Roger Lippé , Ph.D.
    Roger Lippé
    Research Axis
    Infectious Diseases and Acute Care Axis
    Research Theme
    Infection, immunity and inflammation
    CHUSJ - Centre de Recherche


    • Full Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, University of Montreal


    • Postdoctoral training in intracellular transport in Dr. Marino Zerial’s laboratory (EMBL, 1995-2000)
    • PhD in immunovirology with Dr. Wilfred Jefferies (University of British Columbia; 1989-1995)
    • MSc in virology in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Graham (McMaster University, 1986-1989)
    • BSc in biology, option microbiology (University of Montreal, 1986-1986)

    Research Interests

    The long-term objectives of the laboratory are to characterize host-pathogen interactions and define novel therapies in the context of herpesviruses. These viruses can cause both mild and severe conditions in newborns, kids and adults. The laboratory work focuses on the intracellular transport route employed by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which are newly assembled in the nucleus, by identifying novel molecular players and characterizing their mechanisms of action. That transport is peculiar as herpesviral particles are too large to exit via the nuclear pores. Instead, they bud through the inner nuclear membrane to form enveloped perinuclear virions, which then fuse with the outer nuclear membrane to yield naked cytoplasmic capsids. Though highly unusual, that transport is not unique to herpesviruses as it was more recently discovered that large cellular hnRNP particles also use that pathway. This demonstrates, once again, that viruses are excellent models to study cellular processes.

    Lab Findings

    To study the intracellular transport of HSV-1 viral particles, the lab established a unique in vitro assay that reconstitutes nuclear egress, which enabled it to confirm the aforementioned egress model. That assay, coupled with mass spectrometry, also led to the identification of novel host and viral proteins onto the nuclear capsids, which the lab is now characterizing. Since the way by which the virus escapes the nuclei lacks molecular details, the lab further explores the role of the viral glycoprotein M (gM). That protein is quickly and specifically targeted to the nuclear membranes before the virus leaves the nucleus, but its role there is unknown. Most interestingly, it interacts with several proteins that regulate viral fusion and which the lab is probing. Another critical step is the acquisition of the final viral enveloped. Based on work by the Lippé and other labs, the virus travels through the TGN before reaching the cell surface, a process that is dependant on the host protein kinase D. Recent work, however, hinted at an elaborate scenario whereby PKD effector play multiple roles along the viral egress pathway, so more research is required.

    HSV-1 has a complex life cycle whose molecular details needs clarification. One aspect is the overall contribution of the cell to the propagation of the virus. To grasp this significant aspect, a proteomics program was put in place. Aside from the above findings, this program revealed the presence of 49 host proteins in mature HSV-1 virions. Current efforts are to understand their functions in the virus. Finally, the lab established a highly innovative flow virometry approach to characterize individual viral particles by cytometry and even purify viral particles. This enables the lab to study various viral intermediates.

    Research Topics

    • Herpes
    • Virus
    • Host-pathogen interactions
    • Viral infections
    • Proteomics
    • Cell biology
    • Virology
    • Flow virometry

    Career Summary

    Dr. Lippé completed his training in cell biology and virology at the Universities of Montreal (BSc), McMaster (MSc) and British Columbia (PhD) and finally via a postdoc at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL) in Germany. He then establishes his lab in 2001 in the Department of Pathology and cell biology at the University of Montreal initially as an adjunct professor. He later became associate professor then full professor. In 2019, he joined the new CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center where he continues to pursue his research while maintaining his affiliations with the University of Montreal.


    The herpetic researchers

    Awards and Distinctions

    • New CIHR Research Award (2002-7)
    • FRQS  Junior 1 Award (2002-4; declined)
    • Relève Médecine Award (2000)
    • Postdoctoral Award from the Max-Planck Institute (1999-2000)
    • Posdoctoral Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada (1996-9)
    • EMBO postdoctoral Award (1995-7)
    • Steve Fonyo doctoral Award (1992-4)
    • Medical Research Council of Canada  doctoral Award (1989-92)
    • Medical Research Council of Canada Master Award (1986-8)

    Major Financing

    • CIHR, NSERC, FRQNT (FCI to initially equip the lab in 2002)


    • Egress of the Herpes simplex virus type 1. 43rd Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop, Vancouver, Canada (2018)
    • Flow virometry: A novel and powerful approach to decipher viral egress. Second symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology, Halifax, Canada (2018)
    • Quantitative evaluation of Protein Heterogeneity within Herpes simplex type I Viral Particles. 42nd Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop, Ghent, Belgium (2017)
    • Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infectivity is modulated by its tegument content, 40th Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop, Boise, USA (2015)
    • Analysis of the HSV-1 Tegument by Flow Cytometry. 38th Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop, Grand Rapids, USA (2013)


    • El Bilali, N.§, Khadivjam, B.§, Thornbury, M., Bonneil, E., Thibault, P. and Lippé, R. (2020). Proteomics of Herpes simplex virus type 1 nuclear capsids. J Virol (epub ahead of print). § Contribution équivalente des deux premiers auteurs
    • Boruchowicz, B., Hawkins, J., Cruz-Palomar, K. and Lippé, R. (2020). The XPO6 exportin mediates HSV-1 gM nuclear release late in infection. J Virol (e00753-20).
    • Lippé, R. (2020). Transport intracellulaire du Virus Herpès Simplex 1. Virologie 24:210-230
    • Lippé, R. (2020). Characterization of extracellular HSV-1 virions by proteomics. Methods Mol Biol. 2060:279-88
    • Khadivjam, B. El Bilali, N. and Lippé, R. (2020). Analysis and sorting of individual viral particles by flow virometry. Methods Mol Biol. 2060: 289-303
    • Roussel, E. and Lippé, R. (2018). Cellular Protein Kinase D Modulators Play a Role during Multiple Steps of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Egress. J Virol 92: e01486-18
    • Lippé, R. (2018). Flow Virometry: a Powerful Tool To Functionally Characterize Viruses. J Virol. 92: e01765-17
    • El Kasmi, I., Khadivjam, B., Lackman, M., Duron, J., Bonneil, E., Thibault, P. and Lippé, R. (2017). Extended synaptotagmin 1 interacts with the Herpes simplex virus type 1 glycoprotein M and negatively modulates virus-induced membrane fusion. J Virol. 92: e01281-17
    • El Bilali, N., Duron, J., Gingras, D. and Lippé, R (2017). Quantitative evaluation of Protein Heterogeneity within Herpes simplex type I Viral Particles. J Virol 91: e00320-17
    • Rodriguez, L, Nguyen-Vi, M. Desjardins, A, Lippé, R., Fon, E and Leclerc N (2017). Rab7A regulates Tau secretion. J Neurochemistry 141: 592-605
    • Khadivjam, B., Stegen, C., Hogue-Racine, M.A., El Bilali, N., Döhner, K., Sodeik, B. and Lippé, R. (2017). The host ATP-Dependent RNA Helicase modulates the expression of HSV-1 viral genes. J Virol 91:e02411-16
    • Striebinger, H. Zhang, J., Ott, M., Funk, C., Radtke, K., Duron, J., Ruzsics, Z., Haas,J., Lippé, R. and Bailer, S.M. (2015). Subcellular trafficking and functional importance of Herpes simplex virus type 1 Glycoprotein M domains. J Gen Virol 96: 3313-3325. 
    • El Kasmi, I. and Lippé R. (2015). HSV-1 gN partners with gM to modulate the viral fusion machinery. J Virol, 89:2313-23.

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