Nada Jabado

Nada Jabado, MD, PhD is Professor of the Department of Pediatrics Education/Training at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center,.  She established her Research Program as a PI in 2003 to study brain tumors, the leading cause of cancer related mortality and morbidity in the pediatric years. She is a clinician-scientist who leads a lab comprised of 6 postdoctoral and clinical fellows, 6 graduate students and 5 research assistants/associates. Her main focus is pediatric and young adult astrocytomas, a deadly group of brain tumors. Her group uncovered that pediatric high-grade astrocytomas (HGA) are molecularly and genetically distinct from adult tumors.They also 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 amino acid substitutions at key residues and are tightly correlated with a distinct global DNA methylation pattern, neuroanatomical locations and age specificities. They aim to identify events affected downstream of each mutation, and validate targets in new models to better advise the use of experimental or pipeline drug(s) or drug combinations that could be rapidly translated into clinical trials. Ultimately, based on their findings, patients could be stratified based on their genetic/molecular signature, and assigned to a beneficial therapeutic strategy, bringing needed effective interventions in this devastating cancer. Additionally, they established a TCGA-like initiative by creating the International CHildhood Astrocytoma INtegrated Genomic and Epigenomic (ICHANGE) Consortium. They say, this is a unique set of resources, which enables the scientific world to investigate astrocytomas in children. It includes databases and access to technology as well as international collaborations from 15 participating countries, including ~1500 annotated glioma tissue samples representative of all grades and ages.