People

Our genetically diverse staff

Alumni ? Check Who was here?

Dr Javier M Di Noia (PI)

Javier has 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. Javier holds the Canada Research Chair in genetic diversity.

Dr Astrid Zahn (Research associate and lab manager)

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

Publications

  • Litzler LC, Zahn A, Meli AP, Hébert S, Patenaude AM, Methot SP, Sprumont A, Bois T, Kitamura D, Costantino S, King IL, Kleinman CL, Richard S, Di Noia JM#. PRMT5 is essential for B cell development and germinal center dynamics. Nature Communications, 2019 Jan 3;10(1):22. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07884-6
  • Cortizas E*, Zahn A*, Shiva S*, Reed JA, Vega F, Di Noia JM#, Verdun RE#. UNG protects B cells from AID-induced telomere loss. J. Exp. Med. 2016, 213(11), 2459-2472.
  • Zahn A and Di Noia JM#. AID in Somatic Hypermutation and Class Switch Recombination. In: Ratcliffe, M.J.H. (Editor in Chief), Encyclopedia of Immunobiology, Vol. 2, pp. 115–125. Oxford: Academic Press, 2016.
  • Litzler LC, Methot SP, Patenaude AM, Zahn A, Di Noia JM#. Cell-based Assays to Monitor AID Activity. Bioprotocol 2016; 6(3): e1724. http://www.bio-protocol.org/e1724.
  • Methot SP, Litzler LC, Trajtenberg F, Zahn A, Robert F, Pelletier J, Buschiazzo A, Magor BG, Di Noia JM#. Consecutive interactions with HSP90 and eEF1A1 underlie a functional maturation and storage pathway of AID in the cytoplasm. J. Exp. Med. 2015, 212:581-596.
  • Montamat-Sicotte D, Litzler LC, Abreu C, Safavi S, Zahn A, Orthwein A, Müschen M, Oppezzo P, Muñoz DP, Di Noia JM#. HSP90 inhibitors decrease AID levels and activity in mice and in human cells. Eur J Immunol. 2015, 45:2365-76.
  • Collin R, Dugas V, Chabot-Roy G, Salem D, Zahn A, Di Noia JM, Rauch J, Lesage S. Autoimmunity and antibody affinity maturation are modulated by genetic variants on mouse chromosome 12. J Autoimmun. 2015, 58:90-9.
  • Zahn A*, Eranki AK*, Patenaude AM, Methot SP, Fifield H, Cortizas EM, Foster P, Imai K, Durandy A, Larijani M, Verdun RE, Di Noia JM#. Activation induced deaminase C-terminal domain links DNA breaks to end protection and repair during class switch recombination. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014, 111(11):E988-E997.
  • Zahn A, Daugan M, Safavi S, Godin D, Cheong C, Lamarre A, Di Noia JM#. Separation of function between isotype switching and affinity maturation in vivo and circulating autoantibodies in UNG-deficient mice. J immunol. 2013;190:5949-60.
  • Cortizas EC, Zahn A, Hajjar ME, Patenaude AM, Di Noia JM. Verdun RE. Alternative End Joining and Classical-NHEJ Pathways Repair Different Types of Double Strand Breaks During Class Switch Recombination. J immunol. 2013;191:5751-63.
  • Orthwein A, Zahn A, Methot S, Godin D, Conticello SG, Terada K and Di Noia JM#. Optimal functional levels of Activation Induced Deaminase specifically require the Hsp40 DnaJa1. EMBO J 2012; 31: 679-91.

Poorani Ganesh Subramani (MSc student @ McGill U, Div of Experimental Medicine)

Ganesh did his undergraduate studies at McGill, where he graduated as BSc with an interdepartmental honours in immunology in may 2014 and joined the lab as Master's student registered at the Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University. He is identifying factors that interact and regulate AID and antibody diversification.

Publications

  • Methot SP*, Litzler LC*, Subramani GP, Eranki A, Fifield H, Patenaude A-M, Gilmore JC, Santiago GE, Bagci H, Côté J-F, Larijani M, Verdun RE, Di Noia JM. A licensing step links AID to transcription elongation for B cell mutagenesis. Nature Communications, 2018, 9(1):1248. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03387-6.
  • Rodríguez-Cortez, VC, Martínez-Redondo P, Català-Moll F, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Garcia-Gomez A, Subramani GP, Ciudad L, Hernando H, Pérez-García A, Company C, Urquiza JM, Ramiro AR, Di Noia JM, Vaquero A, Ballestar E. Activation-induced cytidine deaminase targets SUV4-20-mediated histone H4K20 trimethylation to class-switch recombination sites. Scientific Reports. 2017, 7, 553.

Therence Bois (PhD student @ Program of molecular biology Université de Montréal)

Hailing from Laval, Therence has a Bac from UQAM in biological sciences and fast-tracked into PhD in 2017 after completing the Molecular and cellular medicine one year intensive MSc program at the IRCM. He is investigating the possible role of a novel cytidine deaminase family member in metabolizing anticancer drugs, funded by the CCSRI.

Publications

  • Litzler LC, Zahn A, Meli AP, Hébert S, Patenaude AM, Methot SP, Sprumont A, Bois T, Kitamura D, Costantino S, King IL, Kleinman CL, Richard S, Di Noia JM#. PRMT5 is essential for B cell development and germinal center dynamics. Nature Communications, 2019 Jan 3;10(1):22. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07884-6

Ariane Larouche (Postdoctoral fellow)

Ariane investigated genetic diversity of HCV during vertical transmission for her PhD at the Department of microbiology and immunology of Université de Montréal, supervised by Dr Hugo Soudeyns. Ariane joined the lab in October 2017 and is gathering evidence to support the use of inhibitors of the DNA repair enzyme UNG against B cell lymphomas that express AID, in a project funded by the LLSC.

Jana Ridani (MSc student, McGill University, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine)

Graduated from the Lebanese University in Tripoly, Lebanon with a Bachelor's degree in Life and earth sciences, Jana same back to Montréal, where she was born for graduate studies. She joined the lab in late 2018 and is investigating the regulation of AID by protein-protein interactions.

Kiersten Dionne (PhD 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.

Adrien Sprumont (MSc student, Molecular and Cellular Medicine option, Molecular Biology program, Université de Montréal)

Adrien is a local student, graduated from McGill University. Adrien first joined the lab in May 2017 to do his research project for the Honors program of the Department of microbiology and immunology at McGill. He stayed with us and was accepted for the IRCM's MCM program. He has been studying the role of PRMTs in germinal center B cells.

Publications

  • Litzler LC, Zahn A, Meli AP, Hébert S, Patenaude AM, Methot SP, Sprumont A, Bois T, Kitamura D, Costantino S, King IL, Kleinman CL, Richard S, Di Noia JM#. PRMT5 is essential for B cell development and germinal center dynamics. Nature Communications, 2019 Jan 3;10(1):22. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07884-6