of acquiring new knowledge, training the next generation of scientists and accelerating the transformation of discoveries into therapeutic innovations.


A tribute to great collaborations

Under the honorary Co-chairmanship of Ève Laurier, General Manager, Edelman Montréal, Louise Roy, Chancellor Emerita, Université de Montréal and Chair of the Board, CIRANO, and Madeleine Féquière, Corporate Credit Chief, Domtar, the 2019 edition of Audacious paid tribute to two invested and inspiring women who embody the mobilizing power of a concerted effort in the fight against cancer: Susan McPeak and Anne Marinier.


Susan McPeak, co-founder of the McPeak-Sirois Group for Clinical Research in Breast Cancer

In 2016, after waging a long battle against metastatic breast cancer, Susan McPeak, whose remission was the result of a research protocol, co-founded the McPeak-Sirois Group for Clinical Research in Breast Cancer, along with her husband, Charles Sirois. The non-profit corporation is a voluntary union of public clinical research hospitals supported by a private contribution from the McPeak-Sirois family. It concentrates the expertise of four large hospital research centres. The purpose of the union is to foster the development of clinical research protocols in Quebec and to promote research that cures by enabling more patients to have access to these leading-edge treatments.


Anne Marinier, Principal Investigator at IRIC

In 2007, Anne Marinier knocked on IRIC’s door with the idea of creating a medicinal chemistry core facility that is now considered to be the country’s largest of its kind in a university setting. In 2016, in collaboration with Dr. Guy Sauvageau’s team, she discovered and developed the UM171 molecule, which possesses the unique property of inducing the proliferation of the stem cells present in cord blood. Following clinical trials, this molecule discovered at IRIC has resulted in leading approximately twenty leukemia patients with a poor vital prognosis towards the road to recovery.  


Co-chairs of the 2019 edition

  • Ève Laurier, General Manager, Edelman Montréal
  • Louise Roy, Chancellor Emerita, Université de Montréal and Chair of the Board, CIRANO
  • Madeleine Féquière, Corporate Credit Chief, Domtar


Members of the Financing Committee of the 2019 edition

  • Nadine Beauger, Chief Executive Officer, IRICoR
  • Jacques Bernier, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Teralys Capital and Board member, IRIC
  • Steven Klein, Vice-President, Business Development, IRICoR
  • Michel Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Investigator, IRIC and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Université de Montréal
  • Robert Tessier, Chairman of the Board, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Chairman of the Board, IRIC


Our valued partners and sponsors

An event as important as Audacious and a fundraising campaign that produced such remarkable results would not be possible without the contribution of our many partners.

The IRIC community would like to thank them for their support, as well as the support of the event’s Co-chairs, the members of the Financing Committee and all of our many volunteers.


For more information concerning the 6th edition of Audacious or the support the cause :

Anne Lebel

514-343-6141 |

Make a donation 


Photo credits: Dominick Gravel


Watch the videos featured during the evening


L’IRIC, joyau de l’Université de Montréal 


 La force des collaborations, incarnée par le travail de Susan McPeak 


La découvertre d’UM171, le premier chapitre d’une belle histoire


Vanquishing cancer differently

Since 2014, the IRIC has been hosting Audacious, an annual fundraising event showcasing the IRIC’s activities to the members of the business community in attendance and supporting promising discoveries in the fight against cancer. Led by devoted and generous Co-chairs and a Financing Committee, Audacious brings together 450 guests every year from the business sector, partners and Investigators.

The IRIC uses this opportunity to underline its scientific progress and to honour the people whose commitment make a difference in the fight against cancer. Thus, year after year, the IRIC highlights the exceptional work of its Investigators, such as Dr. Guy Sauvageau or Dr. Claude Perreault, or the tremendous generosity of its donors, such as Mrs. and Mr. Marcelle and Jean Coutu, Mr. Serge Godin or Mr. Pierre Pomerleau.

Since its first edition, Audacious has raised more thant 5 million dollars to sustain cancer research efforts. These sums notably enabled the Institute to recruit Matthew Smith, Principal Investigator of the Cancer Signalling and Structural Biology Research Unit, to award approximately 50 scholarships to the next generation of Investigators, to fund the innovative chemolibrary project and to acquire a great deal of equipment, including a plate reader and a mass spectrometer.

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