I joined the CHU Research Center and Laval University in 1997 as an independent researcher and assistant professor. I had previously completed 4 years of postdoctoral training in the United States at Columbia University (New York), Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) and Mount-Sinai Hospital (New York). Previously, I obtained a PhD in Immunology from the Pierre & Marie Curie University in 1993 (Paris). Throughout all these years of training, I mainly worked in gene therapy on specific disease applications and in the development of viral vectors.

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a genetic disease that affects about 3/100,000 people (300 to 500 patients in Canada). EB is a hereditary skin disorder that is characterized by skin and/or mucosal detachment in the form of blisters during friction or trauma. Squamous cell carcinomas frequently develop on surfaces prone to skin detachment. There are more than 20 different types of EB, belonging to 4 main groups: simple EB, dystrophic EB, junctional EB and Kindler Syndrome. The severity of the disease ranges from mild to very mutilating, and in some cases the disease can lead to death. EB is an incurable disease, and palliative care is the only solution available to patients.

Recessive dystrophic EB is caused by the mutation of the COL7A1 gene encoding type VII collagen, which forms the necessary structures (anchoring fibrils) for adhesion between the dermis and the epidermis. Gene therapy is a feasible therapeutic approach for patients with recessive dystrophic EB. We are developing an ex vivo gene therapy program for dystrophic EB, the goal of which will be to transplant patients with reconstructed skin in vitro, with corrected keratinocytes and fibroblasts. We are also studying the reversions (« natural gene therapy ») that may appear in certain places in EB patients to be able to cultivate these cells in vitro and to make skin that will then be grafted onto the patient’s diseased parts.

L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec
9 rue McMahon
2724-1
Québec, QC
Canada G1R 3S3

Latest news

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Nowill AE, Caruso M, de Campos-Lima PO

T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2: what if the known best is not the optimal course for the long run? Adapting to evolving targets

Journal Article

Front Immunol, 14 , 2023.

Abstract | Links:

Banerjee SL, Lessard F, Chartier FJM, Jacquet K, Osornio-Hernandez AI, Teyssier V, Ghani K, Lavoie N, Lavoie JN, Caruso M, Laprise P, Elowe S, Lambert JP, Bisson N

EPH receptor tyrosine kinases phosphorylate the PAR-3 scaffold protein to modulate downstream signaling networks

Journal Article

Cell Rep, 40 (1), 2022.

Abstract | Links:

Barbier MA, Piaceski AD, Larouche D, Villeneuve SH, Ghani K, Pope E, Caruso M, Germain L

Efficient Gamma-Retroviral Transduction of Primary Human Skin Cells Using the EF-c Peptide as a Transduction Enhancer

Journal Article

Curr Protoc, 2 (1), 2022.

Abstract | Links:

Roy S, Ghani K, de Campos-Lima PO, Caruso M

A stable platform for the production of virus-like particles pseudotyped with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein

Journal Article

Virus Res, 295 , 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Larose A, Dakiw-Piaceski A, Barbier MA, Larouche D, Gauvin R, Caruso M, Pope E, Germain L

Peel Test to Assess the Adhesion Strength of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction in Tissue-Engineered Skin

Journal Article

Tissue Eng Part C Methods, 26 (3), 2020.

Abstract | Links:

Ghani K, Boivin-Welch M, Roy S, Dakiw-Piaceski A, Barbier M, Pope E, Germain L, Caruso M

Generation of High-Titer Self-Inactivated γ-Retroviral Vector Producer Cells

Journal Article

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev, 14 , 2019.

Abstract | Links:

Dakiw Piaceski A, Larouche D, Ghani K, Bisson F, Cortez Ghio S, Larochelle S, Moulin MJ, Caruso M, Germain L

Translating the combination of gene therapy and tissue engineering for treating recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa

Journal Article

Eur Cell Mater, 35 , 2018.

Abstract | Links:

Piaceski AD, Larouche D, Bisson F, Ghani K, Caruso M, Germain L

Strategies Integrating Gene Therapy and Tissue Engineering into the Development of Treatments for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Book Chapter

Mullins H (Ed.): Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) : prevalence, clinical manifestations and management, pp. 77-114, New York, NY, Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2016, ISBN: 9781634842747.

Carignan D, Desy O, Ghani K, Caruso M, de Campos-Lima PO

The size of the unbranched aliphatic chain determines the immunomodulatory potency of short and long chain n-alkanols

Journal Article

J Biol Chem, 288 (34), 2013.

Abstract | Links:

Naud JS, Ghani K, de Campos-Lima PO, Caruso M

Nilotinib and imatinib inhibit cytarabine cellular uptake: implications for combination therapy

Journal Article

Leuk Res, 36 (10), 2012.

Abstract | Links:

45 entries « 1 of 5 »
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Active projects

  • Combining tissue-engineered skin with ex vivo gene therapy correction to develop a treatment for epidermolysis bullosa, from 2022-04-01 to 2025-01-31
  • Développement de greffons d’épiderme autologue en combinant thérapie génique et génie tissulaire pour traiter l’épidermolyse bulleuse jonctionnelle, from 2024-04-01 to 2025-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • Projets structurants ThéCell 2023-2024_Greffons d’épiderme autologue en combinant thérapie génique et génie tissulaire pour traiter l’épidermolyse bulleuse jonctionnelle, from 2023-04-01 to 2024-03-31
  • Towards an epidermolysis bullosa clinical trial with tissue-engineered skin after ex vivo gene therapy correction, from 2020-08-01 to 2023-01-31
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery