DAVID LANGLAIS (PHD), Principal investigator
David Langlais is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Human Genetics and Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University, and Principal Investigator at the McGill Genome Centre. Dr Langlais completed his Ph.D. with honors in Molecular Biology in 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Jacques Drouin at the IRCM. His work revealed the complex transcriptional regulation at play in the immuno-neuroendocrine interface and in the maintenance of pituitary tissue. Dr Langlais then pursued postdoctoral research in Dr Philippe Gros’ laboratory at McGill University where he studied the role of critical innate immunity transcription factors and participated in the characterization of new proteins involved in immune function and neuroinflammatory conditions, including cerebral malaria. Dr Langlais has received multiple awards and fellowships, including the Milstein Young Investigator Award from the International Cytokine and Interferon Society and the 2018 Top 10 Discovery by Quebec Science. His current research is founded on functional genomics, bioinformatics, genome editing and molecular biology methods to explain the transcriptional mechanisms involved in normal and pathological inflammation, aiming to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets for inflammatory diseases.
MEHDI EMAM (PHD, DVM), pOSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
Mehdi is trained in veterinary medicine (DVM, 2006) and veterinary microbiology (DVSc, ABD, 2011) at the University of Tehran, Iran. He continued his research in a PhD program (2019) under supervision of professor Mallard at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada. Mehdi’s research has been focused on Genetic Regulation of Immune Responses in the Context of Host-Pathogen Interactions. Over the past 15 years, Mehdi has obtained a diversified experience from quantitative genetics to immunology, from pathogenesis of diseases to bioinformatics. Now, his goal is to move out of his comfort zone by exploring the epigenomic regulation of inflammation in Dr. Langlais’ lab. Mehdi spends his spare time to solve jigsaw puzzles and read/listen to nonfiction books.
Mathieu MANCINI (PHD), POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
Mathieu completed his Ph.D. in Human Genetics in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Vidal at McGill University. Mathieu’s doctoral work focused on virus infections of the heart and of the brain. Specifically, he investigated how genetic variation can influence whether a protective or a lethal inflammatory response is generated against infection. In Dr. Langlais’ lab, Mathieu is currently using bulk and single-cell genomic approaches to study the development and progression of chronic autoinflammatory diseases.
Arturo MACHUCA-PARRA (PHD), RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
I completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical sciences in 2014 (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) studying transcriptional regulation and identifying the promoter of the GABArho1 subunit (GABA-A receptor) in the retina under the supervision of Dr. Ricardo Miledi and Dr. Ataulfo Martinez-Torres. From 2014-2017, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Patricia D’Amore and Dr. Joseph Arboleda as a postdoctoral fellow (Harvard Medical School) in projects related to the retina and brain, their vasculature and the Notch3 receptor. Later, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Thierry Alquier (CRCHUM) exploring inflammation, microglial cells and lipid metabolism from 2017-2019. At McGill, I worked with Dr. Luda Diatchenko to investigate the genetic and epigenetic aspects of low back pain in patients. In Dr. Langlais’ lab, I am studying the regulation of inflammation for different diseases. Outside of the lab, I am a big fan of languages, cuisine and comedy.
HANCHEN WANG (MsC), Research Assistant
HanChen is an M.Sc. Year 2 student who took his undergraduate studies at McGill in Honours Immunology. His work involves using a combination of bioinformatics and wet-lab experiments to decipher the gene expression changes in hematopoietic stem cells following a gene deletion in the mouse. He is interested in revealing more about human diseases related to hematopoiesis and leukemia. Outside of the lab, HanChen plays sports including basketball and volleyball and plays the alto saxophone. (Co-supervised by Dr Ana Nijnik)
REBECCA BELLWORTHY, PHD candidate
I am an international student from the UK, where I studied medical sciences at the University of Southampton. After graduating I worked in industry for a couple of years doing research and development in the microbiology sector, but it has always been an ambition of mine to move into genetics. Outside of work, I am a very keen cyclist and mountaineer, and I’m looking forward to lots of skiing during the Quebec winter!
ATIA AMIN, PHD candidate
Atia is a PhD student co-supervised by Prof. David Langlais at the department of Human Genetics and Prof. Mathieu Blanchette at the department of Computer Science. Her research is based on bioinformatics and machine learning approaches to identify biomarkers of pathogens causing vector borne diseases. Before starting PhD, she completed her master’s in Molecular Biology at the University of South Dakota, USA, and undergraduate degree in Microbiology at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her hobbies include playing guitar, singing songs, and listening to music.
AUDREY CORBEIL, PHD candidate
I have a bachelor's degree in microbiology that I completed at Sherbrooke University, and I also have a background in biomedical analysis in college. I am currently doing a master's degree in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Fernandez-Prada, co-directed by Dr. David Langlais and Dr. Martin Olivier. I am interested in the characterization of extracellular vesicles released by different isolates of Leishmania, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, in order to identify new sensitive biomarkers for rapid and non-invasive diagnosis of the disease. In my spare time, you will find me outdoors on a lake or on a climbing wall !
JACKY TUNG, PHD CANDIDATE
Co-supervised by Dr. Langlais and Dr. Ana Nijnik, Jacky is a PhD student in the department of Physiology. Currently, he studies the stress response of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the context of progenitor cell differentiation and HSC survival. Importantly, he is working towards investigating potential gene targets to enhance bone marrow stem cell fitness when exposed to DNA-damaging stress, a signature off-target side effect of cancer therapies. Outside the lab, you will often have to be given a 10-digit coordinate in order to find Jacky. Wherever his location is, he is probably searching for personal growth and challenges while giving his best. "Deeds not words", a phrase that deeply inspired him.
B.Sc., Honours in Immunology (2017), McGill University, Canada
Mauricio Ayala, MSC candidate
I am an international student from Mexico, where I studied genomic biotechnology at the University of Nuevo Leon. I have a deep interest in the areas of genetics, immunology and microbiology, all with an aim towards improving human health. Outside of the lab, I am an avid philosophy enthusiast, marathon runner and nature lover.
HUGH DENG, BSC Honours
I am a third-year undergraduate student in the Interdepartmental Honours Program in Immunology with an interest in immunology-related research and understanding the molecular mechanism of inflammation. In Dr. Langlais’ lab, I will be investigating the role of CEBPd in macrophage activation and trained immunity. Outside of the lab, I enjoy cooking, running, skiing, and a good game of chess. I also recently discovered my interest in bouldering.
Urvashi singh, BSC student
I am an international student from India, and a final year undergraduate in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. My research interests are at the intersection of studying infectious diseases, genetics, and health equity. Previously, I worked on understanding the role of DPP4 in replicative senescence in mesenchymal stromal cells under the supervision of Dr. Langlais and Dr. Colmegna. Currently, I am contributing to a project investigating the effect of mouse thermoregulation on Leishmania infection. Outside of the lab, I spend my time creating art, playing the Tabla, and swimming.