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Éric A. Cohen

Study of HIV-host interactions governing HIV replication and persistence

Professeur titulaire

Faculté de médecine - Département de microbiologie, infectiologie et immunologie

eric.cohen@umontreal.ca

Secondary numbers: 514 987-5804 (Travail 1) 514 987-5695 (Télécopieur) 514 987-5690 (Laboratoire)
Secondary email: eric.cohen@ircm.qc.ca (Travail)

Media

Portrait du chercheur

Le Dr Eric A. Cohen dans son Laboratoire de l'Institut de recherche cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). - © 2014 Université de Montréal

Le Dr Eric A. Cohen dans son Laboratoire de l'Institut de recherche cliniques de Montréal (IRCM).

Prévenir et guérir le VIH/sida : où en sommes-nous ? - Qu’est-ce que le VIH/SIDA?

Participation du Dr Cohen au premier café scientifique à l’IRCM tenu sur le sujet du VIH/SIDA (30 avril 2013).

Prévenir et guérir le VIH/sida : où en sommes-nous ? - Période de questions

Consortium canadien de recherche sur la guérison du VIH (CanCURE)

Le Dr Éric A. Cohen est chef d'équipe de CanCURE. La mission de CanCURE est d’étudier les mécanismes régissant la persistance du VIH afin de mettre au point des stratégies thérapeutiques efficaces visant à guérir le VIH/sida. - © CanCURE

Le Dr Éric A. Cohen est chef d'équipe de CanCURE. La mission de CanCURE est d’étudier les mécanismes régissant la persistance du VIH afin de mettre au point des stratégies thérapeutiques efficaces visant à guérir le VIH/sida.

CanCURE: un projet de recherche pancanadien pour guérir le VIH

Entrevue avec Éric A. Cohen (chercheur à l'IRCM) animée par Dennis Trudeau au dîner annuel Hommage à la découverte 2015 de la Fondation de l'IRCM.

Profile

Research expertise

My laboratory focuses its investigations on the interactions between HIV-1 and immune cells that regulate viral replication, transmission, and persistence. The specific research projects currently conducted in the laboratory include:

  • Studies of cellular restriction factors and role of HIV accessory proteins in the mechanisms of escape from innate/intrinsic immunity
  • Studies of HIV-host interactions governing HIV replication and transmission in lymphoid and myeloid cells
  • Humanized mouse as a model of HIV infection in vivo
  • Role of host microRNAs in regulating HIV replication, transmission and persistence

These studies have the potential to enable the development of new therapeutic and vaccine strategies against HIV.

Methodology and approach

Given the scope of our research questions, we employ a wide variety of molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and immunology techniques to study HIV pathogenesis. Individuals trained in our laboratory systematically acquire specialized knowledge in each of these experimental approaches. In addition to using human cell lines as a model, we use human primary immune cells, biological material sampled from individuals infected with HIV, in vivomodel of HIV infection in humanized mice, and gene disruption methods to study the function of specific genes in vivo. Our studies benefit from the technology platforms available at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), including those put in place for virology (biocontainment laboratories at level 2 and 3), as well as those for immunology, genomics, proteomics, flow cytometry, microscopy, histology, transgenesis, and gene disruption.

Biography

Dr. Éric A. Cohen is Director of the Human Retrovirology unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). He is also Professor of Virology at the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal and recipient of the Canada Research Chair in Human Retrovirology. Since 2009, he also serves as Leader of the Immunity and Viral Infection Research Division at the IRCM.

Dr. Cohen holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Université de Montréal (Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Yves Langelier). During his Postdoctoral training (under the supervision of Dr. William Haseltine) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University, he contributed significantly to the global efforts to characterize the genetic organization and structure of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). His initial work led to the discovery of two proteins, Vpr and Vpu, which belong to a class of HIV proteins, named accessory proteins, whose role is to promote viral persistence in spite of the host adaptive and innate/intrinsic immune responses. Dr. Cohen’s current research directions aim to better understand HIV-host interactions regulating viral replication, transmission, and persistence using state-of-the-art experimental approaches.

Since 2014, Dr. Cohen leads the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE: www.cancurehiv.org), a pan-Canadian collaboration dedicated to the study of long-lived HIV reservoirs and the development of effective therapeutic strategies towards an HIV Cure. This scientific program is supported by the Canadian Initiative for HIV Cure Research, created through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), and the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Dr. Cohen is a member of numerous scientific committees, funding organizations, and international scientific journals. He is also author of over 135 manuscripts and books published in high-impact scientific and medical journals, as well as the holder of several international patents. Dr. Cohen is strongly involved in the Canadian and Quebec scientific community in the field of HIV/AIDS. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the AIDS and Infectious Disease Network of the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQ-S). He is also a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC). Dr. Cohen was awarded the Marcel-Piché Prize (2012) in recognition of the excellence of his research. He was also awarded the Pierre-Bois Prize (2014) for his valuable contributions to the development and promotion of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal.

Awards and recognitions

  • Membre, Académie des sciences, Société royale du Canada, 2016
  • Membre, Académie canadienne des sciences de la santé, 2016
  • Prix Pierre-Bois pour la promotion, la valorisation et le rayonnement de la recherche, Fondation de l'IRCM, 2014
  • Prix Marcel-Piché, IRCM, 2012
  • Chaire de recherche du Canada en rétrovirologie humaine (niveau 1), 2001-2015

education

  • 1989 — Postdoctorat — Pathologie généraleDana Farber Cancer Institute, Département de pathologie, Université Harvard
  • 1987 — Doctorat — Biologie moléculaireUniversité de Montréal
  • 1983 — Maîtrise (sciences cliniques) — Biologie et autres sciences connexesUniversité de Montréal
  • 1981 — Baccalauréat — BiochimieUniversité McGill

Affiliations and responsabilities

Research affiliations

Teaching and supervision

Student supervision

Theses and dissertation supervision (Papyrus Institutional Repository)

2020

Étude de l'interactome et identification de nouvelles cibles de la protéine virale Vpr du VIH-1

Graduate : Ferreira Barbosa, Jérémy A.
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.
2015

La protéine accessoire Vpu du VIH-1 inhibe l'activité antivirale des pDCs à travers un processus ILT7-dépendant

Graduate : Bérubé-Côté, Édouard
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.
2013

Étude du rôle de la protéine Vpr du VIH-1 dans la modulation de la réponse immunitaire

Graduate : Richard, Jonathan
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

2011

Étude du mécanisme d’augmentation de la relâche virale par la protéine Vpu du VIH-1

Graduate : Dubé, Mathieu
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

2010

Manipulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system by HIV-1 : role of the accessory protein Vpr

Graduate : Belzile, Jean-Philippe
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

2007

Integrase, the central DNA flap and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 nuclear import

Graduate : Ao, Zhujun
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.
2007

Molecular and functional studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 accessory protein

Graduate : Xiao, Yong
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.
2007

Étude du trafic intracellulaire de la protéine Gag du VIH-1 : rôle des facteurs de l'hôte

Graduate : Finzi, Andrés
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.
2005

Rôle de la protéine Vpu dans l'assemblage du VIH-1 au niveau des radeaux lipidiques

Graduate : St-Onge, Geneviève
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.

Projects

Research projects

2021 - 2027

The Th17 Master Regulator RORC2 as a New Target for HIV Immune Therapy and Cure Strategy

Lead researcher : Petronela Ancuta
Co-researchers : Elie Haddad , Éric A. Cohen , Jean-Pierre Routy , Ariberto Fassati
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(PJT) Subvention Projet
2017 - 2026

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-host interactions: from mechanisms of viral persistence to infection control

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(FDN) Subvention Fondation
2019 - 2025

Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise 2.0: Targeting the interplay between myeloid cells and CD4+ T-cells for HIV cure

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention d'équipe
2021 - 2023

The Th17 Master Regulator RORC2 as a New Target for HIV Immune Therapy and Cure Strategy

Lead researcher : Petronela Ancuta
Co-researchers : Elie Haddad , Éric A. Cohen , Jean-Pierre Routy , Ariberto Fassati
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(PJT) Subvention Projet
2018 - 2023

Canadian HIV-Ageing Multidisplinary Programmatic Strategy (CHAMPS) in NeuroHIV

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention d'équipe
2017 - 2023

Exploring the role of the circadian clock in regulating HIV replication and viral reservoir reactivation in Th17 cells

Lead researcher : Petronela Ancuta
Co-researchers : Éric A. Cohen , Jean-Pierre Routy , Nicolas Cermakian , Brendan Bell
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(PJT) Subvention Projet
2017 - 2021

Development of a safe, effective and clinically acceptable VSV-based HIV vaccine

Lead researcher : Gary Pignac-Kobinger
Co-researchers : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXX5647-(MOP) Subvention de fonctionnement incluant les subventions de fonctionnement programmatiques (général)
2016 - 2021

Targeting of host antiviral and immune-modulatory factors by HIV-1 Vpu: Implications for viral pathogenesis and therapy

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(PJT) Subvention Projet
2019 - 2020

Interactions VIH-Hôte: des mécanismes de persistance virale au contrôle de l'infection

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: FCI/Fondation canadienne pour l'innovation
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Fonds des leaders
2017 - 2018

Réseau Sida et maladies infectieuses (SIDAMI) - Examining the role of pDC expansion in the control of HIV infection in humanized mice

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: FRQS/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Réseaux thématiques de recherche
2017 - 2018

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in HIV infection

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Co-researchers : Elie Haddad , Sylvie Lesage
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(PJT) Subvention Projet
2016 - 2018

Examining the role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the control of HIV infection using humanized mice

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Co-researchers : Elie Haddad , Sylvie Lesage
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PV138772-Subvention de fonctionnement: VIH/SIDA
2015 - 2018

Deciphering the functional role of Viral protein R (Vpr) during HIV infection

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention de fonctionnement - annonce de priorités
2014 - 2018

THE CANADIAN HIV CURE ENTERPRISE (CANCURE)

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PV138772-Subvention de fonctionnement: VIH/SIDA
2014 - 2018

CanCURE. Consortium canadien de recherche sur la guérison du VIH/The Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
2016

Advancing Public Engagement in Canadian HIV Cure Research

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Co-researchers : Keith Raymond Fowke
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subventions pour réunion, planification et dissémination
2014 - 2016

DECIPHERING THE FUNCTIONAL ROLE OF VIRAL PROTEIN R (VPR) DURING HIV INFECTION

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention de fonctionnement: programme de recherche communautaire sur le VIH/sida
2013 - 2016

TOWARDS A TRANSFORMATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF HAND

Lead researcher : Chris Power
Co-researchers : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs:
2011 - 2016

HIV-1 VIRAL PROTEIN U (VPU) AS AN ANTAGONIST OF TETHERIN/BST2 : MOLECULAR MECHANISMS AND FUNCTIONAL IMPLICATIONS FOR VIRAL REPLICATION AND TRANSMISSION

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXX5647-(MOP) Subvention de fonctionnement incluant les subventions de fonctionnement programmatiques (général)
2011 - 2016

HIV-1 Viral protein U (Vpu) as an antagonist of Tetherin / BST2 : molecular mechanisms and functional implications for viral replication and transmission

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
2011 - 2015

Développement d’un modèle de souris humanisée pour l’étude de l’infection par le VIH

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
2009 - 2015

RECRUITEMENT OF THE DDB1-CUL4-DCAF1 E3 UBIQUITIN LIGASE COMPLEX BY THE HIV/SIV VPR/VPX ACCESSORY PROTEINS : IMPLICATIONS FOR VIRAL INFECTION, PERSISTENCE AND PATHOGENESIS

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: IRSC/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada
Grant programs: PVXX5647-(MOP) Subvention de fonctionnement incluant les subventions de fonctionnement programmatiques (général)
2008 - 2015

CHAIRE DE RECHERCHE DU CANADA EN RETROVIROLOGIE HUMAINE

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: SPIIE/Secrétariat des programmes interorganismes à l’intention des établissements
Grant programs:
2009 - 2014

Recruitment of the DDB1-CUL4-DCAF1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex by the HIV/SIV Vpr/Vpx accessory proteins : implications for viral infection, persistence and pathogenesis

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
2007 - 2013

RESEAU SIDA ET MALADIES INFECTIEUSES (SIDAMI) - BANQUE SIRNA DE L'INFRASTRUCTURE GENOMIQUE DES FACTEURS DE L'HOTE

Lead researcher : Éric A. Cohen
Funding sources: FRQS/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRSQ)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Réseaux thématiques de recherche

Outreach

Highlights

Hommage

2015

Portrait de chercheur

Découvrez le parcours professionnel de Éric A. Cohen, professeur à la Faculté de médecine de l’Université de Montréal.

Publications and presentations

Publications

15 publications les plus significatives (révisées par un comité de pairs):

  • Bego, M.G., Bérubé-Côté, É., Aschman, N. Mercier J., Weissenhorn, W. and Cohen, E.A. Vpu Exploits the Cross-Talk between BST2 and the ILT7 Receptor to Suppress Anti-HIV-1 Responses by Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells. PLoS Pathog. 11(7):e1005024. July 2015. PMID 26172439.
  • Pham, T.N.Q., Lukhele, S., Hajjar, F., Routy, J-P, and Cohen, E.A. HIV Nef and Vpu Protect HIV-Infected CD4+ T Cells from Antibody-Mediated Cell Lysis through Down-modulation of CD4 and BST2. Retrovirology 11: 15 2014. PMID: 24498878.  Selected by Retrovirology as a highly accessed article
  • Bego, M., Mercier, J., and Cohen, E.A. Virus-activated IRF-7 upregulates expression of the interferon-regulated BST2 gene independently of interferon signaling.  Journal of Virology, 86(7): 3513-3527, 2012. PMID22301143.
  • *Belzile, J-P, *Abrahamyan, L.G., Gerard, F. C., Rougeau, N., Cohen, E.A.Formation of mobile chromatin-associated nuclear foci containing HIV-1 Vpr and VPRBP is critical for the induction of G2 cell cycle arrest. PLoS Pathogens, 6(9) e1001080, 2010. PMID 20824083. CIHR. Featured on the cover of the September 2010 issue of PLoS Pathogens.
  • Dubé, M., Roy, B.B., Guiot-Guillain, P., Binette, J., Mercier, J., Chiasson, A. and Cohen, E.A. Antagonism of Tetherin restriction of HIV-1 release by Vpu involves binding and sequestration of the restriction factor in a perinuclear compartment. PLoS Pathogens 6(4):  e1000856, 2010. PMID 20386718 CIHR. Selected by Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch® as a featured New Hot Paper in Microbiology.
  • Richard, J., Sindhu, S., Pham, T. NQ, Belzile, J-P and Cohen, EA. HIV-1 Vpr upregulates expression of ligands for the activating NKG2D receptor and promotes NK cell-mediated killing. Blood: 115(7): 1354-1363, 2010. PMID 20008788.
  • *Belzile, J.-P., *Duisit, G., Mercier, J., Rougeau, N., Finzi, A. and Cohen, E.A. HIV-1 Vpr-mediated G2 arrest involves the DDB1-Cul4A VprBP E3 ubiquitin ligase. PLoS Pathogens. 3(7): e85, 2007. PMID 1914068.
  • Lum, J.J., Cohen, O.J., Nie, Z., Weaver. J.G., Gomez, T.S., Yao, X.J., Lynch, D., Pilon, A.A., Hawley, N., Kim, J.E., Chen, Z., Montpetit, M., Sanchez-Dardon, J., Cohen, E.A. and Badley, A.D. Vpr R77Q is associated with long-term non-progressive HIV infection and impaired induction of apoptosis. Journal of Clinical Investigations 111(10): 1547-1554, 2003. PMID 12750404.
  • Mouland, A.J., Mercier, J., Luo, M., Bernier, L., DesGroseillers, L. and Cohen, E.A. The double-stranded RNA-Binding protein Staufen is incorporated in human immunodeficiency virus type 1: Evidence for a role in genomic RNA encapsidation. Journal of Virology 74(12): 5441-5451, 2000. PMID 10823848.
  • Subbramanian, R.A., Kessous-Elbaz, A., Lodge, R., Forget, J., Yao, X.J., Bergeron, D. and Cohen, E.A. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vpr is a positive regulator of viral transcription and infectivity in primary human macrophages. Journal of Experimental Medicine 187(7): 1103-1111, 1998. PMID 9529326.
  • Lodge, R., Lalonde J.P., Lemay, G. and Cohen, E.A. The membrane-proximal intracytoplasmic tyrosine residue of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein is critical for basolateral targeting of viral budding in MDCK cells. The EMBO Journal 16(4): 695-705, 1997. PMID  9049299.
  • Cohen, E.A., Dehni, G., Sodroski, J.G. and Haseltine, W.A. Human immunodeficiency virus Vpr product is a virion-associated regulatory protein. Journal of Virology 64(6): 3097-3099, 1990. PMID 2139896.
  • Cohen, E.A., Terwilliger, E.F., Jalinoos, Y., Proulx, J., Sodroski, J.G. and Haseltine, W.A. Identification of HIV-1 Vpr product and function. Journal of Acquired. Immune Deficiency Syndrome 3: 11-18, 1990.  PMID 2136707. 
  • Cohen, E.A., Terwilliger, E.F., Sodroski, J.G. and Haseltine, W.A. Identification of a protein encoded by the Vpu gene of HIV-1. Nature 334: 532-534, 1988. PMID 3043230.
  • Cohen, E.A., Gaudreau, P., Brazeau, P. and Langelier, Y. Specific inhibition of herpes virus ribonucleotide reductase by a nonapeptide derived from the carboxy terminus of subunit 2. Nature 321: 441-443, 1986. PMID 3012360.

Disciplines

  • Virology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Areas of expertise

  • Cell
  • Gene (Living Organisms)
  • Applied Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Diseases of the Immune System
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Infection and Immunity)
  • Immune Reactions
  • AIDS / HIV