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Dr. Nicoletta Eliopoulos
Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, McGill University

Dr. Nicoletta Eliopoulos is an Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Research, at McGill University in Montreal. She is a scientist with expertise in cell and gene therapy for various pre-clinical and clinical applications. She has M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology from the Université de Montréal, and received her post-doctoral training at the LDI, McGill University, in the laboratory of Dr. Jacques Galipeau. Dr. Eliopoulos is a fellow of the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada and of the U.S. Army Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. She received several awards during her fellowships, including first prize at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)/BioContact “Next Generation” competition, and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Edward A. Smuckler Award. Subsequently, she was the recipient of an operating grant from the Roche Foundation for Anemia Research (RoFAR) “Special Grant” competition, and she presently holds an operating grant from the CIHR.

Dr. Eliopoulos is particularly interested in adult stem and progenitor cells for pre-clinical and clinical cell and gene therapy studies for various diseases. Her main research as an Investigator at the LDI is exploring the use of mesenchymal stem cells in kidney disease and cancer. She is a member of the FRQS ThéCell network, a Cell and Tissue Therapy Network in Quebec.

Major Research Activities
Dr. Eliopoulos’s research laboratory performs novel studies on the pre-treatment, gene-enhancement and therapeutic use of adult stem/progenitor cells. She has previously demonstrated the feasibility and promise of her approach for various illnesses which include kidney injury, anemia, and breast cancer. Her primary basic research is on mesenchymal stem cells derived from different tissues, such as adipose tissue and bone marrow, for cell and gene therapy of various diseases. These cells are useful for cell therapy due to their innate ability to differentiate into diverse cell types, and mainly because of their paracrine effects which can exert anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, mitogenic and angiogenic effects on damaged tissue. Dr. Eliopoulos’s present research is on the use of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of acute kidney injury. Her recent findings support her hypothesis and indicate increased survival and kidney function following implantation of these cells in mice with chemically-induced acute kidney injury. In addition, Dr. Eliopoulos is currently investigating potential agents, such as melatonin, for improving the survival and therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem cells in acute kidney injury and in other tissue injury models. Furthermore, she is also exploring the use of gene-enhanced stem cells for various applications, such as she has previously reported with erythropoietin gene-modified marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells for kidney disease.

Moreover, Dr. Eliopoulos was involved in a Canadian cell therapy clinical study using adult progenitor cells for a Phase I trial, the first cell and gene therapy trial in Canada, through her additional role as Laboratory Director of the JGH CPC clinical-grade cell handling facility which is committed to fostering early-phase trials testing cell-based technologies.

Recent Publications

Zhao J, Young YK, Fradette J, and Eliopoulos N. Melatonin Pretreatment of Human Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Enhances their Prosurvival and Protective Effects on Human Kidney Cells. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology 308(12): 1474-1483, 2015.

Cuerquis J, Romieu-Mourez R, François M, Routy JP, Young YK, Zhao J, and Eliopoulos N. Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Transiently Increase Cytokine Production by Activated T Cells Before Suppressing T Cell Proliferation: Effect of Interferon-γ and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Stimulation. Cytotherapy 16(2): 191-202, 2014.

Eliopoulos N, Zhao J, Forner K, Birman E, Young YK, and Bouchentouf M. Erythropoietin Gene-Enhanced Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Decrease Cisplatin-Induced Kidney Injury and Improve Survival of Allogeneic Mice. Molecular Therapy 19(11): 2072-2083, 2011. 
Dr. Nicoletta Eliopoulos is a scientist with expertise in stem/progenitor cells for cell and gene therapy applications.

Her basic research focuses on the use of mesenchymal stem cells for tissue protection and repair, as well as for delivery of beneficial gene products for various diseases, such as kidney injury and cancer.
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