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  • Sami Benzina, PhD


Dr. Gilles A. Robichaud

Program of Study:

Postdoctoral Fellow

Project Title:

Study of PAX5 in breast cancer metastasis

Scholarships and/or Awards:

  • Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2014, Canada, 36750 CAD
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, April 2013 to March 2014, Canadian Breast Cancer foundation (CBCF), Canada, 80000 CAD
  • Best oral presentation award at the 10th congress of fundamental and applied radiobiology, France, September 2011
  • Best poster presentation award at the 6th congress of fundamental and applied radiobiology, France, July 2003
  • PhD studenship, from February 2004 to January 2006, Association Thérapie Génique et Cancer (ATGC), France, 33000 CAD
  • PhD studenship, from February 2006 to January 2007, Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC), France, 22500 CAD

Career Aspirations:

Sami's research activities are focused on cancer understanding and treatment. In his MSc and PhD, he associated platinum drugs to high or low radiation in lymphoid and solid cancer to improve treatment efficiency. His first postdoctoral fellowship involved identifying the molecular actors implicated on H2AX phosphorylation and DNA double strand break (DSB) recognition after irradiation. At least 44 kinases that promote a decrease of DSB recognition were identified when one is knocked out.

Currently, he is pursuing an ambitious project aimed at understanding how the metastasis process is regulated in breast cancer; specifically, demonstrating an important role of the Pax-5 gene on the inhibition of EMT and possibly induction of MET. And ultimately, to obtain results that provide a major improvement in the diagnosis and treatment options for breast cancer patients. Sami hopes his experience will lead to a position in an academic institution to initiate his career as a resourceful and independent cancer researcher. 


Université de Moncton


Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard A-P, Carpenter C, Bos A, Gray C and Robichaud G. Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, DOI: 10.2174/1871520614666140608150448 (2014).

Benzina S, Pitaval A, Lemercier C, Soussaline F, Frouin V, Romeo P-H and Gidrol X. A Genome-wide RNAi screen reveal that membrane signalling is involved in response of human cell to DNA damage. In preparation.

Harquail J, Benzina S and Robichaud G. miRNA in breast cancer metastasis. Cancer Biomarkers, 11 (6), 269-80 (2012). [Equal contribution with Jason Harquail].

Wu N, Sulpice E, Obeid P, Benzina S, Kermarrec F, Combe S and Gidrol X. p63-controlled, MAPKs-targeting microRNAs promote the onset of human keratinocyte differentiation. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45761 (2012). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045761.

Altmeyer A, Jung AC, Ignat M, Benzina S, Denis JM, Gueulette J, Noel G, Mutter D, Bischoff P. Pharmacological Enhancement of Autophagy Induced in a Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line by High-LET. Radiation Anticancer Research, 30 (2), 303-10 (2010).

Mikou M, Benzina S, Bischoff P, Denis J-M, Gueulette J. EPR analysis of the effects of swift carbon ions and fast neutrons irradiations on table sugar. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 67 (9), 1738-41 (2009).

Benzina S, Altmeyer A, Malek F, Dufour P, Denis JM, Gueulette J, & Bischoff P. High LET-radiation combined with oxaliplatin induce autophagy in U-87 glioblastoma cells. Cancer Letters,264, 63-70 (2008).

Leyva L, Malek F, Benzina S, Denis J-M, Gueulette J, Dufour P, Gaiddon C, Loeffler J-P, Sirlin C, Pfeffer M & Bischoff P. Evaluation of the ability of an organic derivative of ruthenium(II) to reinforce the cytotoxicity of fast neutron against malignant cells in culture. Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, 5 (1), 1-6 (2008).

Benzina S, Debomy F, Bergerat J-P, Denis J-M, Gueulette J, Dufour P & Bischoff P. The cytotoxicity of high-linear energy transfer radiation is reinforced by oxaliplatin in human gliobastoma cells . Cancer Letters, 254, 54-62 (2007).

Benzina S, Fischer B, Denis J-M, Dufour P, Bergerat J-P, Gueulette J & Bischoff P. Cell death induced in a human glioblastoma cell line by p(65) + Be neutrons combined with cisplatin. Life Sciences, 79, 513-518 (2006).

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