Hélène Decaluwe , M.D. , Ph.D. , FRCPC
    Hélène Decaluwe
    Research Axis
    Immune Diseases and Cancer Axis
    Research Theme
    Immune diseases: mechanisms, new therapeutic approaches and disease outcomes

    514 345-4713

    514 345-4897


    • Associate Clinical Professor, Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal.
    • Clinician Scientist, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center.

    Ongoing recruitment

    Réponse immunitaire chez les jeunes enfants immunosupprimés à la vaccination contre la COVID-19 (in French only)


    • PhD (Immunology), Pasteur Institute, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris, 2006-2010.
    • Master’s (Immunology), Faculty of Medicine, Necker Hospital for Sick Children, UPMC, Paris, 2004-2005.
    • Clinical Fellowship in Pediatric Immunology and Rheumatology, Necker Hospital for Sick Children, Paris, 2003-2005.
    • Specialized Studies Diploma in Pediatrics, University of Montreal, 1999-2003.
    • MD, McGill University, 1994-1999.

    Research Interests

    As a Clinician Scientist in Pediatric Immunology, the primary focus of my research is to better understand the role of cytokines in the differentiation of CD8 T cells in health and disease, and to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches that target cytokine-dependent pathways and inhibitory receptors expressed on CD8 T cells, to cure chronic viral infections and cancer. Supported by both national (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Institute of Health) and private (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society/Cole Foundation, Charles Bruneau Foundation) funding agencies, my laboratory has established a solid expertise in the field of T cell exhaustion, a differentiation pathway that precludes memory T cell development and limits optimal T effector cell functions. We are particularly involved in identifying the cytokine-dependent signaling pathways and transcription factors regulating T cell exhaustion during disease. We further aim to develop novel combined immunotherapeutic approaches that target inhibitory receptors and signaling pathways, to improve cure rates in cancer refractory patients. Finally, we developed a particular expertise in the immune reconstitution of severe combined immunodeficiency patients treated by stem cell transplantation, with the goal to inform on the best therapeutic approaches to transplant these patients. 

    In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, my laboratory has developed expertise to study the response of T lymphocytes to Sars-CoV-2, its variants and in response to vaccination. I am involved in the Canadian response to the pandemic, advising the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) leadership on immune science priorities related to the COVID-19 pandemic and working into harmonizing and providing cell-mediated immune assays across funded Canadian COVID-19 seroprevalence studies.  My laboratory is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Health Institute (NIH, USA), the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Quebec Research Fund, the Canadian Cancer Society and of the Cole Foundation.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • Clinical Research Scholar Junior 2 Award, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ), 2017-2021
    • American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Careers in Immunology Fellowship, 2015
    • Clinical Research Scholar Junior 1 Award, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ), 2012-2016
    • Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Career Development Award (CCHCSP), 2011-2015
    • Cole Foundation Transition Award, 2011-2014
    • Research Award, Canadian Louis Pasteur Foundation, 2008-2010
    • Doctorate Award, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ), 2008-2009
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Industry Partnered Award, 2006-2008
    • Junior Research Fellowship Award, Association de Recherche sur le Cancer, 2006


    French only


    1. Marois L, Touzot F, Haddad E, Fernandez I, Morin MP, De Bruycker JJ, Duval M, Cellot S, Teira P, Bittencourt H, Decaluwe H. Successful management of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis by the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib. Pediatr Blood and Cancer. 2021; 68(6): e28954
    2. Mitra S*, Beltra JC*Bourdin BDecaluwe H. Common gamma chain cytokines and CD8 T cells in cancer. Sem Immunol. 2019; 42, 101307.  * co-first authors
    3. Paliacio L, Goyer ML, Maggiorani D, Espinosa A, Villeneuve N, Bourbonnais S, Moquin-Beaudry G, Le O, Demaria M, Davalos AR, Decaluwe H, Beausejour C. Restored immune cell functions upon clearance of senescence 
    4. Beltra JC, Bourbonnais S, Bédard N, Charpentier T, Boulangé M, Michaud E, Boufaied I, Bruneau J, Shoukry N, Lamarre A, Decaluwe H. IL2R-dependent signals drive terminal exhaustion and suppress memory development during chronic viral infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2016, 113(37):E5444-53.
    5. Griffith L, Cowan M, Notarangelo L, Kohn D, Puck J, Shearer W, Burroughs L, Torgerson T, Decaluwe H, Haddad E. Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium Update. J Allerg Clin Immunol 2016, 138(2) : 375-385.
    6. Beltra JC, Decaluwe H. Cytokines and persistent viral infections. Cytokine 2016, 82 : 8-15. (Invited review)
    7. Mathieu C, Beltra JC, Charpentier T, Bourbonnais S, Di Santo JP, Lamarre A, Decaluwe H. IL-2 and IL-15 regulate CD8 memory T cell differentiation but are dispensable for protective recall responses. Eur J Immunol 2015, 45(12): 3324-3338.
    8. Decaluwe H, Taillardet M, Corcuff E, Munitic I, Law H, Rocha B, Rivière Y, Di Santo JP. Gamma(c) deficiency precludes CD8 T cell memory despite formation of potent T cell effectors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010 May; 107:9311-9316.
    9. Munitic I*, Decaluwe H*, Evaristo C, Wlodarczyk M, Worth A, Le Bon A, Selin LK, Di Santo JP, Borrow P, Rocha B. CD8 subpopulations of different epitope specificities and precursor frequencies have identical differentiation patterns in response to viral infection. J Virol 2009;83 : 11795-11807. * co-first authors
    10. Neven B, Leroy S, Decaluwe H, Le Deist F, Picard C, Moshous D, Mahlaoui N, Debré M, Casanova JL, Dal Cortivo L, Madec Y, Hacein-Bey S, de Saint-Basile G, de Villartay JP, Blanche S, Cavazanna-Calvo M, Fischer A. Long-term outcome after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation of a cohort of 90 patients with severe combined immunodeficiency. Blood 2009;113 :4114-24.
    11. Masse GX*, Corcuff E*, Decaluwe H, Bommhardt U, Lantz O, Buer J, Di Santo JP. Gamma c cytokines provide multiple homeostatic signals to naïve CD4+ T cells. Eur J Immunol 2007;37 :2602-2616. * co-first authors

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