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Chantal Autexier

Chantal Autexier, PhD

Molecular & Regenerative Medicine

Aging, DNA damage, DNA replication, Genome integrity, Post-translational modifications, Recombination, Ribonucleoprotein assembly, Telomerase, Telomere
  • Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
  • Professor, Departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology, and of Medicine, McGill University

Contact details

(514) 340-8222 ext. 24651


The maintenance and replication of functional chromosome ends, or telomeres, is essential for genome integrity and cell survival. Cells have evolved mechanisms to regulate and monitor telomere length and integrity and coordinate these processes with DNA replication, damage response, repair and recombination. Using cell culture models, we study how telomere maintenance and synthesis contribute to cell immortalization and cancer, and how defects in telomere maintenance contribute to various premature aging genetic disorders such as dyskeratosis congenita.

Major Research Activities

The long-term objective of Chantal Autexier’s research program is to understand how telomere maintenance and genome stability is regulated, either by telomerase or the telomerase-independent homologous recombination-based Alternative Lengthening of Telomere (ALT) mechanism. Her research team’s short-term objectives are to identify and characterize specific and essential mechanisms regulating telomerase and telomere function in telomere maintenance, cellular immortalization and cancer that can be validated as specific and effective therapeutic targets in tumor cells and premature aging diseases of telomere maintenance.

Recent Publications and References