SickKids scientist Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) scientist Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40® for 2021.
The annual leadership award from Caldwell recognizes exceptional achievements by 40 Canadians who are under the age of 40. Julien was recognized for his research on the molecular characterization of immunity and antibody-antigen interactions, providing the blueprints for the design of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines that harness the power of antibodies.
A Senior Scientist in the Molecular Medicine program and Associate Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Immunology at the University of Toronto, Julien’s research combines structural and biophysical techniques to offer a better molecular understanding of how antibodies are made by the immune system and how they recognize and target pathogens. By doing so, his discoveries are providing insights into how pathogen vulnerabilities can be exploited, and new antibody-based therapies developed through protein engineering.
The knowledge generated by the Julien Lab is helping the development of vaccine candidates against diseases like malaria and HIV-1, and more powerful immunotherapies against cancer and autoimmune diseases. Julien has co-published over his career more than 80 scholarly publications in top journals including Nature Communications, Nature and Science, which have been cited by scientific peers over 11,000 times.
“Dr. Julien has advanced our understanding of antibody interactions at the molecular level, giving us critical insights into dynamic immunity, one of life’s most essential systems,” said Dr. Stephen Scherer, Chief of Research. “SickKids Research Institute is proud to be home to Dr. Julien’s novel research and his ongoing focus and commitment to collaborative translational research and its applications to Canadian and global health beyond SickKids’ doors.”
Julien is a Canada Research Chair in Structural Immunology, a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar and a Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. As an inventor, he has filed over 18 patents, which range in scope from novel malaria interventions, cancer therapeutics and protein engineering.
Stemming from years of research into infectious diseases such as HIV, Julien has developed the Multabody (MULTi-specific, multi-Affinity antiBODY) platform, which uses a unique design to simultaneously target multiple sites on a pathogen to effectively deliver neutralizing antibodies. In 2020, the Julien Lab pivoted its research efforts to study COVID-19, developing a ‘super molecule’ using the Multabody platform that combines potent antibodies to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Julien is also the co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Radiant Biotherapeutics, a stealth biotechnology company developing next-generation antibody therapeutics initially invented at the University of Toronto and SickKids with support from SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization.
Founded in 1995, the Top 40 list has recognized almost 1,000 Canadians and is one of the country’s most coveted award for young business and community leaders. Julien was selected from hundreds of nominees by an independent advisory board, comprising 30 diverse leaders from across Canada. Learn more about this year’s recipients on the Top 40 Under 40 website.