null Basil Petrof, MD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, MUHC



diaphragm • muscular dystrophy • ICU-acquired muscle weakness • sepsis • neuromuscular respiratory failure

Research Focus

My research focuses on studying disorders of the diaphragm and other breathing muscles. The respiratory muscles pump air into and out of the lungs, and when these muscles are defective this can lead to respiratory failure and even death. Some disorders of the respiratory muscles are genetic in origin. This is the case for muscular dystrophies and another inherited disease we are studying called Pompe disease. In other patients, weakness of the respiratory muscles is not genetically determined but instead acquired due to another illness. This is especially problematic in critically ill individuals who become dependent upon mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit, due to a condition called Ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction. We are investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms which contribute to these diseases, with a strong emphasis on relating these changes to the overall physiologic function and strength of the muscles. Our primary goal is to develop novel therapies that will help to reverse and/or prevent the development of respiratory muscle weakness and failure in patients.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Mojumdar K, Liang F, Giordano C, Lemaire C, Danialou G, Okazaki T, Bourdon J, Rafei M, Galipeau J, Divangahi M, Petrof BJ. Inflammatory monocytes promote progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and can be therapeutically targeted via CCR2. EMBO Mol Med. 2014 Oct 13;6(11):1476-92. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201403967. PMID: 25312642.

  • Kaminska M, Browman F, Trojan DA, Genge A, Benedetti A, Petrof BJ. Feasibility of Lung Volume Recruitment in Early Neuromuscular Weakness: A Comparison Between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Myotonic Dystrophy, and Postpolio Syndrome. PM R. 2015 Jul;7(7):677-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.04.001. Epub 2015 Apr 3. PMID: 25845857.

  • Azuelos I, Jung B, Picard M, Liang F, Li T, Lemaire C, Giordano C, Hussain S, Petrof BJ. Relationship between Autophagy and Ventilator-induced Diaphragmatic Dysfunction. Anesthesiology. 2015 Jun;122(6):1349-61. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000656. PMID: 25828754.

  • Picard M, Azuelos I, Jung B, Giordano C, Matecki S, Hussain S, White K, Li T, Liang F, Benedetti A, Gentil BJ, Burelle Y, Petrof BJ. Mechanical ventilation triggers abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and morphology in the diaphragm. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 May 1;118(9):1161-71. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00873.2014. Epub 2015 Mar 12. PMID: 25767033.

  • Giordano C, Mojumdar K, Liang F, Lemaire C, Li T, Richardson J, Divangahi M, Qureshi S, Petrof BJ. Toll-like receptor 4 ablation in mdx mice reveals innate immunity as a therapeutic target in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Apr 15;24(8):2147-62. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu735. Epub 2014 Dec 30. PMID: 25552658.