After a post-doctorate at the Lille Pasteur Institute, Olivier Barbier joined the Faculty of Pharmacy of Laval University and the CHU de Québec Research Center (endocrinology and nephrology axis) where he currently serves as full professor and independent scientist. With the invaluable assistance of his research professionals Mélanie Verreault and Jocelyn Trottier, Dr. Barbier has developed the laboratory of molecular pharmacology of the CHU de Québec Research Center. His research program aims at deciphering the bile acid signalling pathways in order to take advantage of their therapeutic potential in clinic. Research progresses of the last decades have revealed that these acids are not just cholesterol metabolites involved in fatty acid digestion, but play also a major role in controlling numerous biological functions such as glycaemia, inflammation and cell proliferation. Actually, the discovery of bile acid sensors (nuclear and membrane receptors) evidenced the role for these molecules as endo-, para- and intracrine hormones. In particular, these works lead to the approval by the FDA (2016) and Health Canada (2017) of the first synthetic bile acid (Ocaliva® or obeticholic acid, OCA) for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis. In such an exciting context, researches of Barbier’s lab are focussing on 2 main subjects: auto-immune hepatobiliary diseases and prostate cancer.

Auto-immune hepatobiliary diseases (PBC et PSC)

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) are two rare diseases characterized by a reduction of bile flow and an accumulation of toxic bile acids in hepatic cells. This accumulation leads to chronic inflammation and to the destruction of liver cells. Dr. Barbier’s works aims at identifying new pharmaco-nutritional approaches (drug+nutrition treatment) providing a tight control of bile acid detoxification and, by so allowing a delay in diseases progression.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer mortality still represents 10% of Canadian death by cancer in 2017. The androgen receptor (AR) plays a critical role in the cancer progression, as well as in the development resistance to chemical castration, the first-line therapy for metastatic cancers. Members of the lab have observed that obeticholic acid (OCA) causes a near-complete inhibition of AR expression and activity in prostate cancer cell models. Dr. Barbier’s team currently works at developing this major discovery in order to bring it to patient’s bedside.

Excellence of Dr. Barbier’s work has been acknowledged by the reception of various prestigious awards (Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation – Québec, Pfizer Cardiovascular…), and by the publication of numerous peer-reviewed papers. He acts as a member of editorial board such as Drug Metabolism Review, PLoS One, The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Besides his professor-researcher’s activities, Dr. Barbier also occupies important functions with institutional (University Council, Committee of Students Affairs of Laval University), provincial (Club de Recherche Clinique du Québec), national (Intern reviewer for the Canadian Institute of Health Research) and international authorities (Committee director of the Cholestatic and Biliary Disorders Special Interest Group, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases).

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Gallucci GM, Trottier J, Hemme C, Assis DN, Boyer JL, Barbier O, Ghonem NS

Adjunct Fenofibrate Up-regulates Bile Acid Glucuronidation and Improves Treatment Response For Patients With Cholestasis

Journal Article

Hepatol Commun, 2021.

| Links:

Mennillo E, Yang X, Weber AA, Maruo Y, Verreault M, Barbier O, Chen S, Tukey RH

Intestinal UGT1A1 and protection against Irinotecan-induced toxicity in a novel UGT1A1 tissue-specific humanized mouse model.

Journal Article

Drug Metab Dispos, 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Gallucci GM, Trottier J, Hemme C, Assis DN, Boyer JL, Barbier O, Ghonem NS

Adjunct Fenofibrate Up-regulates Bile Acid Glucuronidation and Improves Treatment Response For Patients With Cholestasis.

Journal Article

Hepatol Commun, 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Morelle C, Mukherjee A, Zhang J, Fani F, Khandelwal A, Gingras H, Trottier J, Barbier O, Leprohon P, Burke MD, Ouellette M

Well-Tolerated Amphotericin B Derivatives That Effectively Treat Visceral Leishmaniasis.

Journal Article

ACS Infect Dis, 7 (8), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Thérien A, Cieślak A, Verreault M, Perreault M, Trottier J, Gobeil S, Vohl MC, Barbier O

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid: A Pharmaco-Nutraceutical Approach to Improve the Responsiveness to Ursodeoxycholic Acid.

Journal Article

Nutrients, 13 (8), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Vandal M, Tournissac M, Leclerc M, Fanet H, Mitchell PL, Verreault M, Trottier J, Virgili J, Tremblay C, Lippman HR, Barbier O, Marette A, Bosoi CR, Bajaj JS, Calon F

High-Fat Diet Modulates Hepatic Amyloid β and Cerebrosterol Metabolism in the Triple Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

Journal Article

Hepatol Commun, 5 (3), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Gagnon M, Trottier J, Weisnagel SJ, Gagnon C, Carreau AM, Barbier O, Morisset AS

Bile acids during pregnancy: Trimester variations and associations with glucose homeostasis.

Journal Article

Health Sci Rep, 4 (1), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Daniel N, Rossi Perazza L, Varin TV, Trottier J, Marcotte B, St-Pierre P, Barbier O, Chassaing B, Marette A

Dietary fat and low fiber in purified diets differently impact the gut-liver axis to promote obesity-linked metabolic impairments.

Journal Article

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 320 (6), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Perazza LR, Mitchell PL, Lizotte F, Jensen BAH, St-Pierre P, Trottier J, Barbier O, Mathieu P, Geraldes PM, Marette A

Fish oil replacement prevents, while docosahexaenoic acid-derived protectin DX mitigates end-stage-renal-disease in atherosclerotic diabetic mice.

Journal Article

FASEB J, 35 (5), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Kilanczyk E, Banales JM, Wunsch E, Barbier O, Avila MA, Mato JM, Milkiewicz M, Milkiewicz P

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) halts the autoimmune response in patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) via antioxidant and S-glutathionylation processes in cholangiocytes.

Journal Article

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis, 1866 (11), 2020.

Abstract | Links:

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Active projects

  • Adhésion aux recommandations nutritionnelles et à la pharmacothérapie dans le traitement du diabète de type 2 : les deux font la paire ?, from 2021-07-08 to 2022-03-31
  • Caractérisation de la relation et du potentiel synergique entre l'alimentation et l'utilisation des statines dans le contrôle de la cholestérolémie, from 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31
  • Elucidating the differential contribution of sulfonation and glucuronidation in controlling nuclear receptor activity, from 2021-04-01 to 2026-03-31
  • Identifying the biological basis of GWAS hits for plasma triglyceride response to an omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, from 2020-04-01 to 2024-03-31
  • Interactions between Nordic environment and Chronobiotics: Impact on cardiometabolic and neurometabolic health, from 2020-11-01 to 2024-12-31
  • Sympathetic Control of the Biliary System in NAFLD, from 2021-01-01 to 2022-12-31
  • The UGT to GUS equilibrium as novel target for the treatment of cholestatic autoimmune liver diseases, from 2021-04-01 to 2026-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • 3.8 Deciphering host-microbial interactions for cardiometabolic and mental health disorders with novel multimodal light-based sensing tools, from 2016-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Concert pour la vie, from 2020-11-13 to 2021-03-31
  • Supporter les infrastructures de la plate-forme analytique et investiguer le potentiel de la bétaglucuronidase comme cible thérapeutique pour le traitement des maladies inflammatoires de l'intestin , from 2020-12-08 to 2021-03-31
  • Therapeutic potential of obeticholic acid for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, from 2016-07-01 to 2020-06-30
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery