If you’re in the field of oncology, you’ve likely heard of Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo, an internationally recognized scientist with expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, cancer therapeutics and viral immunology.
Diallo is also the scientific founder and CEO of Ottawa-based company Virica Biotech, which helps companies manufacture viral medicines.
Founded in 2018, the company draws on a decade of Diallo’s research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where he investigated new therapies for cancer treatment using viruses. To increase the yield of anti-cancer viral medications, he invented a technology called “viral sensitizers.”
As might be expected, Diallo grew up with a love of science. His mom, a hematology laboratory technician, introduced him to biology at an early age. “Mentorship from parents and teachers had a big role to play here,” Diallo says.
When his high school days wrapped up, Diallo chose the University of Ottawa for his undergraduate studies. While life took him out of Ottawa for a while, he eventually moved back to the city when his wife got a job with the federal government.
Around that time, Diallo decided to pursue post-doctoral studies with Dr. John Bell, also a well-known scientist and life sciences entrepreneur in Ottawa’s oncolytic virus space.
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