Affiliation(s): Laval University
Assistant professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Université Laval
David Gosselin obtained his Bachelor's degree in Arts and Science at the University of Toronto in 2004. Fascinated by research in neuro-immunology and wanting to make a career in research, he then pursued Ph.D. work at Université Laval, Quebec, under the supervision of Dr. Serge Rivest. Dr. Gosselin graduated in 2012, and then went on to acquire expertise in epigenomics at the University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Glass. There, his work pioneered novel approaches to study the genetic basis of cell biology and how to apply these to gain a better understanding of brain cells. This work, and acquired expertise, led him to secure a job at Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval in 2017. Since then, David Gosselin is directing a research group whose aim is to study how microglia function in the brain in context of myelin lesions, with the hope of leveraging the resulting discoveries into meaningful, tangible therapeutic tools for individuals living with MS.
How did you become interested in MS research? What inspires you to continue advancing research in this field?
I became fascinated by the biological mechanisms that underlie thoughts and behaviors during my first year as an undergraduate. As a result, I knew early on that I would dedicate the rest of my life to brain research. While learning more and more about these topics, I developed a passion for those that implicate the immune system. This then motivated me to pursue doctoral studies in neuro-immunology at Université Laval. Given that MS is inherently linked to concepts of neuro-immunology, it was rather a natural step in my career to investigate its underlying biology. As a scientist, the opportunity to get to conduct research and learn more and more about the inner workings of the brain is a tremendous privilege and incredible rewarding experience; it truly fulfills a need of mine.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
There are so many things that provide me a "high" in science. These include the opportunity to be creative and making exciting new discoveries, "deciphering how the brain works" by looking at the data, supervising students, etc. With respect to challenges, I think that ensuring that the work we do is as innovative as it can be is a never-ending uphill battle, but one that is worth fighting.
How important is the support from the MS Society in enabling you to conduct research?
It is essential; there are no other words for it. Science and innovations are costly, and opportunities to fund projects are limited and highly competitive. Thanks to this significant and extended support, I get to put into actions thoughts and ideas that I had been working on for a number of months. Notably, results and discoveries achieved through this work will help power future grants, and hopefully, I can eventually hopefully bring these discoveries closer and closer to clinical translation.