Distinguished Scientist: Michel Ouellette, Ph.D.

February 21, 2020

Image with caption: Michel Ouellette, Ph.D.

Michel Ouellette, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2019 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Michel Ouellette, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: 1999
  • Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Research focus:

  • Pancreatic cancer

Distinguished Scientist

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

The goal of my research is: To develop novel and efficacious therapies to treat patients with pancreatic cancer and other Ras-driven malignancies. Tumors driven by Ras mutations are addicted to the continued expression of the mutant Ras protein, without which they are no longer viable. My lab has developed new approaches to destabilize and eliminate Ras proteins for the purpose of killing Ras-addicted cancer cells. Drugs that promote the degradation of Ras are being tested in both cell-based systems and animal models of pancreatic cancer.

My research will make a difference because: Of the prevalence of Ras mutations in up to 30% of all cancers and the important role that these mutations play in the development and maintenance of these tumors. In pancreatic cancer tumors, Ras mutations are present in more than 90% of all cases and are the earliest genetic alterations detected.

The best advice I've ever been given is: To never take an important decision in a hurry or when angry or hungry.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I love cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and recipes. I will eat almost anything out of curiosity, as long as it is edible.
  • Thunderstorms and snowstorms always put me in a very good mood.
  • I do very poorly in hot weather, and I prefer my living quarters to be chilly.


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Xiaoying (Sharon ) Hou
February 21, 2020 at 10:17 AM


Mark Mailliard
February 21, 2020 at 9:09 AM

Congratulations Michel! Well-deserved recognition. Mark Mailliard

Jacque Swirzinski
February 21, 2020 at 8:55 AM


Nicki O'Neil
February 21, 2020 at 7:47 AM

Congratulations Dr. Ouellette on this honor!!