Christian Landry, PhD
e-mail: Christian.Landry [at] bio.ulaval.ca
I received my bachelor’s degree in Biology from Université Laval. As an undergrad, I studied developmental biology with Lucie Jeanotte. My honors’ thesis aimed at characterizing some of the phenotypes of KO mice for a specific Hox gene. As I was attending a class on Molecular Ecology, I read a book by LL Cavailli-Sforza on human population genetics in which he showed how the migration patterns of human populations could be described using the frequency of molecular markers such as blood groups. I was very impressed by this approach and I decided to study evolution at the molecular level. I contacted some laboratories in the UK and in the US to do human population genetics. They advised me first to do a master’s degree first and one of them suggested I do it with Louis Bernatchez here at Université Laval. So I joined Louis’ lab and studied the population genetics of Major Histocompatibility genes. During this period, I took a class with Pierre Morisset on speciation and I was impressed by the various speciation processes and by how by studying the genetics of speciation we could better understand how species split apart. Thus, I decided to make this my PhD subject and applied to graduate schools in the U.S.A. at Harvard University and University of Rochester to work on sea urchins or Drosophila. I chose Harvard and studied sea urchin speciation for one year, after which my advisor moved to Stanford. I thus re-started from scratch my PhD and joined Daniel Hartl’s lab and studied the evolution of gene expression in yeast and Drosophila. That is where I started using genomics and bioinformatics to study systems biology. At the end of my PhD, I wanted to learn and try something new, so I joined Stephen Michnicks’s lab in Montréal to study proteins and their evolution. After two years there, I obtained my own funding and a position at Université Laval to start my own research group.
I am interested in the evolution of biological systems, particularly cellular systems such as gene networks and genome organization. I would like to better understand how the environment and population dynamics affect the evolution of these systems and at the same time, better understand how the organization of these networks itself modulates their own evolution.