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Our Lab

We are located within the Claudine D’Amours Pavilion at the

Maisonnueuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center (CR-HMR),

which is affiliated with the University of Montreal. 

Our Team


Benjamin Haley

Principal Investigator

Ben earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UMass Medical School, during which time he established several key biochemical steps in the RNA interference pathway. Afterwards, he received a fellowship from the American Cancer Society to perform postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley, where he identified unique small RNAs and transcriptional processes and developed enhanced gene silencing technologies in a variety of model organisms. Prior to joining the University of Montreal as a Full Professor (Professeur titulaire) within the Department of Ophthalmology and as the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) Chair in Genomic Engineering, Ben spent >13 years as a group leader (Distinguished Scientist) at Genentech, Inc., where his teams created and applied a range of molecular genetic technologies for basic and clinical research programs across the field of Oncology, Immunology, Neurobiology, Cancer Immunology, Infectious Disease, and Biologics Manufacturing.

See this link for Ben’s full CV.

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Sebastian Merker

Research Associate

Sebastian holds a PhD in stem cell and cancer biology. He is an expert in organoids, specializing in high-throughput drug screens and automation. His research interests include gastrointestinal tumors and the development and commercialization of organoid-related technologies.

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Gabriela Flores-Vargas

Research Assistant

Gaby earned her PhD degree in Summer 2023 at the University of Saskatchewan. She specializes in bioinformatics, data analysis, microbiology, and molecular biology. She is now interested in working in next-generation sequencing and machine learning tools to pinpoint potential targets for gene editing therapeutics.   

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Yassine El Fazaa

MSc Intern

Yassine graduated in genetics and molecular biology from Université Côte d’Azur. He is currently pursuing a Master at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in France. With a keen interest in immunology and auto-immune diseases, he has delved into the study of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and IPEX syndrome. He is now interning in Haley Lab where he aims to further develop his competences in genome engineering and functional genomics.

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Département d'ophtalmologie, Université de Montréal Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont
Pavillon Claudine D'Amours
5415 Boul. de l'Assomption
Montréal, QC, Canada H1T 2M4

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