Biography: Jean-François Houle

Jean-François Houle

Pandemic Response Challenge program
Vice-President (acting), Engineering

Dr. Jean-François Houle joined the NRC as Director of Research and Development for the Medical Devices Research Centre in June 2014. In March 2017, he was named to the position of General Manager. Since March 2020, he has been Vice-President of the Pandemic Response Challenge program and became the acting Vice-President of the Engineering division in December 2021.

Prior to joining the NRC, Dr. Houle had spent 14 years leading business, corporate and product development activities in private and public biotechnology firms at various stages of development, from university spin-offs to more established companies. Most recently, as COO of Kapplex, he guided the company through its initial spin-out of the university into a full-fledged funded start-up. He rapidly struck collaborations with leading pharmaceutical, diagnostic and life sciences companies and leveraged this interest to raise additional funds to support co-development projects and the start-up.

Prior to Kapplex, Dr. Houle held a leadership role in product and business development as well as customer service at Axela, a company in the field of multiplexed protein and nucleic acid biomarker detection. He led cross-functional teams through the development and successful launch of several products and authored several publications and patents.

Dr. Houle began his industrial career at SYNX Pharma, a proteomics and diagnostics company, where he sought out, structured and fostered collaborations and alliances. These activities led to a diagnostic development agreement with Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and the eventual merger of SYNX with Nanogen Inc in 2004.

Dr. Houle holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine from McGill University.