Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, McGill University
Canada Research Chair in Barrier Immunity
Director, McGill Centre for Microbiome Research
The focus of our research is to understand how immune cells communicate with their local environment to promote protective immune responses relevant to human disease. We are particularly interested in immunity at barrier sites such as the gut, skin and lung as these tissues face the complex task of maintaining homeostasis while directly interacting with the outside world.
Ongoing studies include:
- The molecular mechanisms of CD4+ T cell differentiation following intestinal helminth infection.
- The gut-lung axis in the context of infectious disease
- Innate immune mechanisms of disease tolerance during intestinal helminth infection.
- Regulation of skin-resident IL-17-producing T cells in the context of psoriatic-like inflammation.
- The impact of the microbiome on infection and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Check out this link to find out why parasites may be critical for human evolution!
This link describes how helminths can affect human fertility.
Helminth-induced reprogramming of the stem cell compartment inhibits type 2 immunity
Karo-Atar D, Ouladan S, Javkar T, Joumier L, Matheson MK, Merritt S, Westfall S, Rochette A, Gentile ME, Fontes G, Fonseca GJ, Parisien M, Diatchenko L, von Moltke J, Malleshaiah M, Gregorieff A, King IL. J Exp Med. 2022 Sep 5;219(9):e20212311.
Prostaglandin E2 amplifies IL-17 production by γδ T cells during barrier inflammation
Polese B, Thurairajah B, Zhang H, Soo CL, McMahon CA, Fontes G, Hussain SNA, Abadie V, King IL. Cell Rep. 2021 Jul 27;36(4):109456.
Training the metaorganism: the microbial counterpart
King IL, Divangahi M. Cell. 2021 Jan;184(3):574-576.
NK cell recruitment limits tissue damage during an enteric helminth infection
Gentile ME, Li Y, Robertson A, Shah K, Fontes G, Kaufmann E, Polese B, Khan N, Parisien M, Munter HM, Mandl JN, Diatchenko L, Divangahi M, King IL. Mucosal Immunol. 2020 Mar;13(2):357-370.
CD109 Restrains Activation of Cutaneous IL-17-Producing γδ T Cells by Commensal Microbiota
Zhang H, Carnevale G, Polese B, Simard M, Thurairajah B, Khan N, Gentile ME, Fontes G, Vinh DC, Pouliot R and King IL. Cell Reports. 2019 Oct 8;29(2):391-405.
Intestinal dysbiosis compromises alveolar macrophage immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Khan N, Mendonca L, Dhariwal A, Fontes G, Menzies D, Xia J, Divangahi M, King IL. Mucosal Immunol. 2019 May;12(3):772-783.
T follicular helper cell-derived IL-4 is required for IgE production during intestinal helminth infection
Meli AP, Fontes G, Leung Soo C, King IL. J Immunol. 2017 Jul 1;199(1):244-252.
The integrin LFA-1 Controls T follicular Helper Cell Generation and Maintenance
Meli AP, Fontés G, Avery DT, Leddon SA, Tam M, Elliot M, Ballesteros-Tato A, Miller J, Stevenson MM, Fowell DJ, Tangye SG, King IL. Immunity. 2016 Oct 18;45(4):831-846.
Irah King in the News
January 15, 2024 Work in Progress:
Susan Westfall (Postdoc Fellow with Irah King) and Nicholas Vonniessen (PhD with Bruce Mazer)
Congratulations to the 2023 recipients of FRQS and CIHR studentship and fellowship awards! We wish you much success!
Irah King describes a promising study about the microbiome and chronic pain at the McGill Centre for Microbiome Research
Irah King and Maziar Divangahi receive funding from the MI4 Seed Grant Competition to research solutions against microbial threats.
MUHC Foundation Health Matters interview with Irah King discusses new research on Helminths infections
Dr. Irah King’s recent study published in J Exp Med reveals how parasitic worms reprogram intestinal stem cells to evade the immune system.
Congratulations to Anne-Marie Lauzon and Irah King who were funded in the Spring 2022 CIHR Project Grant Competition!
MUHC Foundation Health Matters interview Irah King about our microbiome and Kevin Schwartzman about eliminating TB
Irah King and Ben Smith talk about the microbiome and resilient lungs, respectively on the MUHC Health Matters Podcast
Congratulations to Bavanitha Thurairajah and Lisa Hennemann! They received prizes for best oral talks during Infection and Immunity Week .
Congratulations to Dao Nguyen, Irah King, Nicole Ezer, Andrea Benedetti and Dennis Jensen on their CIHR Project Grants!
Dr. Irah King describes the role our microbiome plays in our overall health on the MUHC Foundation’s Health Matters.
RI-MUHC, Block E
1001 Decarie Blvd.
Montreal QC H4A 3J1
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 35260 (lab)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76185 (office)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76172 (admin)
E-Mail: irah.king [at] mcgill.ca
Education & Training
BA (Psychology), Ohio University, 2000
MSc (Physical Therapy), U Pittsburgh, 2002
PhD (Immunology), U Rochester, 2008
PDF Trudeau Institute, 2012