Investigator, McGill AIDS Centre, Lady Davis Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Associate Member, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University
Associate Member, Division of Infectious Diseases, Jewish General Hospital
Dr. Thibault Mesplède is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology since August 2017 and an associate member of the Division of Experimental Medicine since November 2017. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Genetics in Paris, France before moving to Canada where he received additional training on innate immunity, oncolytic and oncogenic viruses.
Major Research Activities
Transmittable infectious diseases tend to affect more severely the poorest and most vulnerable. In response to this situation, my laboratory uses biochemistry, molecular biology, cell culture and genetics to develop and improve the tools to fight viral infections.
HIV infection remains a major health problem worldwide. Neither the development of antiretroviral drugs nor experimental curative strategies have succeeded in curving the growth of this pandemic. This situation is due to HIV drug resistance that rescinds the benefits of treatments. The emergence of de novo drug resistance mutations threatens the lives of HIV-positive individuals while transmittable HIV drug resistance contributes to new infections, including mother-to-child transmission. The introduction and scale up of integrase inhibitors in developing countries bring hope for a transformative change. Accordingly, the main focus of my research is HIV resistance against integrase inhibitors and other novel antiretroviral strategies.
Our second main objective is to employ our expertise that spans from biochemistry to translational research to the understanding of, and fight against emerging and re-emerging viral infections, including Zika, Dengue and other viruses. We also wish to inform potential issues of drug or vaccine resistance that can occur with these viruses.
Drug resistance is the result of a Darwinian process that requires viral replication, evolution and selection. Accordingly, we are also studying viral genetic diversity to understand resistance as well as viral pathogenesis and persistence.
Pham HT, Mesplède T. The latest evidence for possible HIV-1 curative strategies. Drugs Context. 2018 Feb 21;7:212522. doi: 10.7573/dic.212522. eCollection 2018. Review.
Tietjen I, Williams DE, Read S, Kuang XT, Mwimanzi P, Wilhelm E, Markle T, Kinloch NN, Naphen CN, Tenney K, Mesplède T, Wainberg MA, Crews P, Bell B, Andersen RJ, Brumme ZL, Brockman MA. Inhibition of NF-κB-dependent HIV-1 replication by the marine natural product bengamide A. Antiviral Res. 2018 Apr;152:94-103. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.02.017. Epub 2018 Feb 22.
Hassounah SA, Mesplède T. Where are we with injectables against HIV infection and what are the remaining challenges? Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2018 Feb;16(2):143-152. doi: 10.1080/14787210.2018.1430570. Epub 2018 Jan 25.