Dr. Philippe Lefrançois

Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor - Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine

Dr. Philippe Lefrançois
Contact Information

Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
Jewish General Hospital
3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road,
Montreal, Qc, H3T 1E2

(514) 340-8222 ext: 24373
Email address: 
philippe.lefrancois2 [at] mcgill.ca
Current research: 

My lab’s main goal is to improve pathogenetic, diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge of skin cancers, especially Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), the most common of all human cancers, so patients can benefit from new targeted therapies and management options. In particular, we aim to define the cellular and molecular phenotypes of BCC that underlie aggressive tumor behavior. We are using computational biology, genomics, and molecular biology approaches on several types of samples. These include data from large cancer consortia, patient-derived tumors, publicly-available sequencing data from other patient cohorts, and primary cancer cell lines. With emphasis on clinically-important features, we are also interested in finding novel signaling pathways and actionable targets for BCC, and in characterizing the BCC tumor microenvironment.

  1. Understanding the genomic landscape of advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC).
    Using genomics (exome, transcriptome) on patient-derived samples, we try to identify recurrent driver mutations, molecular signatures, and dysregulated pathways characteristic of aggressive BCC.
  2. Understanding the tumor microenvironment of advanced BCC.
    We are characterizing the stromal and immune elements specific to advanced BCC using a combination of spatial molecular techniques, immunohistochemistry, and computational biology.
  1. Clinical correlates and biomarker discovery for early aggressive BCC. 
    We aim to determine clinical features and simple molecular biomarkers that can discriminate between potentially aggressive BCC and non-aggressive BCC on a cohort of patient-derived BCC samples obtained through biobanking.
  2. Pan-cancer comparison of BCC to other skin cancers and to other solid organ malignancies.
    Due to the paucity of BCC experimental models for advanced BCC, we are looking at potential “relatives” among other cancers that display similar genomic and cellular events, using data from large cancer consortia.
Selected publications: 
Research areas: 
Drug discovery/ Therapeutics
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