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Research Axes

Immune Disorders and Cancer

Mission and themes

Viral and immune disorders and cancer are among the most severe pathologies that affect patients treated at the CHU Sainte-Justine.

Our institution is the only one in Québec to perform every type of solid organ transplant in addition to being Québec’s only accredited pediatric bone marrow transplant center. Furthermore, the CHU Sainte-Justine is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of close to 65% of pediatric tumors in Québec.

Some of the most innovative experimental approaches in cellular and molecular biology and bioinformatics are used to resolve research issues related to these disorders. The four strategic themes incorporate fundamental, applied and clinical studies in order to clarify the origins of these pathologies, thereby improving the transfer of knowledge for diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment.

The axis favors a pluridisciplinary approach with expertise in genetics, epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, biostatistics, oncology, physiology/cell biology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, immunology, gene therapy, pharmacology, nutrition, biochemistry, pathology, molecular biology, virology, hepatology, microbiology, gastroenterology, infectiology and surgery.


Press releases

Tuesday, April 26, 2016   

CHU Sainte-Justine to further study the immunity of mothers and children infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus
Major grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation
Hugo Soudeyns, PhD

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 

Focusing on a child’s strengths to win the fight against cancer
The Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau gives $1.5M to Sainte-Justine for pediatric cancer research
Michel Duval, MD, Alain Moreau, PhD and Daniel Sinnett, PhD

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Some heart drugs and antibiotics show effective in fighting cancer
Drugs approved for various indications present epigenetic effects for cancer treatment
Henrique Bittencourt, MD, PhD and Noël J-M Raynal, PhD, MSc

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Daniel Sinnett appointed director of the Network of Applied Genetic Medicine of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé
Daniel Sinnett, PhD

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 

Innate immune defences triggered by unsuspected mechanism
Loss of methylation occurs rapidly after infection
Luis Bruno Barreiro, PhD

Friday, November 13, 2015 

Fighting liver diseases in children
A 2015 Gilead Sciences Award goes to Massimiliano Paganelli
Massimiliano Paganelli, MD, PhD

Monday, October 26, 2015

20% of kids don't respond to standard cancer treatment. Now there is new hope.
World first clinical study launched in patients facing a therapeutic dead end launched at CHU Sainte-Justine
Henrique Bittencourt, MD, PhD and Noël J-M Raynal, PhD, MSc

Thursday, August 27, 2015

CHU Sainte-Justine funding partners join Terry Fox Research Institute in support of childhood leukemia research
Sonia Cellot, MD, PhD 

Monday, July 13, 2015

New cell division mechanism discovered
Breakthrough offers insight into one of life’s most fundamental processes 
Gilles Hickson, PhD

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What can gut bacteria tell us about friendship?
Luis Bruno Barreiro, PhD

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sex has another benefit: it makes humans less prone to disease over time
Mixing our genes through sex helps purge us of disease mutations
Philip Awadalla, PhD




  • -Brain tumour-
    Ariane Lacoste-Julien: Life After Cancer

    It’s something to behold: Ariane Lacoste-Julien, 30, with her flute pressed to her lips, concentrating intently on the sheet music in front of her. Music is much more than a simple pastime for her: it’s been a life line since she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age 16. In her journey through illness, treatment and the many challenges in the years since, music has been her constant companion.
    Read the testimony >>>
  • Dr. Caroline Laverdière: Better Outcomes, a Brighter Future
    Never before in the course of history have we been so successful in saving the lives of young cancer patients. Today, in 2014, the survival rate actually tops the 80% mark. “But all too often, those who recover from a serious pediatric illness are saddled with a lifelong disability,” laments Dr. Caroline Laverdière, a hemato-oncologist at Sainte-Justine. The chosen courses of treatment can leave an indelible mark and cast a dark shadow over a future that was once brimming over with possibilities.
    Read the testimony >>>
  • Dr. Daniel Sinnett: Driving Real Change
    Dreaming, devising, developing, discovering… welcome to the world of Dr. Daniel Sinnett, a researcher specializing in the genetics of childhood leukemia and head of the viral and immune disorders and cancers research axis at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre. By devoting countless hours to the study of the long-term consequences of pediatric cancer treatment, he hopes to expand the frontiers of knowledge – guided by his drive and determination.
    Read the testimony >>>

Clinical Research Units


Carmen Movila
Research Administration Officer
Scientific Secretary
514 345-4931, ext. 4388

Daniel Sinnett
Axis Head, Viral and Immune Disorders and Cancers
514 345-4931, ext. 2990

Nikolaus Heveker
Axis Head Deputy, Viral and Immune Disorders and Cancers
514 345-4931, ext. 4190


Cancer: genetic and molecular mechanisms, and new therapies


Severe blood diseases


Inflammatory and immune diseases: pathophysiological mechanisms and therapeutic approaches


Pharmacology and pharmacogenetics


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy

About this page
Updated on 5/3/2018
Created on 8/8/2014
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