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 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 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.

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)



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.



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 ! 


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.


véronique cholette, MSC candidate

I have a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Ottawa University where I gained research experience studying weight loss. My project involved investigating a specific polymorphism of a gene implicated in fatty acid oxidation.

During my undergrad, I worked as a lab technician in a pharmacy as well as working on a clinical and administrative level in a hospital. Working closely with patients and their families, I developed an interest in chronic inflammatory diseases and their multifactorial etiology. I am delighted to be a part of the Inflammatory Genomic Lab team!