the Hekimi LAB

Siegfried Hekimi is from Geneva, Switzerland, and obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology at the University of Geneva. After a successful career as a professional cyclist, he obtained his PhD with Prof. Michael O’Shea, and then moved to the famed Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK, to collaborate with Dr J.G. White as a post-doctoral fellow of the Swiss National Science Fund. It is at the LMB where Hekimi developed his interest for using 'the worm' for translational studies in the biology of aging. It is also in Cambridge that he identified clk-1, one of the first mutants that helped to demonstrate that aging could be manipulated genetically, and which helped to demonstrate that inducing mild mitochondrial dysfunction and boost ROS signaling could slow down the aging process of animals. In 1992 he joined McGill University where he has been a full professor since 2004.

Visit Dr. Hekimi's Google Scholar Profile

Photo Album of Dr. Hekimi's Cycling Career

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We are using mutants of the microscopic nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans and mice to study aging, a crucial, profound, and poorly understood biological phenomenon. We hope to obtain insights that will also provide new ways for medical intervention on the aging process. We are particularly focusing on gene activities that affect mitochondrial function, and on mutants that enhance longevity. We are also interested in the biosynthesis and function of ubiquinone (UQ, Coenzyme Q, CoQ), the lipid-like the mitochondrial respiratory chain electron transporter. Here too we use mutants in both organisms to unravel the basic biochemical functions of ubiquinone and to develop drugs that can help alleviate the diseases linked to ubiquinone deficiency.

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Wang Y, Hekimi S. (2021)
Minimal mitochondrial respiration is required to prevent cell death by inhibition of mTOR signaling in CoQ-deficient cells. Cell Death Discov. 7(1):201.

Rossmann M., Hoi K., Chan V. Abraham B., Yang S., Mullahoo J., Papanastasiou M., Wang Y., Elia I., Perlin J., Hagedorn E., Hetzel S., Weigert R., Vyas S., Nag P., Sullivan L., Warren C., Dorjsuren B., Greig E., Adatto I., Cowan C., Schreiber S., Young R., Meissner A., Haigis M., Hekimi S., Carr S., Zon L. (2021)
Cell-specific transcriptional control of mitochondrial metabolism by TIF1γ drives erythropoiesis. Science. 372(6543):716-721.

Wang Y, Hekimi S. (2020)
‍Micellization of coenzyme Q by the fungicide caspofungin allows for safe intravenous administration to reach extreme supraphysiological concentrations. Redox Biol. Sep;36:101680.

‍Kramer-Drauberg M, Liu JL, Desjardins D, Wang Y, Branicky R, Hekimi S. (2020)
ROS regulation of RAS and vulva development in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet. Jun 16;16(6):e1008838.

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The Lab

The laboratory is located in the Francesco Bellini Life Sciences Complex on William Osler Street in the west part of the McGill campus. It is near the metro station Peel Map. The Francesco Bellini Life Sciences Building accommodates scientists from biology, biochemistry and physiology.


Dr. Hekimi:


Research Associates: (worms) (mice)

Department of Biology, McGill University 

Bellini Life Sciences Complex

3649 Promenade Sir William Osler 

Montreal, Quebec H3G 0B1