William Pastor, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, McGill University

research axis 3


Research interests

  • Placental development
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation

1. Placentation

In the first days of human life, distinct cells called trophoblasts are specified and go on to form most of the placenta. Given the critical importance of the placenta for fetal and maternal health, our lab will study transcriptional control of trophoblast specification and early placental development.

2. Heterochromatin establishment

Dramatic epigenetic changes occur in early human development. Most notably, there is a global increase in DNA methylation, an epigenetic mark critical for silencing genes and transposons. The methylation pattern established in early development is largely conserved through the rest of life. We will use stem cell based models to determine how DNA methyltransferases are regulated and how DNA methylation is patterned.

Members of the laboratory

Ishtiaque Hossein, MSc 
PhD student

Jessica Cinkornpumin, MSc
PhD student

Deepak Saini, MSc
PhD student

Nathalia Azevedo Portilho, PhD

Jacinthe Sirois, MSc
Research assistant