Dr. Geneviève Bernard received her Medical Degree (2002) and Master’s degree in Neurosciences (2003) from Université de Montréal. She completed her residency in Pediatric Neurology at McGill University (2008) and fellowship in Neurogenetics and Movement Disorders at Université de Montréal (2011). She started her career as an independent investigator and pediatric neurologist in October 2011 at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) and MUHC Research Institute (RI-MUHC).
She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2023 Pfizer Research Award of Excellence from the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, which recognizes a researcher whose initiatives have made significant contributions to pediatric care. She is also this year’s recipient of the Moser Service Award from the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, which recognizes outstanding service and commitment to the lives of people with leukodystrophies and their families.
She has also previously received the Research Scholar Junior 1 salary award from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé (2012-2016), the Canadian Institute of Health Research New Investigator salary award (2017-2022), the Research Scholar Senior salary award from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé (2022-2025), the Specialist of the Year Award (region 04) from the Canadian Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (2019), and the Maude Abbott Prize, which recognizes outstanding female faculty at an early career stage who have excelled and demonstrated leadership in education, research or administration (2020).
She is currently an Associate Professor at McGill University, in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Pediatrics and Human Genetics and a member of the Medical Genetics Division at the MUHC.
Dr. Bernard and her team, together with her international collaborators, discovered four of the genes responsible for 4H leukodystrophy, the causal genes for EPRS1-related leukodystrophy and VARS1-related neurodegenerative disease and contributed to the discovery of the causal gene for HEMS (Hypomyelination of Early Myelinating structures).
She has published more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, including some in high-impact journals, several book chapters and numerous abstracts. This includes the largest clinical, radiological, and genetic characterization studies on 4H leukodystrophy, in collaboration with numerous international collaborators.
She has presented as an invited speaker in more than 145 provincial, national and international conferences. Dr. Bernard is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, one of the largest foundations of its kind in the world, founded in 1982. She is the first woman, the first Canadian and the youngest individual in this position. She is also the Canadian representative on several international consortia, including the Global Leukodystrophy InitiAtive (GLIA).