The Human Retrovirology Research Unit focuses on the interactions of HIV-1 with host target immune cells, which govern viral replication, persistence and transmission. Current studies are aimed at understanding the functional role of the Vpr, Vpu and Nef accessory proteins in HIV-1 infection and pathogenesis and at elucidating in molecular and cellular terms their mechanism of action. These studies are important to inform and guide current efforts aimed at developing strategies to prevent and cure HIV.
Increasingly, the team is utilizing human primary immune cells, biological material isolated from HIV-infected individuals and gene disruption approaches to study the function of specific genes in vivo. The availability of various humanized mouse models of HIV infection allows us to study HIV-host interactions and test therapeutic interventions in vivo.
- Director, Human Retrovirology Research Unit, IRCM
- Professor, Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Université de Montréal
- Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University
- Recipient of the Université de Montréal – IRCM Chair of Excellence in HIV Research
- Leader and nominated principal investigator, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team in HIV Cure: The Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE)
Awards and honours
- Fellow, the Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, 2016
- Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2016
- Université de Montréal – IRCM Chair of Excellence in HIV Research (2015-2022)
- Pierre-Bois Excellence Award, IRCM Foundation, 2014
- Marcel-Piché Award, IRCM, 2012
- Canada Research Chair in Human Retrovirology (Tier 1), 2001-2015
Degrees and relevant experience
- PhD in molecular biology, Université de Montréal
- Postdoctoral fellowship, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA
- Member, CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC), 2010-2016
- Member, Steering committee , CIHR Canadian HIV Trial Network (CTN)
- Member, Scientific Committee, AIDS and infectious Disease Network, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé
Projects and major discoveries
Lodge et al., "Host MicroRNAs-221 and -222 Inhibit HIV-1 Entry in Macrophages by Targeting the CD4 Viral Receptor", Cell Reports, Oct 2017
Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE)
Dagenais-Lussier X, Loucif H, Cadorel H, Blumberger J, Isnard S, Bego MG, Cohen ÉA, Routy JP, van Grevenynghe J, Montreal Primary Infection Study Group., USP18 is a significant driver of memory CD4 T-cell reduced viability caused by type I IFN signaling during primary HIV-1 infection. - PLoS Pathogens 2019 Oct
Mamik MK, Hui E, Branton WG, McKenzie BA, Chisholm J, Cohen EA, Power C, HIV-1 Viral Protein R Activates NLRP3 Inflammasome in Microglia: implications for HIV-1 Associated Neuroinflammation. - Journal Of Neuroimmune Pharmacology : The Official Journal Of The Society On NeuroImmune Pharmacology 2017 Jun
Global News - The Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCure) has won a $6-million grant from the federal government to continue its work in the field of HIV research.
Journal Métro - The Canadian HIV Cure Entreprise (CanCURE), led by Eric Cohen, has received a $6 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
L'Express - Éric A. Cohen’s group identify a defense mechanism that restricts HIV infection.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Foundation program 2017 – FDN 154324 “Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-host interactions: from mechanisms of viral persistence to infection control”.
E.A. Cohen (Program Leader), 2017-2024
Réseau Thématique du Fond de recherche du Québec –Santé (FRQS) “Réseau SIDA et maladies infectieuses”
M. Wainberg (Director), M. Roger (co-Director), C. Tremblay (co-Director), E.A. Cohen (Principal Applicant, HIV axis), N. Shoukry (Principal Applicant, HCV axis), F. Coutlée (Principal Applicant, HPV axis), 2017-2021
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Strategic Team- OVV -152411 : Optimizing the VSV vector towards an HIV vaccine. “Development of a safe, effective and clinically acceptable VSV-based HIV vaccine”
G. Kobinger (Nominated Principal Applicant), E. Arts, B. Blake, C. Creuzenet, E.A Cohen, J. Dikeakos, J. Estaquier, K. Fowke, B. Gaillet, Y. Gao, A. Garnier, R. Gilbert, A. Kamen, C.-Y. Kang, J. Mann, T. Racine, M. J. Tremblay, X-J Yao. (Co-Applicant), 2017-2020
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – HIG133050 Team Grant; HIV Cure initiative “The Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE)”
E.A. Cohen (Nominated Principal Investigator and Team Leader) Principal Investigators: Ancuta, P., Angel, J., Estaquier, J., Fowke, K., Mouland, A., Ostrowski, M., Routy, J.-P., Tremblay, M.J, 17 Co-applicants and 1 Knowledge User, 2014-2018
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Team Grant: HIV/Aids Comorbidities Prevention and Healthy Living 2018-01-23, “Canadian HIV-Ageing Multidisciplinary Programmatic Strategy (CHAMPS) in NeuroHIV”
C. Power (Program Leader), E. Fujiwara (Principal Applicant), E.A. Cohen (Co-Applicant), J. Gill, T. Hobman, L. Rubin, N. Seidah, 2018- 2023
Support biomedical research
Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
110, des Pins Avenue West
Montréal, Québec H2W 1R7