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Jean-Philippe Julien


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Humans & the Microbiome




Jean-Philippe Julien studies the structure and function of immune cell surface proteins in order to find new vaccines and treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Surface glycoproteins on immune cells play critical roles that influence responses to invading pathogens. A better understanding of their atomic structure and the three-dimensional molecular complexes they form allow us to gain insight into their specific functions. This molecular understanding provides roadmaps to design improved vaccines, and treatments in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Specifically, Julien uses a combination of biochemical, biophysical, immunological and structural techniques to study the B cell receptor, as well as antibodies and critical co-receptors on the B cell surface. His laboratory focuses on the characterization of B cell receptors by studies of their interactions with cognate molecules, therapeutics, and pathogens. The malaria parasite and HIV antigens are currently active areas of research in his laboratory. Together, these molecular studies uncover insights into dynamic immunity, one of life’s most intricate and essential systems.

In his first year as a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, Julien was affiliated with the Molecular Architecture of Life program.


  • Innovation and Science Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research, 2019
  • Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Structural Immunology, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2017
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2010
  • Doctoral Research Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2007
  • Scholarship for Master’s studies, Fonds Québécois de Recherche en Nature et Technologies (FQRNT), 2005

Relevant Publications

  • Raman, S. et al. “Structure-guided design fine-tunes pharmacokinetics, tolerability, and antitumor profile of multispecific frizzled antibodies.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2019, Mar 20; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1817246116
  • Kundu, P. et al. “Structural delineation of potent transmission-blocking epitope I on malaria antigen Pfs48/45.” Nat Commun. 2018, Oct 26; 9: 4458. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06742-9.
  • Imkeller K., et al. “Antihomotypic affinity maturation improves human B cell responses against a repetitive epitope.” Science. 2018 Jun 22; 360(6395): 1358-1362. doi: 10.1126/science.aar5304.
  • Scally, S.W. et al. “Molecular definition of multiple sites of antibody inhibition of malaria transmission-blocking vaccine antigen Pfs25.”Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 16; 8:1568. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01924-3.
  • Ereño-Orbea, J. et al. “Molecular basis of human CD22 function and therapeutic targeting. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 2; 8:764. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00836-6.

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CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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