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).

2705, boulevard Laurier
Québec, Québec
Canada G1V 4G2

96 entries « 10 of 10 »

Barbier O, Torra IP, Duguay Y, Blanquart C, Fruchart JC, Glineur C, Staels B

Pleiotropic actions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis.

Journal Article

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 22 (5), pp. 717-26, 2002, ISSN: 1079-5642.

Abstract | Links:

Barbier O, Lévesque E, Bélanger A, Hum DW

UGT2B23, a novel uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase enzyme expressed in steroid target tissues that conjugates androgen and estrogen metabolites.

Journal Article

Endocrinology, 140 (12), pp. 5538-48, 1999, ISSN: 0013-7227.

Abstract | Links:

Hum DW, Bélanger A, Lévesque E, Barbier O, Beaulieu M, Albert C, Vallée M, Guillemette C, Tchernof A, Turgeon D, Dubois S

Characterization of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases active on steroid hormones.

Journal Article

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 69 (1-6), pp. 413-23, 1999, ISSN: 0960-0760.

Abstract | Links:

Bélanger G, Barbier O, Hum DW, Bélanger A

Molecular cloning, expression and characterization of a monkey steroid UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, UGT2B19, that conjugates testosterone.

Journal Article

Eur J Biochem, 260 (3), pp. 701-8, 1999, ISSN: 0014-2956.

Abstract | Links:

Barbier O, Bélanger A, Hum DW

Cloning and characterization of a simian UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzyme UGT2B20, a novel C19 steroid-conjugating protein.

Journal Article

Biochem J, 337 ( Pt 3) , pp. 567-74, 1999, ISSN: 0264-6021.

Abstract | Links:

Beaulieu M, Lévesque E, Barbier O, Turgeon D, Bélanger G, Hum DW, Bélanger A

Isolation and characterization of a simian UDP-glucuronosyltransferase UGT2B18 active on 3-hydroxyandrogens.

Journal Article

J Mol Biol, 275 (5), pp. 785-94, 1998, ISSN: 0022-2836.

Abstract | Links:

96 entries « 10 of 10 »
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Active projects

  • Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Subvention, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - Université Laval, Centres de recherche affiliés, from 2017-01-01 to 2099-12-31
  • Identifying the biological basis of GWAS hits for plasma triglyceride response to an omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention Projet, from 2020-04-01 to 2025-03-31
  • Nutrition, santé et société (NUTRISS), Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Nouveaux Centres et Instituts de recherche - Subventions régulières, from 2019-04-01 to 2024-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • 3.8 Deciphering host-microbial interactions for cardiometabolic and mental health disorders with novel multimodal light-based sensing tools, Subvention, Secrétariat des programmes interorganismes à l’intention des établissements, Fonds d'excellence en recherche Apogée Canada, from 2016-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Therapeutic potential of obeticholic acid for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Volet Projet: Concours pilotes, from 2016-07-01 to 2020-06-30
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery