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Honorary doctorate recipient

Clarissa Desjardins

Doctor of Science (DSc), 2023
For her exceptional leadership and foresight in the biotech industry

Clarissa Desjardins is an award-winning entrepreneur with more than 25 years of biotechnology experience. She is founder and chief executive officer of Congruence Therapeutics, a Montreal-based biotechnology company working at the interface of computational and experimental drug discovery to design novel small molecules for diseases caused by protein misfolding. 

Prior to her current venture, Desjardins founded three successful biotech companies, leading all aspects of company creation. As a graduate student, she founded Advanced Bioconcept, a research reagent and diagnostics company. She co-founded and served as executive vice-president of corporate development for Caprion Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on proteomic biomarker discovery and drug development. She was also the founder and CEO of Clementia, a clinical-stage company focused on developing therapies for rare pediatric bone diseases. Prior to Clementia, Desjardins was CEO at the Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine, a federally funded think tank created to promote personalized medicine research and policies.

Desjardins is the recipient of the 2018 Bloom Burton Award for her contribution to Canada’s innovative health care industry and the BRIO award from the Quebec Biotechnology Association for outstanding contributions to the biotechnology industry. She was named one of 2017’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences by FiercePharma. Desjardins currently sits on the boards of BELLUS Health (BLU) and INSMED (INSM).

Desjardins holds a doctorate in neurology and neurosurgery and a BSc in cell biology and anatomy with a minor in history and philosophy of science, both from McGill University.

At the ceremony

Clarissa Desjardins, was granted her Doctorate of Science at the spring 2023 ceremony for the Faculty of Arts and Science. 

You can watch the video below.

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