On May 5th 2003, in a tiny room of a building called Place Toulon, close to the Old Forum in Montreal, a shipping box carrying the first pipette was unwrapped and placed on a pipette rack on a makeshift laboratory bench. And thus began the life of Jabado Lab from such humble beginnings, to present-day world leaders studying the genetics and the epigenetics of pediatric brain tumors.

Nada Jabado lab

Artwork Yelu Zhang


Our ground-breaking work has created a paradigm shift in cancer with the identification of histone mutations in human disease and we hope to translate these findings into optimal detection and therapeutic possibilities at the bedside. We are also exploring how best to engage children, parents and healthcare professionals in therapeutic decision-making based on the genetic make-up of the tumor.

Dr. Nada Jabado


Dr. Nada Jabado is a Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at McGill University and a staff physician in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

She began her career as an independent investigator in 2003 at the RI-MUHC, pioneering a research program in pediatric brain tumors, which is now unparalleled. Dr. Jabado's group was among the first to identify a histone mutation in human disease which has revolutionized this field. The epigenome was a previously unsuspected hallmark of oncogenesis and this discovery linked development and what we now know are epigenetic-driven cancers.

Dr. Nada Jabado has over 150 peer-reviewed publications to her credit in such prominent journals as Nature Genetics, Nature, Science and Cancer Cell.  She is invited as keynote speaker to International symposia and top ranked universities and has been awarded funding   from CIHR, Genome Canada, NIH, as well as a Large-Scale Genomics grant from Genome Canada. In 2015, Dr. Jabado was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Life Sciences Division.


We are recruiting!

The Jabado lab is looking for a new postdoctoral fellow. Click HERE to see the full job posting and apply.


The Jabado lab is very excited to be part of The Virtual Child project, led by Drs. Stefan Pfister at DKFZ and Richard Gilbertson at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Jabado is co-leading the Neurobiology and Tumor Trajectories Group (NTTG) with Dr. Michael Taylor at SickKids. The project is shortlisted for a share of £80M in the next Cancer Grand Challenges awards.

#TheVirtualChild aims to revolutionise the study and treatment of childhood cancers. We welcome your comments on our plans.



See our trainees Carol Chen and Shriya Deshmukh and Dr. Claudia Kleinman's student Selin Jessa talk about their latest publication in Cell (Histone H3.3G34-Mutant Interneuron Progenitors Co-opt PDGFRA for Gliomagenesis) in this video on JRLNclub:


Our recent work, performed in collaboration with the labs of Dr. Claudia Kleinman and Dr. Michael Taylor and described in the Nature Genetics article ”Stalled developmental programs at the root of pediatric brain tumors”, has been selected by the Magazine Québec Science as one of the top 10 scientific discoveries from Quebec in 2020. In this study, our team generated an extensive single-cell transcriptome atlas of the embryonal pons and forebrain. We then mapped transcriptomes from several types of pediatric brain tumors to the developmental atlas in order to pinpoint the specific cell and lineage of origin from which each of these tumor types originated and identify their unique vulnerabilities.

Our seminal 2012 article in Nature, which was one of the first two studies to identify mutant histones (oncohistones) as drivers of certain pediatric brain tumors, has been selected as a Milestone Study in the December 2020 edition of Nature Milestones in Cancer.


Credit: Science Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo

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On October 3 and 4, 2019, we hosted a group of amazing scientists from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute: researchers Mimi Bandopadhayay, Rameen Beroukhim and Keith Ligon and their teams, as well as our local collaborator Dr. Claudia Kleinman and her team. The event was sponsored by the Guglietti family and their wonderful We Love You Connie Foundation. We hope that this was the first of many such meetings!


CTV Montreal ran a feature on their Evening News on the lab's recent discovery. With collaborators from the Montreal Children's Hospital and hospital centres in France and Australia, we found that protein Tim-3, a key molecule in immune system regulation, is mutated in a subset of patients afflicted by the rare disease subcutaneous panniculitis-like T cell lymphomas (SPTCL). The same story was covered by several other media outlets, including CBC HomeRun, TVA and the Montreal Gazette. The article describing the study made the cover page of the highly rated scientific journal Nature Genetics.

Scientific discoveries from the collaborative work described in our recent article in Nature Genetics were featured in the documentary TV series "Découvertes" on Radio Canada on April 7, 2019. The segment can be watched here.


Dr. Jabado was interviewed by Nature magazine on the role of histones in childhood brain tumours for their latest Outlook feature on Brain Cancer.

The driving force behind Poppies for Irina on a visit to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Funds raised in memory of Irini who lost her battle to Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) in 2016 are donated to Jabado Lab.


Irini’s Mom and Dad, Bessy Hadjidimitriou and Stamatis Skarakis (pictured holding the cheque alongside Dr Nada Jabado) are raising funds to purchase a piece of equipment to analyze single cell RNA gene expression from tumors of children diagnosed with GBM.

Dr.  Jabado is the team leader of a new Genome Canada Large Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP) titled “Tackling childhood brain cancer at the root to improve survival and quality of life”. The project is co-led by Drs. Michael Taylor at SickKids and Jacek Majewski at McGill University and will focus on discovering genomic vulnerabilities of the most aggressive childhood brain tumours and translating those discoveries into personalized therapies. The project has a total budget of $13 million and is funded by federal (Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes for Health Research) and provincial (Québec, Ontario) funding agencies as well as several private partners.

On April 25, which is celebrated as DNA Day, Dominique Anglade, the Québec Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy, announced the investment by the Québec government in the four Québec-based projects in the LSARP program, including Dr. Jabado’s.

Dr. Nada Jabado describes the ongoing collaborative research into DIPG with Dr. Mark Kieran supported by funds from the We Love You Connie Foundation.

Dr. Mark Kieran (Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist at Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital) with Dr. Nada Jabado and Mr. Marco Guglietti pose in front of the Conference Room located at the RI-MUHC that acknowledges the generous donation of the We Love You Connie Foundation. Mr. Marco Guglietti (pictured on the right) and his family created this foundation in honor of their dear daughter Connie who lost her battle to DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). These funds will go directly to support Pediatric Neuro-Oncology research into DIPG at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital.