Professor of Medicine
Centre de recherche du CHUM
Basic Science
Immunology, Fibrosis

Centre de Recherche du CHUM

Tour Viger, Local R09.414
900 rue St-Denis
Montréal, QC H2X 0A9
CANADA

(514) 890-8000 ext 35235

Dr. Naglaa H. Shoukry obtained her Pharmacy degree from Cairo University (1991) and her Ph.D. in Immunology from McGill University (2000) under the supervision of Dr. Rafick P. Sekaly. This was followed by postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher M. Walker at Children’s Research Institute, Ohio State University (1999-2004). Her postdoctoral research has established the essential and complementary roles of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in resolution and protection from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the chimpanzee model. She joined the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM) in January 2005 where she has established a translational research program focused on studying immunity to HCV and mechanisms underlying failure of the immune response during acute HCV infection. More recently, her work has focused on understanding protective immunity during multiple episodes of HCV infection and immunological mechanisms of liver disease progression. Her research was/is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the Dana Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF). Dr. Shoukry is the recipient of numerous awards from the American Liver Foundation, CIHR and FRQS. She is a chercheur boursier senior of the FRQS and an academic editor for PLoS One. As recognition of her achievements, the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity chose to profile her career and research on their website on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day in July 2013 then again as part of the CanHepC network on World Hepatitis Day 2017.

Dr. Shoukry has been a mentor in the National Canadian Research Training Program on Hepatitis C (NCRTP-HepC) since 2005. In June 2014, she was selected as the co-director of the NCRTP-HepC and led the CIHR application to create the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC). She is the Nominated Principal Investigator of the CanHepC Network

Research Program

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects nearly 3% of the world population.  The majority of individuals exposed to the virus become persistently infected and go on to develop chronic liver disease including liver cancer. Despite the recent development of highly effective direct acting antivirals against HCV, it will remain a problem for millions of patients who are not eligible to receive these treatments and who continue to transmit new HCV infections. Hence, the urgent need for an effective prophylactic vaccine to limit HCV transmission. Vaccine development is hampered by our limited understanding of protective immunity against HCV.

Since joining the CRCHUM in 2005, our group has established a translational research program focused on studying immunity to HCV and to understand the underlying mechanisms in failure of the innate and adaptive immune response during the majority of HCV infections. In collaboration with clinicians from the Hepatology and Addiction Medicine divisions at the CRCHUM, we have established a unique cohort of patients at different stages of HCV infection and an associated sample bank. We utilize a combination of cellular and molecular methods to study immunological and virological determinants of HCV clearance directly on samples from patients acutely and chronically infected with HCV, patients under antiviral therapy and patients who have already eliminated one infection but are still at risk of re-infection. The short term goal of this program is to define the host and viral determinants of a successful immune response against HCV that should be the target for vaccine development. The long term goal is to define immunological parameters for vaccine efficacy and develop new vaccine targets and immune-based therapeutic strategies.

Our group is also interested in understanding the role of immune regulation in progression of liver fibrosis and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In particular, we are studying the complementary yet somewhat opposing roles of IL-17 and IL-22 in liver fibrosis and HCC and inflammatory (Th17) versus regulatory (Treg) subsets using a translational approach where we employ data from patient samples, in vitro and in vivo mouse models.

The main projects in our laboratory at present are:

Transcriptome analysis of the immune response against HCV

Role of different CD4 T cell subsets during acute HCV infection and reinfection, specifically the cross-talk between different CD4 T helper subsets and CD8 T cells and B cells.

Immunological mechanisms of liver fibrosis associated with HCV pathogenesis and development of HCC.

Correlates of immune protection upon re-exposure to HCV in high risk injection drug users (IDUs) and defining parameters to be used as benchmark to measure efficacy of new HCV vaccines.

Publications

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