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Simona Stäger

Areas of expertise

Immunology of infectious diseases




Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531 des Prairies Blvd.
Laval, Quebec  H7V 1B7

See the research centre

The main interest of the laboratory lies in understanding how the adaptive immune response is regulated during chronic infections. We are currently focussing on three topics:

1. The development of effector and memory CD8 T-cell responses during chronic infections

We are mainly interested in molecular pathways governing early priming events, induction and maintenance of effector CD8 T-cell responses, and the generation of memory cells.

2. The regulation of CD4 T cell responses during chronic infection

Particular interest is given to immune suppressive pathways operating during chronic infections and aiming at inhibiting CD4 T cell responses.

3. The mechanisms of induction of hypergammaglobulinemia by the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani

We seek to identify pathways triggered by L. donovani that lead to polyclonal B cell activation and ultimately to hypergammaglobulinemia.


  • Carmona-Pérez, L., Dagenais-Lussier, X., T. Mai, L. Stögerer T., Swaminathan, S., Isnard, S., R. Rice M., J. Barnes, B. Routy, J-P. van Grevenynghe, J. and Stäger, S. (2023). The TLR7/IRF-5 axis sensitizes memory CD4+ T cells to Fas-mediated apoptosis during HIV-1 infection. JCI Insight. 2023;8(13):e167329. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.167329.
  • Mai, L.T., Smans, M., Silva-Barrios, S., Fabié, A., and Stäger, S. (2020). IRF-5 expression in myeloid cells is required for splenomegaly in L. donovani infected mice. Frontiers in Immunology, 10:3071. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.03071.
  • Silva-Barrios, S. and Stäger, S. (2019). Hypergammaglobulinemia sustains the development of regulatory responses during chronic Leishmania donovani infection in mice. European Journal of Immunology, 49(7): 1082-91.
  • Fabié, A., Mai, L.T., Dagenais-Lussier, X., Hammami, A., van Grevenymghe, J, and Stäger, S. (2018). IRF-5 promotes cell death in CD4 T cells during chronic infection. Cell Reports, 24(5):1163-1175.
  • Silva-Barrios, S., Charpentier, T., and Stäger, S. (2017). The deadly dance of B cells with Trypanosomatids.Trends in Parasitology34(2):155-171.
  • Hammami, A., Abidin, B.M., Charpentier, T., Fabié, A., Duguay, AP, Heinonen K.M., and Stäger, S. (2017). HIF-1alpha is a key regulator in potentiating suppressor activity and limiting the microbicidal capacity of MDSC-like cells during visceral leishmaniasis. PLoS Pathogens, 13(9): e1006616.
  • Abidin, B.M., Hammami, A., Stäger, S., and Heinonen, K.M. (2017). Infection-adapted emergency hematopoiesis promotes visceral leishmaniasis. PLoS Pathogens, 13(8):e1006422.
  • Silva-Barrios, S. and Stäger, S. (2017). The role of IFN-I in parasitic infections. Frontiers in Immunology, pii: S0008-8749(16)30047.
  • Charpentier, T., Hammami, A., and Stäger, S. (2016). Hipoxia inducible factor 1 alpha: A critical factor fro the immune response to pathogens and Leishmania. Cellular Immunology, pii: S0008-8749(16)30047.
  • Silva-Barrios, S., Smans, M., Duerr C., Qureshi, S.T., Fritz, J.H., Descoteaux, A., and Stäger, S. (2016). Innate immune B cell activation by Leishmania donovani exacerbates disease and mediates hypergammaglobulinemia. Cell Reports, 15(11):2427-37.
  • Hammami, A., Charpentier, T., Smans, M., and Stäger, S. (2015). IRF-5-mediated inflammation limits CD8 T cell expansion by inducing HIF-1a and impairing dendritic cell functions during Leishmania infection. PLoS Pathogens, 11(6):e1004938.
  • Bankoti, R., Gupta, K, Levchenko, A., and Stäger,S. (2012). Marginal zone B-cells regulate antigen-specific T-cell responses during infection. Journal of Immunology, 188(8):3961-71.
  • Paun, A., Joshi, T., Pitha, P.M., and Stäger,S. (2011). IRF5 deficiency severely impairs the development of T helper 1 responses following Leishmania donovani infection. PLoS Pathogens, 7 (1): 1001246.
  • Ranatunga, D., Hedrich, C.M., Wang, F., McVicar, D.W., Nowak, N., Joshi, T., Fiegenbaum, L., Grant, L.R., Stäger,S., and Bream, J.H. (2009). A human IL10 BAC transgene recapitulates myeloid- but not T cell-specific murine IL-10 expression resulting in differential disease outcomes. PNAS,106(40): 17123-28.
  • Joshi, T., Rodriguez, S., Perovic, V., Cockburn, I., and Stäger,S. (2009). B7-H1 blockade increases survival of dysfunctional CD8+ T-cells and confers protection against Leishmania donovani infections. PLoS Pathogens,5(5):e1000431.