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Brian J. Ward


Associate Professor

Mailing address
1650 Cedar Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
H3G 1A4

Contact Information
Office phone (514) 934-1934 x42810
Fax (514) 934-8347

brian [dot] ward [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Link to Pubmed 











Research interests

My laboratory is currently active in three areas: 1) the immunologic evaluation of vaccines and vaccine safety, 2) the evaluation of micronutrient-microbial interactions, and 3) the development of novel therapeutic strategies for microbial pathogens. The laboratory is biased towards the discovery and implementation of practical solutions to microbial challenges but most projects are designed to examine problems mechanistically as well. Although a good deal of the work performed in the laboratory takes place in Montreal, many of the projects have significant or even predominant components overseas. There is a long-standing commitment in the laboratory to collaborative work with developing world researchers in Peru and Zimbabwe. During the last 10 years, projects have been carried out in these countries as well as the USA, Haiti, Sudan and Brazil.

1) Vaccine evaluation and development

Active projects at the current time include the development of a Canadian network of vaccine evaluation centres, immunologic studies of measles, varicella and pertussis vaccines, development of proteosome-based vaccines for protozoan pathogens (leishmania, toxoplasmosis) and studies to develop an anti-myeloma vaccine. This work is currently supported by the MRC, the Zellers Foundation, and various industry partners.

2) Micronutrients and microbial pathogens

Active projects include a large prospective trial of vitamin A to interrupt maternal-to-child HIV transmission in Zimbabwe, the role of HLA-G and HLA-E molecules in maternal-to-child transmission of HIV, basic studies of retinoids-paramyxovirus interactions (e.g., replication, nuclear retinoid signalling, apoptosis). This work is currently funded by CIDA, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Elizabeth Glaser Foundation, and industry.

3) Novel therapeutic strategies for microbial pathogens

We are also exploring novel therapeutic agents for protozoal, fungal and bacterial infections. Examples include a field evaluation of imiquomod for cutaneous leishmaniasis, development of class C-specific and pan-beta-lactamase inhibitors and a field-laboratory evaluation of the potential for lectins as anti-parasitic agents. This work is currently supported by the WHO, the Thrasher Foundation, and industrial partners.

Departmental affiliation

Medicine; Microbiology and Immunology; Parasitology

Accepting students from

Experimental Medicine; Parasitology; Microbiology and Immunology