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Philippe Després

Université Laval

Philippe Després


Dr. Philippe Després, MSc, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Optics and a member of the Cancer Research Center at Université Laval. He also is a Medical Physicist at CHU de Québec – Université Laval and a regular researcher at its affiliated Research Center. He was trained at Université Laval (MSc 2000, Physics), Université de Montréal (PhD 2005, Physics) and University of California, San Francisco (postdoc 2005 – 2007, Biomedical Engineering, Molecular Imaging).

Since the beginning of his academic career in 2011, he has conducted several projects at the interface of computer science, medicine and biomedical engineering. Dr. Després pioneered the use of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) in medical physics applications, notably in image processing/​reconstruction and radiation dose calculations. Some of his contributions in High-Performance Computing (HPC) were transferred to industrial partners, including a fast GPU-based Monte Carlo engine to simulate energy transport in matter (GPUMCD).

As an HPC expert, Dr. Després is also involved in data-driven research initiatives, digital infrastructures and FAIR-compliant research data management. In this regard, he is the Data Architect of the PULSAR collaborative research platform at Université Laval, as well as the Assistant Director of its Centre de recherche en données massives. Prof Després is also the co-leader of the Sustainable Health axis of the Observatoire international sur les impacts sociétaux de l’IA et du numérique, where ethical, legal and social challenges related to data-driven initiatives are addressed.