Quebec City, December 17, 2015 - Microbiologist Sylvain Moineau, a professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Science and Engineering, has been named one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds for the second year running by strategic information company Thomson Reuters.
Professor Moineau is one of the world's leading experts on bacteriophages--viruses that infect bacteria. He is Canada's Research Chair in Bacteriophages and curator of the world's largest public collection of bacteriophages. His work on the interactions between bacteriophages and bacteria was fundamental to the discovery and understanding of the CRISPR-Cas system, a bacterial immune mechanism whose gene editing function has completely revolutionized life sciences over the last few years.
Sylvain Moineau and his collaborators were the first to identify CRISPR-Cas as an immune system that protects bacteria from bacteriophages, in 2007. In 2010, his team was the first to demonstrate the workings of the CRISPR-Cas system, which targets and specifically cleaves the infecting bacteriophage's DNA. These groundbreaking discoveries opened the door to the use of CRISPR-Cas as a tool for genome editing and paved the way for a myriad of applications in life sciences.
Thomson Reuters bases its list on the number of citations garnered by researchers for articles published between 2003 and 2013 and indexed in the Web of Science, a database that covers scientific publications worldwide. Researchers' scores are determined based on the number of articles they author that appear in the top 1% of articles cited for a given year.