IDIGH  |  Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program

Leadership and Management

The Management Committee of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program (IDIGH) consists of representatives from all three pillars of the program (fundamental, epidemiology and health outcomes, and clinical research), as well as members from outside the program and research trainees. The committee meets three or four times a year to address issues and discuss strategies and action points that move the IDIGH program toward its objective of becoming a leading centre for translational research in infectious and immune-mediated diseases of global importance.

Management representatives
Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhD (Program Co-leader)
Alexandra De Pokomandy, MD, M.Sc. (Program Co-leader)
Éric Béliveau, PhD (Program Manager)

Representatives of fundamental research
Nicole Bernard, PhD

Representatives of epidemiology and health outcomes research
Theresa Gyorkos, PhD
Marina Klein, MD
Madhukar Pai, MD

Representatives of clinical research
Don Sheppard, MD
Marcel Behr, MD

Representatives of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
Lauren Nagel (co-chair of the IDIGH trainee committee)
Tho-Alfakar Al-Aubodah (co-chair of the IDIGH trainee committee)

External (non-IDIGH program) member
Maziar Divangahi, PhD


Program leaders and manager

Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhDCiriaco Piccirillo, PhD, is a National Institutes of Health-trained immunologist, a senior scientist in the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), and professor and director of the graduate program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University. He also directs the Centre of Excellence in Translational Immunology (CETI) and the RI-MUHC’s Immunophenotyping Platform, a state-of-the-art technological core facility providing expert advice and training in flow cytometry and cell sorting. He is co-leader of the Immunological and Vaccine Protection pillar of CoVaRR-Net, a national network for the study of the threats of emerging SARS-CoV-2 viral variants.

Prof. Piccirillo leads an internationally recognized research program that focuses on the immune regulation of autoimmune, infectious and inflammatory diseases. His research attempts to harness the power of the immune system to boost, stop or restore T cell function, particularly Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, cancers or immunodeficiencies. His research is responsible for many seminal and pioneering studies in pre-clinical animal models, non-human primates and humans. His current research program makes use of mouse models and human disease systems to monitor and characterize the development and functional dynamics of T cell function in health and disease and in therapeutic settings. His research also focuses on the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies to monitor and manipulate Foxp3+ regulatory T cell function and ultimately modulate immune responses in infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

Alexandra De Pokomandy, MDCM, M.Sc.Alexandra De Pokomandy, MDCM, M.Sc., associate professor and co-director of Research in the Family Medicine Department of McGill University, is also a clinician-scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and provides primary and specialized care to people living with HIV at the Chronic Viral Illness Service of the McGill University Health Centre. Her research focuses on preventing comorbidities related to viral diseases in marginalized populations, particularly for people living with HIV, and on cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV). She is also interested in women's health and integrated primary care for people living with HIV and has strong experience in using patient engagement approaches in research. Her work as a physician and researcher aims to recognize patient health concerns and make improvements to clinical practices that will benefit individuals who suffer most from inequities and stigma.

Éric Béliveau, PhDÉric Béliveau, PhD, holds a doctorate in pharmacology from Université de Sherbrooke, where he investigated the functional properties of receptors. He then pursued his training at Université Laval and the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec, where he coordinated a collaborative research project to develop antibodies targeting the brain and nanoparticles with therapeutic and imaging capabilities. In the past 15 years he has developed diversified research expertise in cell-based models, murine models, human samples, and bioinformatics for high throughput experiments. He has participated in numerous collaborative projects involving profit companies, technology transfer, grant writing and event management.