Nada Jabado, MD, PhD, Pediatric Hemato-oncologist

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology; Brain Tumour Research Laboratory

Hospital information

Academic appointments 

Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Associate member, Rosalind et Morris Goodman Cancer Centre; Associate member, Departments of Human Genetics, Oncology, and Experimental Medicine, McGill University



Doctorate in immunology, Université de Paris VI, France

Medical Degree 

Specialization in pediatrics, Université de Paris VI, France


Hematology, immunology and pediatrics, Hôpital Necker and other hospitals in Paris, France


Postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry, McGill University


Research interests 

My research team has identified two genetic mutations involved in up to 40% of pediatric glioblastomas, a fatal cancer of the brain. We identified changes in an important gene known as histone 3.3 in a significant fraction of children and young adults with glioblastoma. This histone gene is involved in regulating the development and growth of many body tissues, particularly in the brain. These mutations partly explain why this cancer remains unresponsive to treatments. Importantly, they identify a new pathway that may represent a new therapeutic option in glioblastoma and open a more productive approach to treating this and other cancers.  I am co-leading a study with Drs. Tomi Pastinen and Jacek Majewski to pursue these discoveries with the aim of translating them into optimal detection and therapeutic possibilities at the bedside. We are exploring how best to engage children, parents and healthcare professionals in therapeutic decision-making based on the genetic make-up of the tumour.

Research foci 
  • Pediatric high grade astrocytoma; 
  • Genome and transcriptome analysis; 
  • Protein analysis; 
  • Laser capture microdissection;
  • Exome sequencing. 

Brain tumours, histones, epigenome, DNA methylation, animal models, cancer genomics

Awards and distinctions 

In 2012, Dr. Jabado was distinguished by several awards and honours:

  • She received the Canadian Cancer Society William E. Rawls Award for excellence in cancer research. This honour is awarded each year by the National Council of the Canadian Cancer Society to a young investigator whose work has led to important advances in cancer control within the past decade.
  • She received the Maude Abbott Prize from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill. This prize recognizes outstanding women faculty members who excel in education, research or administration, with a focus on those at the early stages of their careers.
  • She was named “Researcher of the Month” by Canadians for Health Research.
  • She was profiled by Premières en affaires magazine as one of eight women who are innovative, inspiring trailblazers on the frontlines of strategic change in health care.
  • She received the Group Jean Coutu Best Care for Children Award in Research from the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

In 2011, Dr. Jabado was among the top researchers from across Canada chosen to participate in two initiatives funded by the Canadian Government. The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Genome Consortium and the Finding of Rare Disease Genes in Canada (FORGE Canada) team both aim to identify the genes that cause the most challenging types of cancer and rare disease in children, and find new treatments.

Dr. Nada Jabado’s research breakthrough with Dr. Jacek Majewski (McGill University) was identified in the December 15, 2010 issue of L’actualité as one of 35 inventions that will “change everything.” This research, published in Human Mutation in 2010, demonstrated that the sequencing of one person’s exome can permit effective research into mutations indicating a genetic disease, without the need to sequence an entire genome.

Selected publications 

Liu XY, Gerges N, Korshunov A, Sabha N, Khuong-Quang DA, Fontebasso AM, Fleming A, Hadjadj D, Schwartzentruber J, Majewski J, Dong Z, Siegel P, Albrecht S, Croul S, Jones DT, Kool M, Tonjes M, Reifenberger G, Faury D, Zadeh G, Pfister S, Jabado N. Frequent ATRX mutations and loss of expression in adult diffuse astrocytic tumors carrying IDH1/IDH2 and TP53 mutations. Acta Neuropathol. 124(5):615-25, 2012. 

Sturm D, Witt H, Hovestadt V, Khuong-Quang DA, Jones DT, ..., Albrecht S, ..., Witt O, Lindroth AM, Schwartzentruber J, Faury D, Fleming A, Zakrzewska M, Liberski PP, Zakrzewski K, Hauser P, Garami M, Klekner A, Bognar L, Morrissy S, Cavalli F, Taylor MD, van Sluis P, Koster J, Versteeg R, Volckmann R, Mikkelsen T, Aldape K, Reifenberger G, Collins VP, Majewski J, Korshunov A, Lichter P, Plass C, Jabado N, Pfister SM. Hotspot mutations in H3F3A and IDH define three epigenetic and biological subgroups of glioblastoma. Cancer Cell. 22(4):425-37, 2012.

Schwartzentruber J, Korshunov A, Liu XY, Jones DTW, 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, 482(7384): 226-31, 2012.

Fontebasso AM, Schwartzentruber J, Khuong-Quang DA, Liu XY, Sturm D, Korshunov A, Jones DT, Witt H, Kool M, Albrecht S, Fleming A, Hadjadj D, Busche S, Lepage P, Montpetit A, Staffa A, Gerges N, Zakrzewska M, Zakrzewski K, Liberski PP, Hauser P, Garami M, Klekner A, Bognar L, Zadeh G, Faury D, Pfister SM, Jabado N, Majewski J.  Mutations in SETD2 and genes affecting histone H3K36 methylation target hemispheric high-grade gliomas.  Acta Neuropathol, 125(5):659-69, 2013. 

Kleinman CL, Gerges N, Papillon-Cavanagh S, Sin-Chan P, Pramatarova A, Khuong 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 tumour ETMR. Nature Genetics 2013, accepted.