Richard, François J. PhD - Regular researcher

Full professor - Université Laval

Department of animal science,

Faculty of agriculture and food science


Research interest

My research program investigates the oocyte, better known as “ovule”, but in its immature state. Our team is especially interested in cell signalling since it plays a primordial role in the gamete’s maturation. Even more specifically, we investigate the role of cyclic nucleotide enzyme degradation, namely phosphodiesterases (PDEs). We have made interesting discovering by identifying new families of PDEs found in cumulus cells, some of which seem to be regulated through their association with membrane lipids of the raft family and others which are very sensitive to cAMP regulation.  We are also interested in understanding the dialogue between cumulus cells and the oocyte. We have developed a tools for the functional evaluation of cumulus cells’ response by measuring “Gap junction communication” using fluorophores and photobleaching. Thanks to this approach, we are among world leaders involved in demonstrating the high level of regulation of gap junctions during in vitro maturation. We are very active in our efforts to better understand this regulation. Because energy levels play a decisive role in the oocyte future, we study the KAMP metabolic switch.  We demonstrated the critical impact of this switch at various levels. We also have knowledge transfer projects in collaboration with the industry involved with male and female gametes. Finally, a better understanding of signalling will result in better conditions.  


cAMP Oocyte Phosphodiesterase In vitro maturation Meiosis cumulus cells

Pavillon Paul-Comtois

2425, rue de l'Agriculture, Local 4131A
Université Laval
Québec (QC) Canada
G1V 0A6
(418) 656-2131 extension : 402781
Fax : (418) 656-3766

Stage postdoctoral: Department of Biology & Microbiology, California State University at Los Angeles

Stage postdoctoral: Department of OB & GYN, Stanford University School of Medicine

Doctorat: Sciences animales, Département des Sciences Animales, Université Laval

Baccalauréat: Biologie, Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi 

Personnels de soutien

Lounas, Amel - PhD - Studies in progress
Subject :

Etudes de la phosphodiéstérase 8A chez le follicule ovarien porcin

Mérel, Tiphanie - PhD - Studies in progress
Subject :

Rôle du GMPc dans les cellules de la granulosa et du cumulus pendant la folliculogenèse chez le porc


2 Latest projects

  • La régulation de la fonction mitochondriale par l'AMPc, une nouvelle stratégie pour améliorer la qualité des ovocytes lors de la maturation in vitro
  • Biased signaling pathways in cumulus-oocyte complexes

1 Latest projects

  • Cell signaling in ovarian function