Back to top

Albert Descoteaux

Looking for students or interns

Areas of expertise

Study of Host-Pathogen Interactions , Cell biology , Leishmania , Macrophages , Metabolism , Mitochondria

450-687-5010 extension 4465



Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531 blvd. des Prairies
Laval, Québec  H7V 1B7

See the research centre

Cell biology of Leishmania pathogenesis

The protozoan parasite Leishmania is a single-celled eukaryotic pathogen that causes a spectrum of human diseases called leishmaniasis. This pathogen is transmitted to humans under its promastigote form by a sand fly. Following their inoculation into the dermis, promastigotes are internalized by various populations of phagocytes, including the macrophage, and differentiate into amastigotes. It is under this form that Leishmania replicates in humans. Inside the macrophage, Leishmania creates a compartment in which it replicates, the parasitophorous vacuole. Our research interests focus on the biogenesis and functionality of the parasitophorous vacuole as well as the interaction between this vacuole and two organelles of the host cell, the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondrion. More precisely, we are investigating the impact of Leishmania on the functions and properties of these organelles in the macrophage. To this end, we use a range of experimental approaches, including cell biology, proteomics, molecular biology, metabolomics, and transcriptomics.

Dr Albert Descoteaux obtained his PhD (Parasitology) from McGill University. After two postdoctoral fellowships (University of Kentucky and Harvard Medical School), he took an Assistant professor position at McGill University, before joining the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier. Dr Descoteaux is also Adjunct professor with the department of Microbiology and Immunology of McGill University.

Dr. Descoteaux is the holder of the Canada Research Chair on the Biology of Intracellular Parasitism and his research is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.