Ian Watson

Affiliation : Université McGill
Organization : Goodman Cancer Research Centre
E-mail : ian.watson2@mcgill.ca
Web site

About Ian Watson

Ian Watson, PhD, is a member of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC) and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University. Ian Watson’s research program focuses on understanding how mutated genes identified in next generation sequencing analysis promotes cutaneous melanoma disease progression and response to therapy. To address this challenge, his lab utilizes an interdisciplinary approach combining unbiased molecular characterization of melanoma tumors, rapid development of preclinical models using genome-editing technology, and bioinformatic approaches. His lab aims to identify new melanoma genes in patient samples with unknown genetic causes of disease and investigate their mechanism of action, and to determine molecular features of melanomas that influence response to current treatment modalities. His ultimate goal is to translate his findings into new biomarkers and therapeutic strategies to treat patients with late-stage melanoma. 


He is a Canadian Research Chair II in functional genomics of melanoma. He is a recipient of the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award and the V Foundation Scholar Award. In 2012, he co-led a multi-center scientific team to perform the largest whole exome sequencing analysis of melanomas at that time (Hodis, Watson et al., 2012 Cell). Dr. Watson was also Co-Chair for the melanoma Cancer Genome Atlas Project, which was the largest international effort to characterize melanoma at the molecular level (TCGA, 2015 Cell). Currently, he is co-PI of the Montreal Cancer Consortium (MCC) Terry Fox Research Institute Marathon of Hope Pilot project whose goal is to understand the mechanisms of anti-cancer therapy response, resistance and toxicity, with a focus on immunotherapy. The MCC is composed of leading researchers in oncology, surgery, pathology, genomics and immunology at seven major institutions affiliated with l’Universite de Montreal and McGill University. This includes le Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montréal, Goodman Cancer Research Centre, l’Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Jewish General Hospital, the McGill Genome Centre, and the McGill University Health Centre. The MCC will strive to harness the data power of more than 18,000 patients annually with more than 50 ongoing precision medicine and immunotherapy clinical trials, with the goal of developing one of the most patient-centric oncology innovation poles in Canada.


Ongoing competitions