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Basil J Petrof

Basil Petrof, McGill University. Professor, Department of Medicine

Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University
Associate Member, Dept of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University
Director, Meakins-Christie Laboratories
Director, Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program, RI-MUHC

Currently accepting graduate students & postdoctoral fellows

Expertise and Techniques

Mdx mice, models of ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction, intermittent or continuous hypoxia exposure models, in vivo gene transfer to the diaphragm and other muscles, quantitative muscle histology, muscle physiology, LCM, DDPCR, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy

Research Interests

  1. Neuromuscular disorders and respiration
  2. Respiratory muscle dysfunction in sepsis
  3. Upper airway muscle function in sleep apnea
  4. Role of free radicals, cytokines and chemokines in muscle injury and repair
  5. Gene therapy for muscle diseases

The focus of my research has been the study of respiratory muscle dysfunction, injury and repair. We have a longstanding interest in primary neuromuscular disorders affecting respiration, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is the most common X-linked lethal disease in humans. 

In addition, we are studying other pathological states in which weakness and fatigue of the respiratory muscles are found, such as pneumonia and septicemia.  In rodent models of these conditions, the diaphragm demonstrates more severe pathophysiological involvement than other skeletal muscles.  We believe this relates to unique aspects of its underlying physiological function and constitutive gene expression signature.  Major areas of interest include the role of free radicals in diaphragmatic dysfunction, the role of cytokines and chemokines in muscle injury and repair, and methods for muscle targeting with therapeutic genes using different viral and non-viral vector systems. 

The laboratory makes use of genetically altered mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Cystic Fibrosis, as well as primary diaphragm and limb muscle culture systems, to elucidate the cellular and molecular events underlying muscle cell injury and repair.

Basil Petrof and Petrof Lab in the News

Contact Information

Meakins-Christie Laboratories
RI-MUHC, Block E
Office EM3.2224
Lab E03.4126
1001 Decarie Blvd.
Montreal QC H4A 3J1

Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76415 (lab)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76395 (office)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76308 (admin)
Fax: 514-933-3962
E-Mailbasil.petrof [at]

Education & Training

MD, Laval U, 1983
FRCPC, Int & Pulm Med, 1986/88
Certification Critical Care Med, 1989
Cert, Sleep Med, 1992


Adv Applied Respiratory Physiology, EXMD 507