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.
Caterina Russo, MSc
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.
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.
Nikoleta Juretic, MSc,PhD
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.
Michèle Zeinieh, MSc, PhD
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.