Professor Domenico Regoli, now Professor Emeritus, was appointed Director of the Department of Pharmacology in 1968. In his opinion, studies in pharmacology and in medicinal chemistry must be interrelated: "This is fundamental for the advancement of knowledge on medications." It is with this philosophy that the department developed and became, thanks to its successes and those of the research team on kinins and angiotensin, a world reference in respiratory and cardiovascular pharmacology.
In the early 1990s, an idea began to germinate in the mind of Professor Pierre Deslongchamps, specialist in the synthesis of natural and macrocyclic products: the creation of a research institute in the synthesis of biomolecules. At the same time, Professor Pierre Sirois, then director of the department of pharmacology and specialist in inflammatory pharmacology, was envisioning an institute of pharmacology. Prof. Sirois then joined forces with a group of professors, including Professor Deslongchamps, to found what was to become the Pharmacology Institute of Sherbrooke (IPS). Beyond a building with more than 2500 m2 of laboratory space, the IPS has a core group of researchers working in the field of drugs, with state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal.
In addition to its pharmacology and pharmaceutical chemistry research vocation, the Institute is also a business incubator favourable to the development of innovative technologies with high commercial potential. Several companies have been hosted since its opening: IPS Pharma, Télogène, Néokimia (Tranzyme Pharma), IPS Therapeutique. More recently, the companies Immune Biosolutions and Phenoswitch Bioscience have started up.
In 2008, following the recruitment of a director from the industry, Professor Luc Paquet, the Institute of Pharmacology updated its plans. The Institute became a multi-faculty facility, with researchers from several departments of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Engineering teaming up. The Institute became a site where researchers with a vast range of expertise met, interacted, and shared, leading to the emergence of interdisciplinary research projects.
In 2013, Prof. Éric Marsault (medicinal chemistry) and Prof. Philippe Sarret (pharmacology and physiology of pain) were appointed as co-directors of the IPS. This alliance of complementary expertise reflects the reality of the IPS and a new dynamic emerged. An emphasis was placed on translational research, the promotion of researchers' work, value generation, and the development of partnerships with the industrial world. The aim: to use researchers' knowledge to optimize products and technologies with a direct impact on the discovery of new drugs, new diagnostic agents, and advanced technologies.