Sonia Néron, Ph. D.

Research Scientist, Cellular Production
Ph.D. Biochemistry, Université Laval, 1995

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Université Laval

Tel.: 418-780-4362, ext. 3260
Fax: 418-780-2091
Sonia.Neron@hema-quebec.qc.ca

Research interests:

  • Culture of primary human cells isolated from the blood of healthy adults. Use of lymphocytes and stem cells in the development of cellular therapies.
  • Flow cytometry applications in cord blood bank operations and quality control of cells produced ex vivo.

Current projects:

  • Study of the in vitro culture of primary human cells: role of REDOX potential and the environment in hypoxia. One aspect of this research focuses on the ex vivo generation of autologous plasma cells for therapeutic use in allograft patients.
  • Application of flow cytometry and multi-parametric analyses of blood cells of healthy adults and of patients with autoimmune diseases.

My teams mandate:

My team’s primary focus is on the improvement of stem cell processes and methods. These improvements aim at fulfilling the needs of internal clients, especially the Stem Cell and Reference Laboratory, as well as the Quality Control Laboratory. We are primarily involved in all the steps requiring the development of new flow cytometry methods and also take part in improving some existing procedures. Additionally, within the framework of the Cellular Production Department, we fine-tune methods that can be used as quality criteria for cellular products.

Within this framework, our team uses mononucleated cells isolated from the blood of healthy individuals in order to set up and develop new applications and to test cell culture models. This research focuses, among several aspects, on the ex vivo modulation of the stem cell microenvironment to increase the number of multipotent cells and/or to induce them to differentiate into progenitor cells. We evaluate the potential of stem cells from adult blood as a new source of stem cells for transplants. These purified cells are subjected to an environment whose nutrient input is controlled, as a result of the selection of defined animal protein-free cell culture media. We also study the impact of a hypoxic environment on cell growth and differentiation. All these cellular models are used to develop multi-parametric cytometry applications that contribute to the quality control of cells generated ex vivo and improve stem cell bank operations.

Expertise:

  • Cell culture:
    • Blood cells, lymphocytes, stem cells and cell lines
  • In vitro and ex vivo expansion and differentiation:
    • Modulation of the microenvironment
  • Formulation of culture media
  • Preparation of monoclonal antibodies
  • Immune response and immunochemical methods
  • Flow cytometry applications

Recent publications: