Photo of Pascal Fortin

Pascal Fortin, Ph.D.

Background

Growing up in the salmon fly fishing mecca of Gaspe, Pascal’s first business venture was running a fly tying outfit with a childhood friend.  According to urban legend, they caught the biggest fish.

As senior vice president, head of early research, Pascal Fortin oversees and evolves the experimental drug discovery platform at Relay. Prior to Relay, Pascal served as the head of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry in oncology at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. There, he led a group working at the interface of biochemistry, biophysics and cellular biology, investing significant efforts towards the development of allosteric molecules modulating the function of hard-to-drug cancer targets.

Before joining Novartis, Pascal completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, where he studied the biosynthetic logic behind natural product biosynthesis. His postdoctoral work led to the discovery of a transglutaminase homologue as a condensation catalyst in antibiotic assembly lines. It also led to a great appreciation of the many ways natural small molecules modulate protein function.

Pascal holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Laval University and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, where he studied the enzymology underlying aromatic compounds catabolism.