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Philippe Lefrançois

Philippe Lefrançois, MD, PhD, FRCPC, DABD


Basal cell carcinoma, Biobanking, Biomarkers, Computational biology, Dermatology, Genomics, Skin cancer, Transcriptomics, Translational research, Tumor microenvironment
  • Principal Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
  • Staff Dermatologist, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Jewish General Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine (Experimental Medicine, Dermatology) and of Surgery (Experimental Surgery), McGill University

Contact details

(514) 340-8222 ext. 24986 (lab) / ext. 23723 (office)

Assistant contact details

  • Michel Marcil,
    514-340-8222 ext. 24986 (lab F-419)


Dr. Philippe Lefrançois lab’s main goal is to improve pathogenetic, diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge of skin cancers, especially Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), the most common of all human cancers, so patients can benefit from new targeted therapies and management options. We are building a large, broad skin cancer biobanking initiative to acquire patient-derived tumors for subsequent genomics, molecular biology, and computational biology approaches. We focus on more aggressive disease (high-risk, locally advanced, metastatic, treatment-resistant) to:

  • identify novel signaling pathways and actionable targets,
  • characterize the tumor microenvironment,
  • develop better pre-clinical experimental models, and
  • eventually test novel cancer therapeutics in preclinical and early clinical trials.

Major Research Activities

Characterizing the genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) using skin cancer tumors obtained from patients, with a focus on advanced BCC and high-risk BCC.

The specific research areas in the laboratory include:
  • Understanding the tumor microenvironment (TME) of BCC according to disease behavior and how it relates to the TME of other skin cancers and non-cutaneous malignancies.
  • Developing better experimental models for BCC more reflective of aggressive disease.
  • Discovering novel actionable targets for skin-directed therapy (local disease) and for systemic therapy (distant disease), with eventual translation and testing into phase 0/1 clinical trials.
  • Expanding broad skin cancer biobanking across Québec.

Recent Publications and References