Daniel G. Bichet

Title: MD
Phone: Work (514) 338-2222, Work (514) 338-2486, Fax (514) 338-2694, Work (514) 338-2883
Organization: Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal
Division: Centre de recherche et Unite de Recherches Cliniques
Department: Department of Medicine
Address: 5400 Blvd. Gouin Ouest Centre de Recherches
Montreal, Quebec H4J 1C5
Website: www.crhsc.umontreal.ca/nephro.html
Dr. BichetDr. Bichet is associated with the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Centre de Recherches in Montreal, Quebec. His involvement in Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus was a natural progression from his medical school interest in physiology mechanisms and hormonal actions and further study of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. Of particular interest to him now is the V2 receptor. His lab is currently involved in examining the 3-dimensional structure and crystallization of the V2 receptor (see below). He hopes that its physical structure will reveal important information on the its function and the way it sends signals inside the collecting duct.

Of all his NDI related work, Dr. Bichet feels that two projects have been especially significant. The first was his 1988 findings that NDI patients were not responding to dDAVP neither at the kidney level, nor at extrarenal levels. The second is a related work done the following year which confirmed that the V2 receptor defect was a pre-cyclic AMP defect indicating a problem in the receptor and not in the cascade of signalization. He also recognizes as significant his collaborative work with Dr. Mariel Birnbaumer. Following her cloning of the V2 receptor gene, Dr. Bichet was able to provide DNA of NDI patients which led to the characterization of the first two mutations.
Hopital du Sacre-Coeur
Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal

Dr. Bichet is confident that, in time, a cure will be found for NDI patients and that genetic engineering and gene therapy will be part of the answer. However, he emphasizes, these areas are complicated and require solutions to problems beyond perfecting a method to correct the NDI causing gene defects. These challenges include developing methods to deliver the restructured genetic material and to target the cells to be altered. He suggests that it is equally important to continue to study the receptor structure and function and seek alternate ways to stimulate the water transfer mechanisms. In the meantime, Dr. Bichet says that he is convinced that early detection through genetic testing is the most import tool available for management of NDI. Early prenatal carrier detection by genetic testing allows for very early treatment in the infant and can prevent the damaging effects caused by severe dehydration.
Dr. Daniel Bichet
Born in Pontarlier in the foothills district of Franche-Comté in eastern France, Dr. Bichet graduated from the medical school of the nearby university of Besançon. He came to Canada to obtain further training in physiology and did his internship residency in internal medicine and nephrology at the University of Montreal and McGill University. He is married, has two children and a grandchild and enjoys spending as much of his free time as possible with his family. For recreation he enjoys returning to the mountains to hike, cross-country ski and mountain bike.

Ribbon representation of the V2 human receptor. Side view from a direction parallel to the cell membrane surface. The transmembrane helices are shown in red, the intracellular and extracellular loops are shown in purple. The model is oriented such that the extracellular side is at the top of the image. The positioning of the transmembrane domains 1-7 is counterclockwise when viewed from the extracellular surface of the receptor.

This image was derived from the structure of the 3-D model of the V1a receptor described by Mouillac et al., The Binding Site of Neuropeptide Vasopressin V1a receptor, J.Biol. Chem. 270:25771-25777, 1995. The image was produced using the MidasPlus program from the Computer Graphics Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco (supported by NIH RR-01081)TD>

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