Our genetically diverse staff

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Dr Javier M Di Noia (PI)

Javier obtained a Biology degree and a PhD from the University of Buenos Aires working on the genetic diversity of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. He did his post-doctoral training at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, where he learned about the mechanisms of antibody gene diversification mentored by Dr Michael Neuberger. He crossed back the Atlantic to establish his lab at the IRCM in mid 2006, where he is now professor. Javier held a Canada Research Chair in genetic diversity 2008-2018 and is currently a Merit researcher from the Fonds de recherche de Québec - Santé.

Dr Astrid Zahn (Research associate and lab manager)

Astrid was born in the city of Trelew, in Argentinean Patagonia. She obtained a B.Sc./M.Sc. in Biological sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. She then did her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK working on the hepatitis C virus. She joined the lab in 2009. Astrid manages the lab, contributes to most research lines, and drives her own project in germinal center biology.


Poorani Ganesh Subramani (Ph.D. student @ Department of medicine, division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University)

Ganesh did his undergraduate studies at McGill, where he obtained his B.Sc. with an interdepartmental honours in immunology project in 2014. He joined the lab as M.Sc. student and then transitioned to Ph.D. program. He is interested in identifying factors that regulate AID and antibody diversification.


Jana Ridani (Ph.D. student, McGill University, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine)

After graduating from the Lebanese University in Tripoli, Lebanon with a Bachelor's degree in Life and earth sciences, Jana came back to Montréal, where she was born for graduate studies. She joined the lab in late 2018 as M.Sc. student and transitioned to Ph.D. She is investigating the regulation of AID by protein-protein interactions.

Kiersten Dionne (Ph.D. student, McGill University, Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Kiersten comes from bilingual New Brunswick, graduating as a Bachelor on Science from University of Moncton. After a productive M.Sc. in biochemistry at the Université de Sherbrooke with Dr F Bachand, Kiersten joined us in the fall of 2018 and s now studying the role of AID in B cell biology during antibody responses. 


Noé Seija-Desivo (Ph.D. student, Molecular Biology programs, Université de Montréal)

Noé graduated from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of the Republic, in Montevideo, Uruguay. He obtained an M.Sc. investigating the effects of AID in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo. He is now interested in the mechanisms targeting AID to the Ig genes and off-targets. 


Silvana Ferreira (Postdoctoral fellow)

Silvana is a biologist from Argentina. She received her PhD from the University of Buenos Aires, studying the effect of hormones on uterine function. She joined the lab in February 2020 to dissect signaling pathways in activated and germinal center B cells. She is now on maternity leave!

Michael Slattery (M.Sc. student)

After doing a research project for the Honours program of the department of microbiology and immunology looking at the role of protein arginine methyl transferases in germinal center B cells, Michael started their M.Sc. in the same department. They are studying common aspects of germinal center B cells and B cell lymphoma cells.


Marcelo M Rodriguez (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Marcelo has a degree in genetics from the National University of Misiones, and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Austral University, in Argentina working on different aspects of cancer. Marcelo is studying how deaminases influence cancer cell biology.

Mélanie Provencher (undergraduate, intern)

Mélanie did her Bac at U de Montreal and did her honors research project for the Department of Biochemistry with us. She then stayed on as intern before going to Medical School. Mélanie is working on the mechanisms that enable AID mutagenic activity.

Johanna Guerry (Ph.D.)

After doing pharmacy studies, Johanna did a research-oriented master's degree in "pharmaceutical biotechnology" and joined the Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg. She graduate with a Doctorate in Pharmacy, Masters in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and Biotechnology Engineer and joined us in January 2023 to study deaminases.