April 6, 1941
(Québec City, Québec)
March 23, 2003
MD, Université Laval (1965)
2000: National Order of Quebec
1999: Robert Guthrie Award, International Society of Neonatal ScreeningSee All Awards
Awards & Honours:
2000: National Order of Quebec
1999: Robert Guthrie Award, International Society of Neonatal Screening
1988: Member of the Order of Canada
1988: The Manning Award
1987: Poulenc Santé Pediatric Award
1980: Van Meter-Armour Award, American Thyroid Association
1976: The Ross Award, American Academy of Pediatrics
Discovered a ground-breaking screening test for congenital hypothyroidism
Improved the lives of millions of children around the globe
The incidence of congenital hypothyroidism is one in 4,000 births. With Dr. Dussault’s simple test, using a small heel prick within two weeks of birth, thyroid deficient states can be detected in newborns to avoid varying degrees of intellectual disabilities and to increase the chance of leading a normal life. This application of scientific discovery to eliminate a serious global health problem is an outstanding example of the finest tradition of public health.
Despite Dr. Dussault’s extraordinary achievement, he remained a compassionate, gentle and modest man. An outstanding teacher and dedicated clinician, numerous researchers trained by Dr. Dussault can now be found in leading endocrine laboratories around the world.
Nominated for the Nobel Prize at the age of 42
Published over 200 papers and gave numerous lectures at national and international conferences
Over the course of his lifetime, the thyroid deficiency condition of cretinism was removed from textbooks
Repeatedly declined to apply for a patent for the neonatal blood test because he believed his discovery was part of public domain
Made pioneering contributions in areas ranging from basic mechanisms of thyroid hormone action in the developing brain to the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunction
Impact on lives today
Dr. Jean Dussault’s contribution to humanity through his application of medical research is nothing short of monumental. He developed a neonatal diagnostic test for congenital hypothyroidism that has been used on over 300 million infants around the world and has saved an estimated 100,000 children from irreversible intellectual disabilities. Dr. Dussault’s legacy is truly remarkable.
Jean Dussault posthumously inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Dr. Dussault purified thyroid receptor proteinsHormones
As a result, he produced the first monoclonal antibody against the thyroid hormone receptor, which has been used by many groups to study the cellular localization of thyroid receptors.
Dr. Dussault became Director of the Unit of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL)
He served in this position until 1996.
Dr. Dussault was appointed Director of the Screening Program of Congenital hypothyroidism with the Quebec Network for Genetic Disease
He also continued his research on the biochemical consequences of neonatal thyroid hormone deficiency in the developing brain.
Dr. Jean Dussault developed a blood test for congenital hypothyroidismHormones
This discovery was followed by a neonatal screening program. Later, Dr. Dussault continued to research clinical disorders of the thyroid.
Returned to Quebec City and joined the Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Dussault spent the next 32 years as an active professor and scientist.
Dr. Dussault took his residency in endocrinology at Enfant-Jesus Hospital in Quebec City
He then pursued additional training at the University of Toronto under the direction of Dr. R. Volpe and then in the Department of Pediatrics and Medicine at UCLA.
His discovery eliminated a serious global health problem.