Spotlight on our members : Jade Degrandmaison

Jade Degrandmaison wins the Relève étoile Jacques-Genest award from the FRQS!

In Canada, nearly one in five adults suffer from chronic pain. In addition to significantly altering the health and quality of life of many patients, chronic pain also represents a significant socio-economic burden. In order to relieve severe acute pain, the use of opioids, such as morphine, remains the first choice of treatment. Although very effective in countering this type of pain, their long-term use can lead to the development of significant undesirable side effects, such as respiratory depression, nausea and dependence.

To date, opioids prescribed in the clinic are mainly targeted at the Mu opioid receptor. Activation of this receptor will therefore provide the desired beneficial effects (pain relief), but also, at the same time, the range of adverse effects. Jade Degrandmaison, a doctoral student in pharmacology at the Université de Sherbrooke, has been interested for several years in another member of the opioid receptor family, the Delta-type receptor (rDOPR), since its activation has far fewer side effects.

In the recently published article, she reveals for the first time a set of several proteins that interact with rDOP. The impact of her research is all the more important when one considers that the approach developed here with rDOP could be used to study any other receptor in the same family, some of which are involved in other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Jade Degrandmaison was awarded the Relève étoile Jacques-Genest prize from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé in January 2021 for the article entitled In vivo mapping of a GPCR interactome using knockin mice published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Congratulations to the author!