Function  |  Mechanism  |  Disease

What we do

Efforts to understand the genetic and molecular interactions contributing to the normal development of an organism have focused mostly on protein coding genes, leaving the noncoding genome vastly under-explored. We now know that a large fraction of these noncoding regions are transcribed, generating thousands of long RNAs that do not encode proteins (lncRNAs). These lncRNAs are expressed with exquisite tissue specificity and several have been found to regulate diverse regulatory processes. Accumulating evidence also point to lncRNA loci as risk factors frequently deregulated or mutated in a wide variety of human diseases. However, how lncRNAs contribute to development in vivo and how they may affect transcriptional programs and signaling pathways still remains poorly characterized. Thus, one of the main challenge to understand the noncoding genome’s influence on the fundamental mechanisms of life is not only to determine which lncRNAs are functional, but also to decipher how they perform their tasks.


Our laboratory combine genetically engineered animal models and human cellular systems with functional genomics and CRISPR-based genome editing techniques to perturb lncRNA functions and characterize their role at a cellular and physiological level. We also aim to uncover novel noncoding RNA-based mechanisms by characterizing the molecular interactions and regulatory principles underlying the function of lncRNAs. For this, we use a combination of biochemistry, genome editing, computational and high-throughput genomics approaches to identify interacting proteins and understand how specific domains or RNA sequences within lncRNAs mediate their function.


Our goal is to better understand the impact that lncRNAs and noncoding regions have on development and provide much needed genetics and molecular bases towards the generation of novel RNA-based genetic engineering tools.

Thanks to these agencies for funding our research

Martin Sauvageau Laboratory

RNA and Noncoding Mechanisms of Disease


Meet The Team

Martin Sauvageau, PhD

Principal Investigator, RNA and Noncoding Mechanisms of Disease Laboratory, IRCM

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine Department, UdeM

  • Senior Research Associate, Institute for RNA Medicine, Harvard Medical School

  • Postdoc: Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, Harvard University

  • PhD, Institute for Research in Immunology & Cancer (IRIC), McGill University

  • BSc, Université de Montréal

Sahar Mikaeeli

MSc Student (co-supervised)

Mariana Correro

Administrative Assistant

Sophie Ehresmann, MSc

PhD Student

Jean-François Laurendeau

PhD Student

David Ferland-McCollough, PhD

Research Associate

Marie-Ève Wedge, MSc

Research Assistant

Justina Chu

Undergraduate Student


Selected Publications

Lewandowski JP, Dumbović G, Watson AR, Hwang T, Jacobs-Palmer E, Chang N, Much C, Turner KM, Kirby C, Rubinstein ND, Groff AF, Liapis SC, Gerhardinger C, Bester A, Pandolfi PP, Clohessy JG, Hoekstra HE, Sauvageau M, Rinn JL. Genome Biology. (2020) 21:237.

Bester AC, Lee JD, Chavez A, Lee YR, Nachmani D, Vora S, Victor J, Sauvageau M, Monteleone E, Rinn JL, Provero P, Church GM, Clohessy JG, Pandolfi PP. Cell. (2018) 173:649-664.e20.

Groff AF, Sanchez-Gomez DB, Soruco MML, Gerhardinger C, Barutcu AR, Li E, Elcavage L, Plana O, Sanchez LV, Lee JC, Sauvageau M, Rinn JL. Cell Reports. (2016) 16:2178-2186.

*Goff LA, *Groff AF, *Sauvageau M, Trayes-Gibson Z, Sanchez-Gomez DB, Morse M, Martin RD, Elcavage LE, Liapis SC, Gonzalez-Celeiro M, Plana O, Li E, Gerhardinger C, Tomassy GS, Arlotta P, Rinn JL. PNAS. (2015) 112:6855-62.

Hacisuleyman E, Goff LA, Trapnell C, Williams A, Henao-Mejia J, Sun L, McClanahan P, Hendrickson DG, Sauvageau M, Kelley DR, Morse M, Engreitz J, Lander ES, Guttman M, Lodish HF, Flavell R, Raj A, Rinn JL. Nature Struct Mol Biol. (2014) 21:198-206.

Sauvageau M, Goff LA, Lodato S, Bonev B, Groff AF, Gerhardinger C, Sanchez-Gomez DB, Hacisuleyman E, Li E, Spence M, Liapis SC, Mallard W, Morse M, Swerdel MR, D'Ecclessis MF, Moore JC, Lai V, Gong G, Yancopoulos GD, Frendewey D, Kellis M, Hart RP, Valenzuela DM, Arlotta P, Rinn JL. eLife. (2013) 2:e01749.

Sun L, Goff LA, Trapnell C, Alexander R, Lo KA, Hacisuleyman E, Sauvageau M, Tazon-Vega B, Kelley DR, Hendrickson DG, Yuan B, Kellis M, Lodish HF, Rinn JL. PNAS. (2013) 110:3387-92.

Trapnell C, Hendrickson DG, Sauvageau M, Goff L, Rinn JL, Pachter L. Nature Biotech. (2013) 31:46-53.

*Trost M, *Sauvageau M, Hérault O, Deleris P, Pomiès C, Chagraoui J, Mayotte N, Meloche S, Sauvageau G, Thibault P. Blood. (2012) 120(8):e17-27.

Simon C, Chagraoui J, Krosl J, Gendron P, Wilhelm B, Lemieux S, Boucher G, Chagnon P, Drouin S, Lambert R, Rondeau C, Bilodeau A, Lavallée S, Sauvageau M, Hébert J, Sauvageau G. Genes & Development. (2012) 26:651-6.

Sauvageau M, Sauvageau G. Cell Stem Cell. (2010) 7:299-313.

Sauvageau M, Miller M, Lemieux S, Lessard J, Hébert J, Sauvageau G. Blood. (2008) 111:790-9.

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Join Us

We're always looking for motivated and talented people.

Interested in the lab and want to join? Get in touch!


If you're interested in joining the Sauvageau lab, please send a motivation letter, CV, 2 reference letters and a copy of your full University transcripts (for graduate students applicants only) to


Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.


Postdoctoral Fellows:

Position Available


Graduate Students:

Not recruiting at the moment


Contact Us

Functional Genomics and Noncoding RNAs

Montreal Clinical Research Institute - IRCM

110 Avenue des Pins Ouest, Rm 2690

Montreal, QC, Canada H2W 1R7

Lab:    (514) 987-5654

Office: (514) 987-5599

The Montreal Clinical Research Institute is not responsible for the content of this website.

L'Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal n'est pas responsable du contenu de ce site web.

Copyright © Martin Sauvageau. All rights reserved.