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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. Jabado has over 200 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 2021, Dr. Jabado was awarded the Canadian Cancer Society's Robert L. Noble Prize, given for outstanding achievements in basic biomedical cancer research.


May 14, 2024. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jabado has been awarded the 2024 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award for North America!


Since 1998, these awards recognize and support eminent women in science from five regions of the world. Dr. Jabado and the other awardees will be celebrated during week-long festivities in Paris between May 25 and 30, 2024, with the official award ceremony taking place on May 28. Join us in congratulating Dr. Jabado on this momentous achievement!






McGill University Health Centre press release:                      Montreal Children's Hospital press release:

Dr. Nada Jabado and Ann Verhulst Santos, President and CEO of L'OREAL Canada

We are recruiting!

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


On July 7, 2022, the Jabado lab celebrated the graduation of our PhD student Brian Krug. This was our first in-person PhD defence since the start of COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020. We look forward to many more such celebrations to come!

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!

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