Julia Burnier, PhD - Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
cancer genomics • proteomics • liquid biopsy • ctDNA • metastasis
My research focuses on understanding the dynamic molecular changes that occur during tumour progression and metastasis through liquid biopsy. Our ability to study tumour biology and uncover new approaches to prevent and treat cancer is limited because it relies on tissue from a biopsy, which carries several issues: inadequate sampling, rare but serious complications, and, importantly, the limitation of having one static picture of the tumour – thereby neglecting the dynamics of tumour evolution. To overcome these issues, my lab tracks tumour evolution through a liquid biopsy, a minimally invasive approach to monitor disease progression, recurrence and treatment response using a blood sample. Detection of circulating tumour cells, DNA and exosomes can contribute to early diagnosis and personalized management. Liquid biopsy can inform on the changing mutational status of the disease, and help to guide therapy. My lab works towards identifying specific initiating and metastasis-promoting mutations that can track disease through liquid biopsies.
Yang C, Lheureux S, Karakasis K, Burnier JV, Bruce J, Clouthier DL, Danesh A, Quevedo R, Dowar M, Hanna Y, Li T, Lu L, Xu W, Clarke BA, Ohashi PS, Shaw PA, Pugh TJ, Oza AM. Landscape of genomic alterations in high-grade serous ovarian cancer from exceptional long- and short-term survivors. Genome Medicine. 2018. In press.
Lheureux S, Bruce JP, Burnier JV, Karakasis K, Shaw PA, Clarke BA, Yang SY, Quevedo R, Li T, Dowar M, Bowering V, Pugh TJ, Oza AM. Somatic BRCA1/2 Recovery as a Resistance Mechanism After Exceptional Response to Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibition. J Clin Oncol 35(11): 1240-9, 2017.
Beltran-Sastre V, Benisty H, Burnier J, Berger I, Serrano L, Kiel C. Tuneable endogenous mammalian target complementation via multiplexed plasmid-based recombineering. Nature Scientific Reports 5: 17432, 2015.
Grünberg R., Burnier JV, Ferrar T, Beltran-Sastre V, Stricher F, van der Sloot A, Garcia-Olivas R, Mallabiabarrena A, Sanjuan X, Zimmermann T, Serrano L. Engineering of weak helper interactions for high-efficiency FRET probes, Nat Methods. 10(10): 1021–7, 2013.
Burnier JV, Wang N, Michel RP, Hassanain M, Metrakos P, Antecka E, Burnier MN, Ponton A, Gallinger S, and Brodt P. Type IV collagen-initiated signals provide survival and growth cues required for liver metastasis. Oncogene 30(35): 3766-83, 2011.