Mr. Savard is a full professor in the department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry, and Pathology of the Laval University School of Medicine. He teaches molecular genetics, critical analysis of publications, and is in charge of all the research internships in the Biomedical Science Program.
In terms of research, Professor Savard focuses on a TLR7/8 agonist (thereafter indicated by the acronym PAL) able to activate both the innate and adaptive responses of the immune system. Mid-term research objectives are (i) to develop a large-spectrum prophylactic vaccine to influenza viruses, and (ii) to improve the therapeutic antitumoral response induced by a new class of drugs able to release the obstacle that prevents cytotoxic T lymphocytes from attacking tumor cells.
PAL is a nanoparticle that is derived from recombinant DNA technology and mimics the physical properties of the papaya mosaic virus. The product is specifically captured by the cells of the immune system and, once within the endosome, it releases a RNA molecule that activates TLR7/8. This mechanism of action is of great interest for the pharmaceutical industry. PAL has demonstrated that it is well tolerated by humans during a Phase I clinical trial where its administration was combined with a flu vaccine. Other clinical trials are in preparation to assess the clinical benefits of PAL administration in cancer immunotherapy.
Mr. Savard is actively involved in the Québec scientific community. His main contributions are the development of the Human Resources Services and the Health and Safety Program of the Research Center (President of the Société de Gestion du Personnel du CRCHU de Québec and Co-President of the Comité Paritaire de Santé et Sécurité du travail au CRCHU de Québec – Laval University).
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A nanoparticle-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate elicits broad neutralizing antibodies and protects against SARS-CoV-2 infectionJournal Article
Nanomedicine, 44 , 2022.
Modulation of Antigen Display on PapMV Nanoparticles Influences Its ImmunogenicityJournal Article
Vaccines (Basel), 9 (1), 2021.
A Randomized Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety and Reactogenicity of a Novel rVLP-Based Plant Virus Nanoparticle Adjuvant Combined with Seasonal Trivalent Influenza Vaccine Following Single Immunization in Healthy Adults 18-50 Years of AgeJournal Article
Vaccines (Basel), 8 (3), 2020.
Increased Immunogenicity of Full-Length Protein Antigens through Sortase-Mediated Coupling on the PapMV Vaccine PlatformJournal Article
Vaccines (Basel), 7 (2), 2019.
The quest for a nanoparticle-based vaccine inducing broad protection to influenza virusesJournal Article
Nanomedicine, 14 (8), 2018.
Activation of innate immunity in primary human cells using a plant virus derived nanoparticle TLR7/8 agonistJournal Article
Nanomedicine, 14 (7), 2018.
Efficacy of a Virus-Like Nanoparticle As Treatment for a Chronic Viral Infection Is Hindered by IRAK1 Regulation and Antibody InterferenceJournal Article
Front Immunol, 8 , 2017.
A versatile papaya mosaic virus (PapMV) vaccine platform based on sortase-mediated antigen couplingJournal Article
J Nanobiotechnology, 15 (1), 2017.
Complement Component 3 Regulates IFN-α Production by Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells following TLR7 Activation by a Plant Virus-like NanoparticleJournal Article
J Immunol, 198 (1), 2017.
Potentiating Cancer Immunotherapy Using Papaya Mosaic Virus-Derived NanoparticlesJournal Article
Nano Lett, 16 (3), 2016.
Recently finished projects
- Manufacturing of antigens and adjuvants for development of vaccines (MAAV), from 2021-07-01 to 2023-03-31