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Nada Jabado, MD, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Child Health and Human Development Program

Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University



pediatric brain tumors • gliomas • astrocytomas • epigenetics • next generation sequencing

Research Focus

My research focuses on brain tumors, the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in the pediatric years. Our main focus is pediatric and young adult astrocytomas, a deadly group of brain tumors. My group established that pediatric high-grade astrocytomas (HGA) are molecularly and genetically distinct from adult tumors. We identified a new molecular mechanism driving pediatric HGA, namely recurrent somatic driver mutations in the tail of histone 3 variants (H3.3 and H3.1). These mutations lead to aminoacid substitutions at key residues and are tightly correlated with a distinct global DNA methylation pattern, neuroanatomical and age specificities. We aim to identify events affected downstream of each mutation, and validate targets in our new models to better advise the use of experimental or pipeline drug(s) that could be rapidly translated into clinical trials.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Pathania M, De Jay N, Maestro N, Harutyunyan AS, Nitarska J, Pahlavan P, Henderson S, Mikael LG, Richard-Londt A, Zhang Y, Costa JR, Hébert S, Khazaei S, Ibrahim NS, Herrero J, Riccio A, Albrecht S, Ketteler R, Brandner S, Kleinman CL, Jabado N, Salomoni P.  H3.3K27M Cooperates with Trp53 Loss and PDGFRA Gain in Mouse Embryonic Neural Progenitor Cells to Induce Invasive High-Grade Gliomas. Cancer Cell. 2017 Nov 13;32(5):684-700.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.09.014. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PMID: 29107533.

  • Papillon-Cavanagh S, Lu C, Gayden T, Mikael LG, Bechet D, Karamboulas C, Ailles L, Karamchandani J, Marchione DM, Garcia BA, Weinreb I, Goldstein D, Lewis PW, Dancu OM, Dhaliwal S, Stecho W, Howlett CJ, Mymryk JS, Barrett JW, Nichols AC, Allis CD, Majewski J, Jabado N. Impaired H3K36 methylation defines a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Nat Genet. 2017 Feb;49(2):180-185. doi: 10.1038/ng.3757. Epub 2017 Jan 9. PMID: 28067913.

  • Lu C, Jain SU, Hoelper D, Bechet D, Molden RC, Ran L, Murphy D, Venneti S, Hameed M, Pawel BR, Wunder JS, Dickson BC, Lundgren SM, Jani KS, De Jay N, Papillon-Cavanagh S, Andrulis IL, Sawyer SL, Grynspan D, Turcotte RE, Nadaf J, Fahiminiyah S, Muir TW, Majewski J, Thompson CB, Chi P, Garcia BA, Allis CD, Jabado N, Lewis PW. Histone H3K36 mutations promote sarcomagenesis through altered histone methylation landscape. Science. 2016 May 13;352(6287):844-9. doi: 10.1126/science.aac7272. PMID: 27174990.

  • Kleinman CL, Gerges N, Papillon-Cavanagh S, Sin-Chan P, Pramatarova A, Quang DA, Adoue V, Busche S, Caron M, Djambazian H, Bemmo A, Fontebasso AM, Spence T, Schwartzentruber J, Albrecht S, Hauser P, Garami M, Klekner A, Bognar L, Montes JL, Staffa A, Montpetit A, Berube P, Zakrzewska M, Zakrzewski K, Liberski PP, Dong Z, Siegel PM, Duchaine T, Perotti C, Fleming A, Faury D, Remke M, Gallo M, Dirks P, Taylor MD, Sladek R, Pastinen T, Chan JA, Huang A, Majewski J, Jabado N. Fusion of TTYH1 with the C19MC microRNA cluster drives expression of a brain-specific DNMT3B isoform in the embryonal brain tumor ETMR. Nat Genet. 2014 Jan;46(1):39-44. doi: 10.1038/ng.2849. Epub 2013 Dec 8. PMID: 24316981.

  • Schwartzentruber J, Korshunov A, Liu XY, Jones DT, Pfaff E, Jacob K, Sturm D, Fontebasso AM, Quang DA, Tönjes M, Hovestadt V, Albrecht S, Kool M, Nantel A, Konermann C, Lindroth A, Jäger N, Rausch T, Ryzhova M, Korbel JO, Hielscher T, Hauser P, Garami M, Klekner A, Bognar L, Ebinger M, Schuhmann MU, Scheurlen W, Pekrun A, Frühwald MC, Roggendorf W, Kramm C, Dürken M, Atkinson J, Lepage P, Montpetit A, Zakrzewska M, Zakrzewski K, Liberski PP, Dong Z, Siegel P, Kulozik AE, Zapatka M, Guha A, Malkin D, Felsberg J, Reifenberger G, von Deimling A, Ichimura K, Collins VP, Witt H, Milde T, Witt O, Zhang C, Castelo-Branco P, Lichter P, Faury D, Tabori U, Plass C, Majewski J, Pfister SM, Jabado N. Driver mutations in histone H3.3 and chromatin remodelling genes in paediatric glioblastoma. Nature. 2012 Jan 29;482(7384):226-31. doi: 10.1038/nature10833. Erratum in: Nature. 2012 Apr 5;484(7392):130. PMID: 22286061.