OUR TEAM

STAFF

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Damien Faury, MSc

Lab Manager

Damien obtained a Protein Engineer degree in a former life and then 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 almost has his own team.

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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. 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.

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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.

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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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Qing Wu, MD

Research Associate

Qing grew up and obtained her MD in Beijing, China. After practicing as a medical doctor in Beijing many years, she spent four years in Israel working on a research project in Molecular Biology. Then, Qing moved to Canada and has been working at the MUHC Research Institute since 1997. In the Jabado lab she is involved in clinical brain tumour sample preparation and testing. In her leisure time, Qing enjoys gardening, walking in parks, watching movies and travelling. 

POSTDOCS

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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.

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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.

PHD STUDENTS

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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.

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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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Alva Annett, MSc

Alva has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and master’s degree in bioinformatics from Uppsala University. During her master’s she became interested in pediatric cancer and single cell genomics which made Dr. Jabado’s lab a perfect fit for her PhD. The focus of her project is to analyze histone mutations and their effect on the epigenetic landscape. Her work is mainly computational, and she is co-supervised by Dr. Jabado and Dr. Claudia Kleinman. In her free time Alva enjoys hiking, gardening and having a beer with friends.

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Kimia Asghari, MSc

Kimia completed her BSc in Genetics and her Master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from 2015 to 2022 in Iran at the University of Isfahan. She started to pursue her Ph.D. in Human Genetics at McGill University and her research in the Dr. Jabado lab in June 2022.

She is interested in the role of genes and epigenetics in cancer, as well as the effects of histone mutations on tumorigenesis and their microenvironment. She enjoys swimming, hiking, and ice skating as hobbies.

MASTER'S STUDENTS

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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.

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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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Aysha Alsahlawi, MD

Aysha is a PGY-4 Neurosurgery resident at the Montreal Neurological Institute and a MSc candidate in Human Genetics at McGill University. As she aims to become a Surgeon-Scientist, her work involves both clinical and wet lab research. She is interested in investigating the epigenetics of Gliomas as well as understanding their microenvironment. Outside the lab she enjoys jazz, poetry and solo travels.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Dennise Abrazado

Dennise is a co-op student from the University of British Columbia where she is completing her Combined Honours Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Forensic Science. She joined the Jabado lab in May 2022, assisting Carol, Pariya, and Gaya in their respective projects as well as undertaking her own project with the use of CRISPR-Cas9 to study changes in epigenetic marks of gliomas. Outside of the lab, Dennise spends her time exploring the city with her friends, watching movies, and reading books in the park.

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Liam Roberts

Liam joined the Jabado lab for an 8-month co-op after finishing his 3rd year of a combined honours program in Biochemistry and Chemistry at UBC. Previously, he worked in a yeast lab at UBC that studied the epigenetics of diseases such as Rett syndrome. During his co-op, Liam is assisting Wajih Jawhar with exciting projects on oncohistones and oncohistone mimics in different disease contexts, which includes functional characterization in new transgenic mouse models. He is also taking lead on characterizing PDGFRA extracellular domain mutants, their interactome, glycosylation and subcellular trafficking. In his free time, he loves to exercise, hang out with friends and jam to live music.

VISITING RESEARCHERS