Martin Godbout holds a PhD in physiology (molecular endocrinology) from Université Laval (1985) and completed his postdoctoral training in molecular neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. Upon returning to Québec in 1991, he became an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Université Laval and was named the assistant managing director of biopharmaceutical industry relations at the Centre de recherche du CHUL (Centre hospitalier de l'Université Laval).
Martin Godbout pursued his career in the biopharmaceutical venture capital sector. From 1994 to 1997, he acted as the chairman and chief executive officer of Société Innovatech Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches. In the two years that followed, he was the senior vice-president of BioCapital. In 2000, he became the founding president and chief executive officer of Genome Canada, which he led for 10 years.
Named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, Martin Godbout is the chairman of the board of directors of Génome Québec and MethylGene. He also sits as an independent member on the boards of several biopharmaceutical companies.