Our Team

Our research team and partners (DHIIG and REACH)

Dr. Jean Marshall, Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University


Dr. Jean Marshall (Dalhousie University) is an immunologist and internationally recognized mast cell biologist with extensive experience in studies of mechanisms of inflammation. She brings extensive administration experience from her time as Department Head of Microbiology and Immunology. 

Email: jean.marshall@dal.ca

Dr. Michael Bezuhly, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery , Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University


Email: mbezhuly@dal.ca

Dr. Beata Derfalvi, Associate Professor,Department of Pediatrics , Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University


Email: beata.derfalvi@iwk.nshealth.ca


Dr. Kari Eklund, Professor, University of Helsinki


Dr. John G. Hanly, MD, Professor, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pathology; Dalhousie University


Dr. John Hanly is Professor of Medicine and Pathology at Dalhousie University and Attending staff physician in Capital Health, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the Director of the Dalhousie University Lupus Clinic in Halifax. He obtained his medical degree from the National University of Ireland in 1978 and trained in general internal medicine and clinical rheumatology in Ireland prior to immigrating to Canada in 1984. He undertook clinical fellowships in Rheumatology and Immunology at the Division of Department of Pathology ; Dalhousie University

University of Toronto and McMaster University before joining the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1987.

Dr. Hanly is a member of several national and international research networks involved in clinical studies of systemic lupus erythematosus. He is the Past Chair of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), a research network comprising 36 lupus investigators in 31 academic centers in 11 countries. He has published extensively and has received awards in recognition of his achievements in clinical research in lupus. Dr Hanly serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Rheumatology, Lupus and Current Opinion in Rheumatology .

Dr. Hanly’s major research focus is the study of pathogenic mechanisms and clinical outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. This work if funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Email: john.hanly@nshealth.ca


Dr. Carol Hitchon, MD, FRCPC, Associate Professor, Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine; University of Manitoba


Dr. Thomas Issekutz, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics , Division of General Internal MedicineDepartment of Microbiology & Immunology , Department of Pathology; Dalhousie University


Email: thomas.issekutz@iwk.nshealth.ca

Dr. Brent Johnston, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University


Dr. Brent Johnston is an immunologist in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and the Department of Pediatrics. The research in Dr. Johnston’s laboratory is focused on factors and cells that regulate the immune system in autoimmune disease and cancer. The laboratory studies white blood cell trafficking, activation, and effector functions in disease models. The current focus is on harnessing the immunoregulatory activities of a subset of white blood cells called natural killer T (NKT) cells to either boost beneficial immune responses (cancer) or dampen pathogenic immune responses (arthritis).

Dr. Jean-François Légaré, MSc, MD, FRCSC, Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiac Surgery; Dalhousie University 


Dr Légaré is the Head of Cardiac Surgery at the New Brunswick Heart Centre and Professor of Surgery at Dalhousie University Medicine New Brunswick located in Saint John New Brunswick.

He is an established clinician scientist with expertise in Cardiac surgical clinical outcomes and performance indicators. His research expertise also includes the role of immune-cell infiltration/inflammation in development of heart failure, with particular emphasis on fibrosis. Funding for his research work as been from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Capital Health, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Email: legarej@me.com

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jean-Francois_Legare

Twitter: @jean_legare

Twitter: @LegareLab

Dr. Jason McDougall, Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Department of Anesthesia, Pain Mgmt & Perioperative Medicine; Dalhousie University


Using animal models of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and joint injury, Dr. McDougall's laboratory employs an integrative approach to examine the role of nerves in controlling joint inflammation and pain. Dr. McDougall is an international expert on inflammatory mechanisms.

Research in the McDougall lab focuses on the role of nerves in controlling joint inflammation and pain using models of arthritis.  The laboratory examines the effects of various neurotransmitters on knee joint physiology by measuring the following parameters: joint blood flow, leukocyte trafficking, and joint pain.

 Email: Jason.mcdougall@dal.ca

Dr. Shreya Sarkar, PhD. Department of Biochemistry; Dalhousie University (DMNB)


Dr. Sarkar obtained her Ph. D. in Cancer Biology with specialization in Molecular Cancer Genetics (September, 2016) in the Department of Oncogene Regulation, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (Kolkata, India). Her work is focused on understanding the importance three important candidate genes LIMD1, RBSP3 and CDC25A in the development and progression of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) from normal epithelial tissues. The genes showed altered molecular profile (expression/ promoter methylation/ deletion/ mutation) in tumours with respect to normal tissues, in conjunction with etiological factors determined patient prognosis. Presence of susceptible alleles of the genes further enhanced their probability of deletion and altered expression in tumours. Moreover, deregulation of cell cycle/ apoptosis related genes in pre- post treated tumours in comparison to normal tissues was essential for their response to cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy, indicating their utility in diagnostic/ prognostic/ therapeutic markers.

Her prior studies were an M.Sc. in Biotechnology (2007-09) in the Department of Biotechnology Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India) and a B. Sc. In Microbiology (2005-07), University of Calcutta (Kolkata, India).


Dr. Lisa Barrett, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Pathology; Dalhousie Univerisity



Dr. Jeanette Boudreau, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Pathology; Dalhousie University


With a focus on the roles of human immunogenetic diversity and environmental factors, The Boudreau laboratory investigates natural killer (NK) lymphocytes and their role in health and disease. We use humanized animal models and samples from volunteer human donors to investigate the roles and responses of NK cells in health and disease. Our team collaborates with other research groups and physicians to understand how NK cells modulate disease processes, and may be recruited or modulated for immunotherapy of disease.

Funding for the Boudreau laboratory is provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI) and the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI). 


Breanna Hargreaves, MSc (candidate), Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Pathology; Dalhousie University

Breanna Hargreaves is a first-year master’s student in the Boudreau Lab.  She is investigating whether NK expressed microRNAs differentiate between responder and non-responder patients suffering from various autoimmune disease. Her goal is to determine whether immunogenetics can predict the outcomes of anti-inflammatory treatment in patients and identify the role of NK cell microRNAs in autoimmune disease. I hypothesize that novel, non-coding, microRNAs are largely responsible for the regulation of pro and anti-inflammatory processes in immune cells, such as NK cells.

Dr. Christian Lehman, MD, FRPCP, Professor, Department of Anesthesia, Pain Mgmt & Perioperative Medicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Pharmacology; Dalhousie University


Dr. Christian Lehmann is Professor of Anesthesia, Pharmacology, Microbiology & Immunology and Physiology & Biophysics at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. He is also Staff Anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesia, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax. Dr. Lehmann has 25 years of experience in experimental and clinical inflammation research. He established experimental intravital imaging laboratories in Berlin and Greifswald, Germany. His focus of research is the microcirculation, i.e. capillary blood flow, cell-cell-interactions, and endothelial pathology. He participated in diverse German and international clinical multicenter trials, e.g. in sepsis. He joined Dalhousie University in 2007 and currently supervises research in 3 laboratories with modern equipment to study the microcirculation under various conditions experimentally and clinically. He is the author of more than 150 original publications, 13 book chapters and almost 200 published abstracts. He is a member of the Dalhousie Inflammation Group (DIG), the Microcirculation Diagnostics and Applied Studies (MiDAS) research group and the Cystic Fibrosis Translational Research (CFTR) group. In 2009 he founded the RESIST (Research in the Endocannabinoid System in Inflammation, Sepsis and Trauma) group with Dr. Melanie Kelly and others at Dal.


Dr. Tong-Jun Lin, Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University


Dr. Andrew Stadnyk, Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Pediatrics; Dalhousie University


Dr. Stadnyk's research is aimed at understanding harmful inflammatory processes in the digestive system,including the inflammatory bowel diseases, infectious colitis, and mucositis triggered by anti-cancer drugs. None of these conditions are curable using the currently-available medications. Using combinations of animal models, cell culture systems and human specimens, his research focuses on the impact of complement, and he was the first to publish that complement becomes activated during small intestinal mucositis and that properdin deficiency protects from mucositis. Dr. Stadnyk works with all levels of research trainees, has a network of international collaborators and shares his expertise through many local collaborations.


Dr. Johan Van Limbergen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Digestive Care & Endoscopy, Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Dalhousie University 


Dr. Jun Wang, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology


Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University, and a full member of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre. The research conducted in Dr. Wang’s laboratory aims to understand the immune regulatory mechanisms underlying host responses to infections and cancer with the ultimate goal of knowledge translation into the development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The primary focus in recent years is to dissect the role of regulatory T and B cells in regulating protective immunity and pathological chronic tissue inflammation in murine models of Chlamydia infection. Another research focus is to understand how interleukin-17 receptor signalling is involved in cancer-related chronic inflammation, and cancer metabolism using both in vitro and in vivo tools.


Lauren Westhaver, MSc (candidate), Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University

Lauren Westhaver is an MSc candidate with the Department of Pathology, and is co-supervised by Dr. Ian Alwayn and Dr. Jeanette Boudreau. Her research is focused on the role of natural killer cells and mitochondrial damage-associated molecular pattern molecules in the pathogenesis and regulation of ischemia reperfusion injury,  following liver transplantation.