PI: Michael Hallett, PhD

Principal Investigator, Computational Biology Group

Academic Affiliations:


CRC Tier 1 – Algorithmic Bioinformatics
Department of Biology
Concordia University

Adjunct Member

School of Computer Science
Department of Biochemistry
McGill University

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Office: Loyola GE 120.07 here
Tel:  514-848-4220 ex 2296


Research Interests

Dr. Hallett’s lab is primarily interested in the use of computational biology and systems biology approaches to the study of breast cancer.  In particular, his group is involved in several studies to analyze high-throughput profiles (gene expression, epigenetic, microRNA) in both mouse models of breast cancer and the human disease. For example, one of their primary goals is to identify genes or small gene sets that are predictive of patient outcome, response to therapy, or disease progression.  These genes or gene sets can be developed into clinical-applicable devices that assist in the determination of patient therapy. 

The lab is also interested in the development of new bioinformatics tools that provide global perspective of the dynamics of the disease. For example, we use bioinformatics to identify sets of genes that stratify the patient population into distinct groups.  These groups reflect different types of breast cancer and each subtype may require a distinct therapeutic regime.  They are particularly interested in investigating how differences in the tumor microenvironment (the area around the tumor) and patient response as a whole helps or hinders the progression of a tumor.  These signals may also be used by clinicians to assist in assigning patient treatment.

Education, Employment:

  • 2017-                         Professor, Department of Biology, Concordia
  • 2017-                         Member, Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology, Concordia
  • 2017-                         Member, Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia
  • 2017-                        Adjunct Professor, McGill University
  • 2006-2017                Associate Professor, School of Computer Science, McGill
  • 2004-2017                Associate Member, Department of Biochemistry, McGill
  • 2009-2015                Director/PI, McGill-CIHR Training Program in Systems Biology
  • 2008-2015                Goodman Cancer Centre, McGill University, Full Member
  • 2007-2008                Visiting Scientist, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg
  • 2006-2010                Director, McGill Centre for Bioinformatics
  • 2000-2006                Interim Director, McGill Centre for Bioinformatics
  • 2000-2006                Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science
  • 1998-2000                Oberassistant ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996-1998                Postdoc ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996                          Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Canada
  • 1992                          B.Sc. in Computer Science at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
  • 1991                          Research Assistant at Queen’s University (Graph theory)

Awards and Scholarships:

  • 2008                          Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Germany
  • 2001                          FCAR (Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs), Quebec

Invited Lectures (SELECTED)

  • 2014 SciLifeLabs, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden. The prognostic ease and difficulty of invasive breast carcinoma.
  • 2014 University of Paris Descartes, Paris, France. The inherent ease and difficulty of prognosis in breast cancer.
  • 2013 Goodman Cancer Centre. Landscape of prognosis in Breast Cancer. Montreal,Canada
  • 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Research Consortium. Inherent difficulty in breast cancer. Toronto, Canada
  • 2013 Montreal -Toronto Systems Biology Computational Retreat, McGill University
  • 2013 CIHR Genetics and Statistical Genetics Meeting. The inherent difficulty of breast cancer prognosis.  Esterel, Canada
  • 2013 4th IRCM Meeting on Systems Biology. The prognostic landscape of breast cancer: the illusion of Accuracy. Montreal, Canada
  • 2012 Radium Hospital. The Illusion of Accuracy in Breast Cancer Prognosis. Oslo, Norway
  • 2011 Radium Hospital. The existence of inherently difficult prognostic breast cancer patients. Oslo, Norway
  • 2011 Vancouver Oncology-Bioinformatics Meeting, A fresh perspective on prognostic prediction in breast cancer. Vancouver, Canada
  • 2010 Montreal Symposium on Bioinformatics, A systems approach to understanding breast cancer. Montreal, Canada
  • 2010 The NOWAC Symposium, Gene expression approaches in cancer research. Tromso, Norway
  • 2009  B.R.I Meeting. A Systems approach to understanding breast cancer. Moncton, Canada
  • 2009 Human Proteome Organization. Towards a systems approach to understanding breast cancer. Toronto, Canada
  • 2009 Canadian Student Conference on Biomedical Computing, UBC, A systems approach to understanding breast cancer progression Vancouver, Canada

Funding Committees, Editorial Boards:

  • 2017-. Editorial board. PeerJ.
  • 2014-2017. CIHR, Foundation Grants Competition, Virtual Chair.
  • 2012-2016. CIHR, Genomics (GMX) panel, Chair.
  • 2012-2014. Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Gene Regulation panel, Member.
  • 2010, 2011, 2013. Ontario Genomics Research Council, Member.
  • 2011-2012. Terry Fox Cancer Research Society, Panel Member.
  • 2005-2010, 2012. CIHR, Genomics (GMX) panel, Member.
  • 2009. CIHR, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – B panel, Member.
  • 2007. CIHR, Proof of Principle, Member.
  • 2010. CIHR Strategic Group for Epigenomics and Personalized Medicine.
  • 2003-2005. NSERC Biosciences A panel, Member.
  • 2004, 2006, 2008. CIHR Tools & High Risk, Member.

Conference Committees (SELECTED):

  • 2013. Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Cancer Informatics Symposium, Chair.
  • 2013. Canadian Cancer Research Conference, General Program Committee, Member.
  • 2006- present. RECOMB Satellite Cancer Computational Biology, Steering Committee & Founder.
  • 2008, 2009, 2014. Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology, Review Committee, Member.
  • 2012. CIHR Priority Review Committee, Member.
  • 2008. Robert Cedegren Colloquium, University of Montreal, Programme Committe, Member.
  • 2008. Canadian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2007. 1st RECOMB Cancer Computational Biology Meeting, San Diego. Approximately 100 researchers met in August to discuss computational and statistical aspects of computational oncology research. Scientific and Organizing Committee, Member.
  • 2007. 3rd Workshop on Bioinformatics at Bertinoro, Italy. Approximately 45 researchers met to discuss research in computational biology.
  • 2006. Canadian Consortium of Regulomics Computational Regulomics Training Program, Coordination Committee, Member.
  • 2006. Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Conference. Hong Kong, China, Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2005. Computational Biology in the Post-Genomic Era. Montreal, Quebec. Scientific Committee Chair.
  • 2005. Workshop on Bioinformatics (WABI), Ibiza, Spain, Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2005, 2003. 1st and 2nd Fixed Parameter Algorithms Workshop. Dagstuhl meeting covering fixed parameter algorithms.
  • 2004. International Workshop on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IWPEC), Bergen, Norway, Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2003. European Symposium on Algorithms – Experimental Track (ESA-B). Budapest, Hungary, Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2003. COCOON ’03, Montana, U.S. Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2002, 2003. 1st and 2nd Canadian Computational Biology Workshop. Two day event held in conjunction with the IBM CASCON conference, Toronto.
  • 2001. Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Biology (RECOMB). Montreal, Quebec. Organizing Committee, Member.
  • 2001. Workshop on Bioinformatics (WABI). Aarhus, Denmark. Programme Committee, Member.
  • 2001. International Conference on Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. Constanta, Romania. Programme Committee, Member.

My lab, the BCI, organizes the annual workshop at the McGill Bellairs Research Centre in Barbados.