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Jean-Pierre Després



Dr. Després is a professor at the Department of Kinesiology at Université Laval in Québec City, Canada. He established himself as a research scholar at Université Laval in 1986. He was Assistant Director of the Lipid Research Centre at the CHUL Research Centre from 1991 to 1999. He then acted as Director of Research in Cardiology at the Québec Heart and Lung Institute from 1999 to 2018. In 2005, he was appointed as the Scientific Director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk. From 2015 to 2018, he was Director of Science and Innovation at Alliance santé Québec, a multisectorial organization, which aims at federating all stakeholders relevant to the various dimensions of health under the theme of sustainable health. In 2019, he was named Scientific Director of VITAM – Research Centre on Sustainable Health affiliated to a university affiliated health care network (CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale of Université Laval). Dr. Després is one of the most cited researchers in the world in his field (176 524 Google Scholar citations; H index: 161) and is one of the most productive researchers (769 scientific articles and 59 book chapters) at Université Laval. Research Interest and Work Dr. Després’ research interests include obesity, adipose tissue distribution, visceral obesity, type 2 diabetes, lipids, lipoproteins, cardiovascular disease and their prevention through physical activity and healthy living. More than 30 years ago, he was the first to report that an excess of fat in the abdominal cavity (visceral obesity), was particularly harmful to health. He is personally involved in major education and mobilization activities to prevent chronic societal diseases. Dr. Després’s research team is investigating the mechanisms involved in the association between obesity, visceral adipose tissue accumulation, and an agglomeration of metabolic alterations including insulin resistance, atherogenic dyslipidemia, and a prothrombogenic and inflammatory profile. Epidemiological work and metabolic studies are being conducted in humans to better understand the factors and mechanisms involved in the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the frequent clinical complications of visceral obesity and the presence of the metabolic syndrome. This research allowed the identification of new risk markers, thus improving the identification and management of individuals at high risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, many studies carried out in Dr. Després’ laboratory aim at evaluating the impact of the prevention and management of high-risk obesity (visceral obesity) through better lifestyle habits (such as regular physical activity and a healthy diet) and, when necessary, pharmacotherapy for all diabetogenic and atherogenic complications. This work has a significant impact on the health of an ever-increasing proportion of our population facing a “toxic” sedentary environment and a poor and high-calorie diet that generates an epidemic of obesity, diabetes type 2, and cardiovascular diseases. Prizes He has received numerous prestigious awards, was named “Grand Québécois” by the Québec Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the title of Knight of the Ordre national du Québec (the highest distinction of the Québec government)

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