OUR TEAM

STAFF

Damien Faury, MSc

Lab manager

Damien obtained a Protein Engineer degree in a former life and then he decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean to see what life looked like in the New World.  Once here, he completed an MSc in Applied Microbiology and then joined the Jabado lab as its very 1st member… in 2003. Since then, his role has evolved but his passion remains the same. He makes sure conditions are there for everyone to work in a good and safe research environment. The thematic of his research project is liquid biopsy. He plays soccer and is a big fan of that sport. With 3 boys at home, he has almost his own team.

Emily Nakada, PhD

Research associate and biobank manager

Emily grew up in the suburbs of Toronto with her parents and siblings. She received her BSc, PhD, and completed a 2 year post-doc at McGill, and a 3 year post-doc at the University of Vermont, with projects focused on studying murine models of asthma and irritant-induced lung injury. Today, among other things, I she is the Biobank Manager for ORCYD, which is largely a repository for brain tumour samples. She has two cats and enjoys watching movies, hiking, and cooking.

Ashot Harutyunyan, MD, PhD

Research associate

Ashot studied medicine in Armenia and afterwards completed his doctoral studies in Vienna, Austria, at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), working on genetics of myeloproliferative neoplasms. After obtaining his PhD degree, he moved to the Jabado lab as a postdoctoral fellow until November 2018, after which he transitioned to the position of research associate.  Ashot’s work in the lab is focused on the characterization of epigenomic changes in pediatric glioblastoma. Utilizing modern genome editing techniques and high throughput sequencing technologies, he is trying to understand how the driver mutations in glioblastoma change epigenomic landscape in tumor cells and lead to the development of cancer.

Outside of work, Ashot likes to read science fiction, and he is a fan of watching and playing various sports (soccer, basketball, tennis, etc.). He is also a competitive bridge player.

Michele Zeinieh, MSc, PhD

Research associate

Michele obtained a Master’s degree in Biology from the American University of Beirut. Her work consisted of determining the effect of neonatal hypoxia-induced seizures on gap junction intercellular communication in the brain. She then pursued a PhD in neuroscience at McGill University and obtained her degree in November 2014. During her PhD, Michele worked on the role of neurotrophin receptors in glioma invasion. She determined a pathway linking the p75 neurotrophin receptor to Rho GTPases and that could have potential effect on cell migration and on other processes such as axonal growth.  Michele joined the Jabado lab as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2015 and became a research associate in February 2020. Her work focuses on studying the role of K27M histone mutation in gliomagenesis and the screening of epigenetic probes for the treatment of pediatric glioma.

Sima Khazaei, MSc, PhD

Research associate

Sima is from Iran. After obtaining a BSc in Biology from the University of Isfahan, she deepened her knowledge of cell and molecular biology through an MSc at Shiraz University. She Joined the Jabado lab to pursue a PhD in Human Genetics at McGill University (2014-2020). During her PhD she focused on in vivo and in vitro modeling and functional characterization of histone H3.3-G34 mutations in development & cancer. After graduating, she transitioned to the position of research associate to decipher reasons of the differential effects of G34 mutations on the epigenome, transcriptome, and developmental phenotypes. 

Caterina Russo, MSc

Research Assistant

Caterina is a native Montrealer. She obtained her BSc in Biochemistry at McGill University and an MSc at Concordia University-CO-OP. Her focus was on characterizing the structure and function of the mouse oxytocin receptor gene. She has been working for Mcgill University as a Research Assistant for nearly thirty years. She has worked in several labs at the RVH, Goodman Cancer Centre, MNI and is now at the Glen under the supervision of Dr. Nada Jabado. Over the years, she has learned to adapt to the new cutting edge, state of the art technologies required to advance in the research and medical fields. The list of techniques she acquired over the years is quite extensive. She is now mainly involved in elucidating the role of histone H3 mutations and their involvement in the oncogenesis of pediatric tumors. In her spare time, Cathy enjoys gardening, working out at the gym, watching movies, ancient history, reading and long walks with her dog.

Nikoleta Juretic, MSc, PhD

Project manager

Nikoleta joined the Jabado lab in 2015 after an eventful youth spanning Croatia, Canada, Japan and the Philippines and research subjects ranging from plants to insects and monkeys. Following a PhD at McGill University on the role of transposable elements in plant genome evolution, she started working as a project manager on large-scale genomics research projects and has been involved in a number of projects funded by Genome Canada, Genome Quebec and the NIH. In her free time, Nikoleta enjoys traveling, reading novels, jogging, dancing, yoga and experiencing the joys and challenges of parenting.

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POSTDOCS

Carol Chen, PhD

Carol is from Vancouver, where she completed her undergraduate at University of British Columbia (UBC) and fell in love with epigenetics. Working briefly as a data curator for a protein interaction database, she envied those at the bench and decided to pursue a Ph.D in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC. A self-taught bioinformatican, she utilized both wet- and dry-lab approaches to uncover the role of histone phosphorylation in her Ph.D. work. Carol joins the Jabado lab in February, 2018. Currently, she is working on identification of chromatin modifiers that suppresses the pathogenic effect of H3K27M in paediatric glioblastoma.
In the lab, she enjoys data analysis and beautiful graphs. Outside of the lab, she loves to cook, run, craft, and settle Catan.

Djihad Hadjadj, PhD

Djihad joined the Jabado lab in April 2019 as a postdoc. He completed his PhD at the University of Paris where he worked on the role and the regulation of DNA replication in various types of cancer. In the lab he is working on deciphering the epigenome signatures of pediatric high-grade gliomas. Outside the lab, Djihad enjoys science fiction books and sports like running and football.

Augusto Faria Andrade, MSc, PhD

Augusto completed his BSc in Biology and his Master’s degree in Genetics. During his PhD (Science, Genetics) at University of São Paulo (Brazil), he studied the effects of DNA methylation inhibition in pediatric medulloblastoma. Next, he was a postdoctoral fellow at INSERM U1194 (France), where he worked aiming to unravel mechanisms of cancer resistance and immune response to chemotherapy.

Augusto joined Dr. Jabado lab in March 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow. Currently, he is working on studying the role of K27M histone mutation in gliomagenesis using mouse models and screening for effective drug combinations. Outside of the lab, he spends his time swimming, listening to music and exploring Montreal for the best beers/food.

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PHD STUDENTS

Brian Krug, BSc

Brian is a PhD candidate working in the Dr. Jabado Lab since 2015. His interest is in the role of epigenomic remodelling in cancer biology and effects of histone mutations on tumourigenesis. This is under study using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to model mutations and genetic dependencies in stem cell differentiation and tumour-derived cells. Outside the lab he enjoys Nordic skiing, hiking and IPA.

Andrea Bajic, BSc

Andrea completed her BSc in Biological Sciences at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, where her enthusiasm for research was first sparked. To pursue graduate studies, she enrolled in the MSc program in Human Genetics at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Nada Jabado, and has since transferred into the PhD program. The focus of Andrea’s PhD thesis has been elucidating the role of DNMT3B variant 6 in embryonal tumor formation and early brain development. She has also been involved in other projects in the lab at various stages. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys reading, traveling, exploring Montreal, and staying active.

Shakour Mohammadnia, MSc

Abdulshakour Mohammadnia (Shakour) earned his BSc and MSc in general biology and cell and molecular biology from 2008 to 2015 in Iran. He is experienced and interested in applying network biology in the fields of stem cell and cancer biology. Currently, he is focused on the generation of cell models for H3.3, H3.1, and ACVR1 mutations using ZFNs and CRISPR technologies to study the development and behavior of pediatric brain tumors. Generation of these cells will provide significant details about molecular aspects of these mutations that lead to the pediatric brain tumors and help researchers to propose better treatment strategies. Shakour is interested in reading, biking, and swimming.

Shriya Deshmukh, BSc

Shriya is a student in the MD-PhD program at McGill. She completed her Honours BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. Her projects are focused on studying oncohistone and histone-methyltransferase mutations affecting Histone 3 Lysine 36 methylation, and their role in the development of associated cancers (pediatric glioblastoma, giant cell tumour of bone) and overgrowth syndromes (Sotos). Outside of the lab, Shriya enjoys playing badminton, dancing Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) and re-reading Wodehouse novels.

Maud Hulswit, MSc

Maud was first introduced to the lab when she did an internship rotation in the spring of 2019 for her MSc Oncology at the Free University of Amsterdam. With a background in Neuroscience and Oncology and a specific interest in epigenetics she felt totally in place in the Jabado lab and decided to pursue her PhD here starting September 2020. So far, Maud’s work has focused on trying to identify cell of origin in paediatric tumours bearing histone mutations. Outside of the lab, Maud loves to have coffee or a beer with her friends, read a book or watch movies. 

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MASTER'S STUDENTS

Pariya Azarafshar, BSc

Pariya obtained her BSc in Animal Science from University of Tehran in 2018. She started an MSc in Human Genetics at McGill in September 2019 and chose to work in the Jabado lab because of her passion for understanding more about the role of genes and epigenetics in cancer development.

She paints and especially loves watercolor painting. She also enjoys working out at the gym and going out with friends in her free time.

Gayathri Yogarajah, BSc

Gaya completed her BSc at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM-Paris) in Industrial Sciences in 2012. During the last 6 years, she worked in several research centers such as the Institut Pasteur, Institut Gustave Roussy and Institut Marie Curie, where she acquired a strong expertise in molecular and cell biology. Her passion for neuroscience led her to study cerebral development while developing her expertise in stem cells and cerebral organoids. Gaya joined Dr. Jabado’s lab in June 2019 as a research assistant and, in September 2020, started a Master’s program co-supervised by Dr. Jabado and Dr. Serge McGraw. She is studying the role of chromatin modifiers in developmental syndromes. Outside of the lab, Gaya enjoys playing badminton with her co-workers, Jiving, going to music concerts, eating and spending time with her friends.

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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VISITING RESEARCHERS

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