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50 years at the forefront of science

December 11, 2019

Update : October 11, 2020

A gala was held on December 5, 2019, at the Québec City Armoury to mark the 50th anniversary of Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS). The event drew some 400 guests, including members of the INRS community, dignitaries, and research partners. The evening was an opportunity to look back on 50 years of scientific contributions to Québec society and to underscore the institute’s unique role in the university ecosystem. 
“INRS was created as a research institute designed to serve the people of Québec. Fulfilling this objective requires bold projects that transcend scientific disciplines. Those projects are what drive our four centres,” said INRS CEO Luc-Alain Giraldeau on stage in a conversation with the emcee for the evening, Radio-Canada host and science enthusiast Matthieu Dugal.

Emcee of the ceremony, Matthieu Dugal (left), interviewing INRS CEO Mr. Luc-Alain Giraldeau (right). Photo credit: Laëtitia Boudaud
What would a 50th anniversary celebration be without the people who made INRS what it is today? INRS founder Charles E.-Beaulieu joined Mr. Giraldeau on stage along with Armand Couture, chairman of the board for nearly 14 years, Alain Soucy, CEO from 1988 to 1998, and Daniel Coderre, CEO from 2009 to 2016, to recall the early days and share how they saw the institute’s future during their time at the helm.
“There’s something decidedly modern about it all. You tell researchers: Be empowered, reach out to your colleagues, be transdisciplinary. We talk about it a lot today, but it was quite an innovative way of looking at research at the time,” said Matthieu Dugal, who moderated the discussion covering the history of INRS from past to present.
From left to right: Mr. Charles E. Beaulieu, Mr. Alain Soucy, Mr. Armand Couture, Mr. Daniel Coderre (currently, CEO of Génome Québec), and Mr. Luc-Alain Giraldeau. Photo credit: Laëtitia Boudaud
Many awards and honours were presented at the event in recognition of the outstanding work done by INRS faculty members and students.  
Prix Planète awards 
The Prix Planète awards are handed out to INRS professors who have made important contributions to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge and who have piloted innovative approaches to knowledge transfer.
Professor Monique Bernier, who has been at INRS since 1993, was awarded the prestigious 2019 Prix Planète in the Outstanding Research Career category in recognition of her long and illustrious career.

Professor Monique Bernier, recipient of the Prix Planète 2019 – Outstanding Research Career category. Photo credit: Laëtitia Boudaud
Professor Bernier was the first woman to join the faculty of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre. Her research on radar remote sensing applications in hydrology and glaciology and the monitoring of climate change impacts on northern environments has led to the development of technologies used in James Bay hydroelectric projects and in predicting ice jam flooding.
She received the Larry Morley Gold Medal from the Canadian Remote Sensing Society in recognition of her valuable contributions to the field.
Professors Jasmin Raymond and Federico Rosei were awarded the 2019 Prix Planète in the categories of Outstanding Achievements in Research and Outstanding Achievements in Teaching, respectively.
INRS 50th anniversary scholarship
INRS launched a graduate scholarship program as a student recruitment initiative to mark its 50th anniversary. Four students, one from each research centre, received a $10,000 scholarship to pursue their graduate studies at INRS.
  • Mr. Clarence Hatton-Proulx, student, doctoral program in Urban Studies – Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre
  • Mrs. Diane Rawach, student accepted into the doctoral program in Energy Science and Materials –  Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre
  • Mrs. Jessica Dozois, student, master’s degree in Applied Microbiology – Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre
  • Mr. Jérôme Simon, student, doctoral program in Earth Sciences – Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre
“My research in 180 seconds” competition 
Martin Chenal, a PhD student in biology in Professor Fréderic Veyrier’s laboratory at the Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre, made a name for himself by winning the audience and jury awards for his presentation entitled GspA: Un nouveau régulateur important de la compétence naturelle chez Neisseria meningitidis. Congratulations to the 12 participants in this competition, which aims to make research more accessible to lay audiences!
Philippe Edwin Bélanger (left), director of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, with the winner of the contest My research in 180 seconds, Martin Chenal, master’s student in Applied Microbiology at INRS. Other students (back row): Benjamin Duquet, Islem Bendjaballah, Mireille Gélinas, Alexandre Petit, Vincent Hervé, Fernando Sanchez Quete, Bharti B., Habiba Ferchichi, Violaine Gascuel, Flora Mazoyer and Léa Bourguignon. Photo credit: Laëtitia Boudaud
We would like to thank everyone who attended the event! Here’s hoping we will continue to build on our research for the next 50 years so we can make even more meaningful contributions to Québec society.♦