François Belzile

Affiliation : Université Laval
Organization : Université Laval
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About François Belzile

After completing a PhD in genetics at the University of California in Davis and postdoctoral training at the John Innes Institute in the UK in 1992, François Belzile launched his career as a professor and researcher in molecular plant genetics at his alma mater, Université Laval. 

During the first 10 years of his career, his work focused primarily on DNA repair and recombination genes in the model plant Arabidopsis. With his team, he subsequently began seeking ways to bridge the gap between basic and applied research, especially as it relates to crops, such as soybean and barley. Often working in close cooperation with plant breeders, his lab is developing new molecular genetics and genomic tools in order to grow new crop varieties with desirable traits, such as greater resistance to pests. This research has already led to the marketing in Québec and the Atlantic provinces of several new varieties of barley and a brand new line of HTS-labelled soy crops (highly tolerant to the plant disease sclerotinia). His research has contributed to the development of expertise and leadership in plant genotyping and has served as the foundation for the SoyaGen project. In 2014, he was honoured with awards from the ADRIQ and NSERC in recognition of the quality of his research and its tangible benefits for society.

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