UdeS Research and Creation Award

The Research and Creation Prize recognizes the original nature of the recipient’s research or innovation work and aims to highlight a discovery, scientific publication, or significant creation work they have published during the calendar year preceding the competition.

Three prizes are awarded each year to UdeS professors. These prizes may be awarded to an individual or a team.

2020 Recipients

Harold Bérubé

Humanities and Social Sciences

This level of government is the closest to the people... Yet, it is also the level with the lowest average voting rate. Upon being established, municipalities fight for recognition, both through their population and their provincial or federal counterparts.

With his publication Unité, autonomie, démocratie. Une histoire de l’Union des municipalités du Québec, published by Éditions du Boréal, Professor Harold Bérubé lays strong foundations for this well-deserved award. With a focus on the history of the association founded to unify and strengthen municipalities, this publication recounts the past 100 years of municipal governance.

It makes the case for the relevance of these government bodies, and highlights some of the challenges they have faced or are still facing: Nationalizing hydroelectricity, responding to the climate emergency, developing the local economy, or supporting an aging population.

Professor Bérubé paints a scientific picture of the past and present of municipalities, to be better prepared for the future. Municipal officials have acknowledged it, as evidenced by the reception of the publication and the talks given by Professor Bérubé.

For his insightful, rigorous work, the Université de Sherbrooke is proud to present Professor Harold Bérubé with the Research and Creation Award in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Sherif Abou Elela

Medicine and Health Sciences

They are discreet when everything is going well; flamboyant in difficult times, such as during a period of starvation: No, this does not refer to the Fantastic Four. It refers to introns, whose reputation was reestablished by Professor Sherif Abou Elela.

When a cell copies part of its DNA to make a protein, it also reproduces its introns. However, since they degrade quickly, they were considered as having no use... until now.

By producing 304 strands of yeast with one intron removed from each—always a different one—Professor Abou Elela and his team created something unforseen. They established that when nutrients are missing, introns slow cell development, thus reducing its nutritional needs. This way, the cell increases its survival odds.

The article Introns are mediators of cell response to starvation, published in the prestigiousNature review, led to a small revolution in the scientific world. Professor Abou Elela’s discovery opens avenues for research on the survival mechanisms of cancer cells.

For the originality of his approach and the impact of his discovery, the Université de Sherbrooke is proud to present Professor Sherif Abou Elela with the Research and Creation Award in Medicine and Health Sciences.