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Marie-Claude Gingras, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics

image: Marie-Claude Gingras, Ph.D.Contact information

Other positions

Associate Professor, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery

Associate Professor, Director Nucleic Acid Laboratory, Human Genome Sequencing Center


B.S. Microbiology, University Laval, Faculty of Sciences, Québec, Canada, 1978

Ph.D., Biochemistry, University Laval, Faculty of Medicine, Québec, Canada, 1985

Postdoc, University of Manitoba, Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, Manitoba, Canada, 1988

Awards and honors

2011: St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Roderick Duncan MacDonald Research Foundation Award

2010: St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Roderick Duncan MacDonald Research Foundation Award

2008: St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Roderick Duncan MacDonald Research Foundation Award

2001: Fleming and Davenport Award

2001: Elsa U. Pardee Foundation Award

2000: Keystone Symposia Award

1994: American Association for Cancer Research Award

1988: National Cancer Institute of Canada Award

1987-1988: Manitoba Health Research Council, Postdoctoral Fellowship

1987: Children's Hospital Research Foundation Inc., Manitoba, Postdoctoral Fellowship

1982: Scientific Exchange Program Québec-Belgique (Belgium), Doctoral Scholarship

1980-1984: Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ), Doctoral Scholarship

1980-1981: Canadian Cancer Research Society, Doctoral Scholarship                

Research interests

Profiling the genome of the pancreaticobiliary and duodenal tumors

The pancreas is the siege of different tumor types originating from different cellular components. The pancreas is connected to the surrounding organs by the pancreatic duct that is fused with the bile duct to form the Ampulla of Vater in the duodenal region. It is a complex environment from which arises some of the deadliest tumors such as the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the 11th most common cancer in the USA but the 4th in fatalities.

The onset and progression of cancer is driven by extensive rearrangement and mutation of the genome. My interest is to detect and characterize the somatic mutation profile of PDAC, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, precancerous IPMN, ampullary adenocarcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and ductal adenocarcinoma.  By collaborating with local and international institutions to obtain representative amount of tumors and comparing the profile of each of these tumors, my collaborators and I are hoping to identify driver genes that can be targeted for personalized treatment.

Direction of the Nucleic Acid Laboratory (NA Lab)

The first step in the sequencing pipeline is the isolation of nucleic acids of high quality.  As the director of Nucleic Acid laboratory at the BCM-HGSC, I supervise the processing of about 1,600 samples per year from sources as varied as solid tissues and body fluid of different origin from deidentified patients, nonhuman primates and mammals collected by our collaborators.

Treatment of sepsis

Sepsis is caused by an overwhelming immune response induced by hyperactivation of its primary arm, resulting in a deadly excess of inflammation. A few years ago, when studying genes expressed during macrophage differentiation, I discovered TREM1-sv, a splice variant of TREM1 receptor that transmits activation signal to macrophage. To validate the hypothesis that this variant acts as a natural immune regulator in human, the protein was synthesized and injected in two different sepsis mouse models.  TREM1-sv protein prevented hyperactivation of the immune response.  By regulating the immune response, this natural human protein has shown efficacy to prevent death from excess inflammation in preclinical model. We are presently working to validate this new biotherapeutic as a treatment for sepsis.

Other projects

In collaboration with the Sultan Qaboos Universiy of Oman, my Omani collaborators and I are studying and comparing the genetic profile of infant, juvenile, and adult onset glaucoma and metabolic diseases in the Omani population.


CFFM4: a new member of the CD20/FcepsilonRIbeta family., Gingras, M. C., Lapillonne H., and Margolin J. F. , Immunogenetics, 2001 Aug, Volume 53, Issue 6, p.468-76, (2001) Abstract
Transendothelial migration induces rapid expression on neutrophils of granule-release VLA6 used for tissue infiltration., Roussel, E., and Gingras M. C. , Journal of leukocyte biology, 1997 Sep, Volume 62, Issue 3, p.356-62, (1997) Abstract
Predominance of a type 2 intratumoural immune response in fresh tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes from human gliomas., Roussel, E., Gingras M. C., Grimm E. A., Bruner J. M., and Moser R. P. , Clinical and experimental immunology, 1996 Aug, Volume 105, Issue 2, p.344-52, (1996) Abstract
Potential salmon sperm origin of the E3 region insert of the adenovirus 5 dl309 mutant., Gingras, M. C., Arevalo P., and Aguilar-Cordova E. , Cancer gene therapy, 1996 May-Jun, Volume 3, Issue 3, p.151-4, (1996) Abstract
Little expression of cytokine mRNA by fresh tumour-infiltrating mononuclear leukocytes from glioma and lung adenocarcinoma., Gingras, M. C., Roussel E., Roth J. A., and Moser R. P. , Cytokine, 1995 Aug, Volume 7, Issue 6, p.580-8, (1995) Abstract
Comparison of cell adhesion molecule expression between glioblastoma multiforme and autologous normal brain tissue., Gingras, M. C., Roussel E., Bruner J. M., Branch C. D., and Moser R. P. , Journal of neuroimmunology, 1995 Mar, Volume 57, Issue 1-2, p.143-53, (1995) Abstract
Loss of alpha 1 beta 1 and reduced expression of other beta 1 integrins and CAM in lung adenocarcinoma compared with pneumocytes., Roussel, E., Gingras M. C., Ro J. Y., Branch C., and Roth J. A. , Journal of surgical oncology, 1994 Jul, Volume 56, Issue 3, p.198-208, (1994) Abstract
Aberrant TGF-beta production and regulation in metastatic malignancy., Schwarz, L. C., Wright J. A., Gingras M. C., Kondaiah P., Danielpour D., Pimentel M., Sporn M. B., and Greenberg A. H. , Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland), 1990, Volume 3, Issue 2, p.115-27, (1990) Abstract
Transient alterations in the expression of protease and extracellular matrix genes during metastatic lung colonization by H-ras-transformed 10T1/2 fibroblasts., Gingras, M. C., Jarolim L., Finch J., Bowden G. T., Wright J. A., and Greenberg A. H. , Cancer research, 1990 Jul 1, Volume 50, Issue 13, p.4061-6, (1990) Abstract
Enhancer and promoter elements directing activation and glucocorticoid repression of the alpha 1-fetoprotein gene in hepatocytes., Guertin, M., LaRue H., Bernier D., Wrange O., Chevrette M., Gingras M. C., and Bélanger L. , Molecular and cellular biology, 1988 Apr, Volume 8, Issue 4, p.1398-407, (1988) Abstract
Loss of growth factor dependence and conversion of transforming growth factor-beta 1 inhibition to stimulation in metastatic H-ras-transformed murine fibroblasts., Schwarz, L. C., Gingras M. C., Goldberg G., Greenberg A. H., and Wright J. A. , Cancer research, 1988 Dec 15, Volume 48, Issue 24 Pt 1, p.6999-7003, (1988) Abstract
Differential regulation of normal and tumor alpha 1-fetoprotein genes in fetal hepatocyte x hepatoma hybrids., Gingras, M. C., Szpirer J., Turcotte B., Bélanger L., and Szpirer C. , Cancer research, 1988 Nov 15, Volume 48, Issue 22, p.6371-4, (1988) Abstract
Natural killer cell regulation of implantation and early lung growth of H-ras-transformed 10T1/2 fibroblasts in mice., Greenberg, A. H., Egan S. E., Jarolim L., Gingras M. C., and Wright J. A. , Cancer research, 1987 Sep 15, Volume 47, Issue 18, p.4801-5, (1987) Abstract
Oncodevelopmental and hormonal regulation of alpha 1-fetoprotein gene expression., Belanger, L., Baril P., Guertin M., Gingras M. C., Gourdeau H., Anderson A., Hamel D., and Boucher J. M. , Advances in enzyme regulation, 1983, Volume 21, p.73-99, (1983) Abstract
Glucocorticosteroid suppression of alpha1-fetoprotein synthesis in developing rat liver. Evidence for selective gene repression at the transcriptional level., Bélanger, L., Frain M., Baril P., Gingras M. C., Bartkowiak J., and Sala-Trepat J. M. , Biochemistry, 1981 Nov 10, Volume 20, Issue 23, p.6665-72, (1981)

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