Fernand Labrie, Late Founder of Endoceutics

Dr. Labrie is still the most cited Canadian scientist among all disciplines in the international literature.

Academic Background

Dr. Labrie earned his MD and PhD degrees in endocrinology at Laval University. He pursued postdoctoral research training at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, first in the Laboratory of Professor Asher Korner in the Department of Biochemistry and, later, in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology with Professor Frederick Sanger, recognized twice as a Nobel laureate in medicine.


Dr. Labrie's scientific advances and discoveries are described in more than 1340 scientific publications and have been cited more than 50,000 times. Dr. Labrie is the most cited Canadian scientist among all disciplines in the international literature. Among a long series of awards, he received the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine for his discoveries in prostate cancer, as well as the Hoffenberg International Award from the Society for Endocrinology, United Kingdom. He also received the titles of Officer of the Order of Canada and of the National Order of Québec.

Career Highlights

Dr. Labrie isolated the first mammalian messenger RNA, hemoglobin mRNA, during his postdoctoral research studies in Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 1969 he returned to Laval University where he founded the Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology, one of the largest research groups in endocrinology worldwide with total personnel, at one time, of 350 including 32 senior scientists.

From 1982 to 2008, he  was scientific director of the CHUL (Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval) Research Center (1200 employees), one of the largest medical research Institutes in Canada, with an annual budget of over $65 million. The last addition to the CHUL Research Center is the Genomic Center, which provides genomic technology to the already unique expertise of the CHUL Research Center. From 1990 to 2002, Dr. Labrie served as head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology on the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University.

An early and major contribution of Dr. Labrie to clinical medicine was the discovery and development of medical castration with GnRH agonists as well as combined androgen blockade, the first treatment shown to prolong life in prostate cancer. 

Following his major contribution in prostate cancer, Dr. Labrie has shown that all androgens and all estrogens in women after menopause are made in peripheral tissues by the mechanisms of intracrinology from the inactive precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Dr. Labrie and his group also discovered the most potent antiestrogen, acolbifene, for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.