In memoriam Pr FERNAND LABRIE (1937-2019)
It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Pr. Fernand Labrie on January 17, 2019.
He hosted the International Congress of Endocrinology (ICE) in Quebec city in 1984 as well as other international events in Steroid Biochemistry and Hormone dependent-cancers in his home city. He was Director of the laboratory of Molecular endocrinology, oncology and human genomics and Scientific Director of the research center of the Hospital Center at Laval University in Quebec City. Dr. Labrie also chaired the Department of Anatomy and physiology of the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University and the Quebec Health Research Fund.
His many contributions in molecular Endocrinology include the mechanisms of action of hypothalamic and pituitary hormones, the development of medical castration with GnRH agonists, combination therapy with anti-androgens in prostate cancer, the conversion of steroid precursors to active hormones in peripheral tissues (intracrinology), and the development of novel anti-estrogens in breast cancer. Following his academic retirement, he founded Endoceutics, a pharmaceutical firm which developed intravaginal use of DHEA (prasterone) in the treatment menopausal symptoms, the association of prasterone and acolbifene for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis and breast cancer.
Fernand Labrie has published over 1340 articles cited more than 50,000 times. He played important roles in several scientific organizations and received the most prestigious awards in many national and international scientific societies. One of his most notable contributions was to train a large number of researchers who have become leaders in different spheres of Endocrinology and other scientific fields including Marc G. Caron, Jacques Drouin, Paul Kelly, Vincent Giguère, André Bélanger, Paul Jolicoeur, André of Lean, Jacques Simard, and his own son Claude Labrie.
Several of us had the pleasure to see Fernand last December at ICE 2018 Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. He was, as usual, very enthusiastic to present his ongoing research projects at his Endoceutics booth. His death is an important loss for the wide Endocrinology community.