Research and teaching
- Genome Stability, Genome Editing
The Billon Laboratory is studying the mechanisms that promote DNA Repair and Genome Editing. We employ cutting-edge genome editing technologies (CRISPR-transposons, base editing and prime editing), high-throughput genetic screens in cell lines and in vivo, biochemical assays, cell biology experiments, and mouse models to interrogate and manipulate the cellular mechanisms that protect our genome. Studying and controlling the cellular DNA damage response will not only provide new insights into the mechanisms that promote genome stability to enhance cancer treatments, but also to improve the accuracy, efficiency and safety of modern precision genome editing technologies for the treatment of human genetic diseases.
Dr. Pierre Billon completed his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Pr. Jacques Côté at the Cancer Research Center at Laval University. The main focus of his work was to study the functional roles of post-translational modifications of DNA replication and repair factors. Next, Pierre joined the laboratory of Dr. Alberto Ciccia at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center for his postdoctoral training. He studied the connection between cellular DNA repair mechanisms and genome editing technologies. He developed new tools, methods and technologies each of which resulted in an expansion and improvement of the genome editing toolbox, with applications in cancer detection and treatment. In November 2020, he opened his own laboratory at the University of Calgary in the Cumming School of Medicine.