Éric A. Cohen

Cohen Éric A.

Title: Full time professor
Address: Human Retrovirology research unit
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)
110, avenue des Pins Ouest
Montréal (Québec)
H2W 1R7
Room: Laboratory 2340 – IRCM
Phone: Office: 514-987-5804
Labo: 514-987-5690
Fax: Office: 514-987-5691

Labo: 514-987-5695

Email: eric.cohen@ircm.qc.ca
Web site: My personal page


Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE)


Dr. Éric A. Cohen is the Director of the Human Retrovirology unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). He is also a professor of Virology in the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal. Dr. Cohen holds also the Université de Montreal- IRCM Chair of Excellence in HIV Research.

Dr. Cohen holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Université de Montréal (Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Yves Langelier). During his postdoctoral training (under the supervision of Dr. William Haseltine) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University, he contributed significantly to the global efforts to characterize the genetic organization and structure of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). His initial work led to the discovery of two proteins, Vpr and Vpu, which belong to a class of HIV proteins, named accessory proteins, whose role is to promote viral persistence in spite of the host adaptive and innate/intrinsic immune responses. Dr. Cohen’s current research directions aim to better understand HIV-host interactions regulating viral replication, transmission, and persistence using state-of-the-art experimental approaches.

Since 2014, Dr. Cohen leads the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE: www.cancurehiv.org), a pan-Canadian collaboration dedicated to the study of long-lived HIV reservoirs and the development of effective therapeutic strategies towards an HIV Cure. This scientific program is supported by the Canadian Initiative for HIV Cure Research, created through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), and the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Dr. Cohen is a member of numerous scientific committees, funding organizations, and international scientific journals. He is also author of over 150 manuscripts and books published in high-impact scientific and medical journals, as well as the holder of several international patents. Dr. Cohen is strongly involved in the Canadian and Quebec scientific community in the field of HIV/AIDS. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the AIDS and Infectious Disease Network of the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQ-S) and a member of the steering committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian HIV clinical Trial Network (CTN). He was also a member of the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC) from 2010 to 2016. Dr. Cohen was awarded a senior Canada Research Chair (2001-2015) and the Marcel-Piché Prize (2012) in recognition of the excellence of his research. He was also awarded the Pierre-Bois Prize (2014) for his valuable contributions to the development and promotion of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2016.


  • Mariana Bego, Research Associate
  • Robert Lodge, Research Associate
  • Tram Pham, Research Associate
  • Nasser Masroori, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Oussama Meziane, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Vandana Sharma, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Olga Volodina, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Lijun Cong, PhD Student
  • Jeremy Ferreira-Barbosa, PhD Student
  • Alexandre Laliberté, Trainee
  • Frédéric Dallaire, Research Assistant
  • Mélanie Laporte, Research Technician


  • Immunology
  • Virology

Research topics

  • HIV interactions with host cell restriction factors and role of accessory proteins in evading host immunity
  • HIV-host interactions governing HIV replication, transmission and persistence in lymphoid and myeloid cells
  • Role of host micro-RNAs in regulating HIV replication, transmission and persistence
  • Study of HIV replication, transmission and persistence in humanized mouse models


  • Lodge, R., Ferreira Barbosa, J.A., Lombard-Vadnais, F., Gilmore, J.C., Deshiere, A., Gosselin, A., Wiche Salinas, T.R., Bego, M.G., Power, C.,  Routy, J-P, Ancuta, P., Tremblay, M.J., and Cohen, E.A. Host microRNA-221 and -222 Inhibit HIV-1 entry in macrophages by targeting the CD4 viral receptor. Cell Reports. 21(1): 141-153, published online October 3, 2017. PMID 28978468
  • Sugden, S., Pham, T.N.Q., and Cohen, E.A. HIV-1 Vpu downmodulates ICAM-1 expression resulting in decreased killing of infected CD4+ T cells by NK cells. Virol., 91: (8): e02442-16, April 2017. PMID 28148794
  • Pham, T.N.Q., Lukhele, S., Dallaire, F., Perron, G., and Cohen, E.A. Enhancing virion tethering by BST2/Tetherin sensitizes productively and latently HIV-infected T cells to ADCC mediated by broadly neutralizing antibodies. Scientific Reports, 6: 37225, November 17, 2016. PMID 27853288
  • Bego, M.G., Bérubé-Côté, É. Aschman, N. Mercier J., Weissenhorn, W. and Cohen, E.A. Vpu Exploits the Cross-Talk between BST2 and the ILT7 Receptor to Suppress Anti-HIV-1 Responses by Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells. PLoS Pathog. 11(7):e1005024. July 2015. PMID 26172439.