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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Jean-Philippe Julien, PhD

Research Institute
Molecular Medicine

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Departments of Biochemistry, Immunology

Chair Positions
Canada Research Chair
Structural Immunology

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 309424
Fax: 416-813-5993
Email: jean-philippe.julien@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Elisa Lam
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5748
Alternate Email: elisa.lam@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

The Julien lab 

Brief Biography

  • B.Sc., Biochemistry McGill University, 2005
  • PhD, Biochemistry University of Toronto, 2010
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology The Scripps Research Institute, USA, 2010 to 2014

Research Interests

  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Structure-Based Vaccine Design
  • Structure-Assisted Development of Therapeutics

Research Activities

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

B cell receptors in vaccines and disease

Dr. Julien is interested in the structure/function study of the B cell receptor and critical co-receptors on the B cell surface.

The B cell possesses several unique surface molecules that are involved in regulating B cell development and function, communicating with the extracellular environment, and interpreting the BCR signal. Several of these molecules are critical to humoral immunity and have mostly remained structurally uncharacterized.

Dr. Julien’s laboratory focuses on the characterization of these B cell receptors by using a combination of biochemical, biophysical, immunological and structural techniques. The study of their interactions with cognate molecules, therapeutics and pathogens is also an active area of research in the laboratory.

A better understanding of the structure of these B cell surface molecules, as well as those that propagate intracellular signals will allow careful modulation of their function and will be instrumental for vaccine adjuvant research looking to elicit protective antibodies against variable pathogens. It will also provide unique sites to specifically target deregulated B cells in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), as well as in autoimmune diseases such as Type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.


  • Julien JP, Lee JH, Ozorowski G, Hua Y, Torrents de la Peña A, de Taeye SW, Nieusma T, Cupo A, Yasmeen A, Golabek M, Pugach P, Klasse PJ, Moore JP, Sanders RW, Ward AB, Wilson IA. (2015) Design and structure of two HIV-1 clade C SOSIP.664 trimers that increase the arsenal of native-like ENV immunogens.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 8. pii: 201507793.
  • Julien JP, Cupo A, Sok D, Stanfield RL, Lyumkis D, Deller MC, Klasse PJ, Burton DR, Sanders RW, Moore JP, Ward
     AB, Wilson IA. (2013) Crystal structure of a soluble cleaved HIV-1 envelope trimer. Science. 342(6165):1477-83. 
  • Lyumkis D, Julien JP, de Val N, Cupo A, Potter CS, Klasse PJ, Burton DR, Sanders RW, Moore JP, Carragher B,
     Wilson IA, Ward AB. (2013) Cryo-EM structure of a fully glycosylated soluble cleaved HIV-1 envelope trimer.
      Science. 342(6165):1484-90.
  • Jardine J*, Julien JP*, Menis S*, Ota T, Kalyuzhniy O, McGuire A, Sok D, Huang PS, MacPherson S, Jones M,
     Nieusma T, Mathison J, Baker D, Ward AB, Burton DR, Stamatatos L, Nemazee D, Wilson IA, Schief WR. (2013)
     Rational HIV immunogen design to target specific germline B cell receptors. Science 340(6133):711-6.
  • Julien JP*, Lee JH*, Cupo A, Murin CD, Derking R, Hoffenberg S, Caulfiled MC, King CR, Marozsan AJ, Klasse PJ,
     Sanders RW, Moore JP, Wilson IA, Ward AB. (2013) Asymmetric recognition of the HIV-1 trimer by broadly
     neutralizing antibody PG9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 110(11):4351-6.

    For more detailed information on publications, please visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Jean-Philippe+Julien&cmd=DetailsSearch

Intellectual Property

“Novel HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein”