Nico Marr, PhD

Principal Investigator – Assistant Level
Laboratory of Systems Immunology and Immune Deficiency Research

Email: nmarr (@) sidra.org
Phone: +974 4003 7568

  • Biography

    Nico Marr received a University Diploma in Biology and a Doctor of Science degree (equiv. to PhD) from the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany, for studies in the field of Microbiology and Immunology. During his doctoral and early postdoctoral research, which he conducted in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of British Columbia, his research was focused on host-pathogen interactions and immune evasion mechanisms of Bordetella pertussis, the etiological agent of whooping cough. Later on, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Respiratory Health (co-sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, GlaxoSmithKline and the Canadian Lung Association) and worked as a Research Associate at the British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver as well as at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology located in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Canada. During that time, his studies focused mainly on the ontogeny of the human immune system and immune defences in early life against another important and common respiratory pathogen, human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Since 2015, he is an Investigator and Research Group Leader at Sidra Medicine and currently holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment with the College of Health and Life Sciences at Hamad bin Khalifa University.
  • Our Research and Approach

    Our current research focuses on the role of human germline genetic variation and mostly rare mutations in susceptibility to infectious diseases. We use a systems biology approach and a combination of different high-throughput technologies for transcriptomics and more targeted gene expression profiling, deep phenotyping of immune cells and large-scale antibody profiling to study paediatric patients who are highly susceptible to severe and life-threatening infections. Our overall goals are to identify naturally occurring pathogenic germline genetic variants, to characterize their functional consequences to cellular and humoral immunity in depth, and ultimately, to establish causal relationships between germline genetic variation and impairment of specific immune regulatory and defense mechanisms in humans. In addition, we utilize a novel technology that combines phage display and parallel sequencing for large-scale antibody profiling of different human cohorts. These latter studies are designed to generate and analyze rich, multi-dimensional datasets combining different immune phenotypic, clinical, demographic and/or genomic information that may be used to better understand the transition from health to disease as well as population-specific and interindividual immune variability.
  • Lab Members

    Mahbuba Rahman, PhD
    Staff Scientist
    Email: mrahman1 (@) sidra.org

    Andrea Guennoun, PhD
    Staff Scientist
    Email: aguennoun (@) sidra.org

    Salim Bougarn, DVM, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Email: sbougarn (@) sidra.org

    Taushif Khan, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Email: tkhan (@) sidra.org

    Evonne Chin-Smith, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow | Clinical Research Coordinator
    Email: echinsmith (@) sidra.org

    Fatima Al Ali, MSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: falali (@) sidra.org

    Manar Mahmoud Ahmad Ata, MSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: mata (@) sidra.org

    Ainas Mohamed Osman, MBBS
    Volunteer | Clinical Research Coordinator
    Email: AMohamed-c (@) sidra.org

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS(equal contributions, *corresponding):

  • Khourieh J, Rao G, Habib T, Avery DT, Lefèvre-Utile A, Chandesris MO, Belkadi A, Chrabieh M, Alwaseem H, Grandin V, Sarrot-Reynauld F, Sénéchal A, Lortholary O, Kong XF, Boisson-Dupuis S, Picard C, Puel A, Béziat V, Zhang Q, Abel L, Molina H, Marr N, Tangye SG, Casanova JL, Boisson B. "A deep intronic splice mutation of STAT3 underlies hyper IgE syndrome by negative dominance". Proc Natl Acad SciUSA (2019) 116(33):16463-16472.
  • Hernandez N, Melki I, Jing H, Habib T, Huang SSY, Danielson J, Kula T, Drutman S, Belkaya S, Rattina V, Lorenzo-Diaz L, Boulai A, Rose Y, Kitabayashi N, Rodero MP, Dumaine C, Blanche S, Lebras MN, Leung MC, Mathew LS, Boisson B, Zhang SY, Boisson-Dupuis S, Giliani S, Chaussabel D, Notarangelo LD, Elledge SJ, Ciancanelli MJ, Abel L, Zhang Q, Marr N, Crow YJ, Su HC, Casanova JL. "Life-threatening influenza pneumonitis in a child with inherited IRF9 deficiency." J Exp Med (2018) 215(10):2567-2585.
  • Guérin A, Kerner G, Marr N, Markle JG, Fenollar F, Wong N, Boughorbel S, Avery DT, Ma CS, Bougarn S, Bouaziz M, Béziat V, Della Mina E, Oleaga-Quintas C, Lazarov T, Worley L, Nguyen T, Patin E, Deswarte C, Martinez-Barricarte R, Boucherit S, Ayral X, Edouard S, Boisson-Dupuis S, Rattina V, Bigio B, Vogt G, Geissmann F, Quintana-Murci L, Chaussabel D, Tangye SG, Raoult D, Abel L, Bustamante J, Casanova JL. "IRF4 haploinsufficiency in a family with Whipple's disease." Elife (2018) 7. pii: e32340.
  • Claydon J, Sur A, Callejas A, Ladd M, Kwan E, Taylor R, Turvey SE, Solimano A, Lavoie PM, Marr N*. "Respiratory syncytial virus-neutralizing serum antibody titers in infants following palivizumab prophylaxis with an abbreviated dosing regimen."PLoS One (2017) 12(4):e0176152.
  • Della Mina E, Borghesi A, Zhou H*, Bougarn S*, Boughorbel S*, Israel L, Meloni I, Chrabieh M, Ling Y, Itan Y, Renieri A, Mazzucchelli I, Basso S, Pavone P, Falsaperla R, Ciccone R, Cerbo RM, Stronati M, Picard C, Zuffardi O, Abel L, Chaussabel D, Marr N, Li X, Casanova JL, Puel A. "Inherited human IRAK-1 deficiency selectively impairs TLR signaling in fibroblasts." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2017) 114(4):E514-E523.
  • Lavoie PM, Solimano A, Taylor R, Kwan E, Claydon J, Turvey SE, Marr N*. "Outcomes of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immunoprophylaxis in Infants Using an Abbreviated Dosing Regimen of Palivizumab." JAMA Pediatr(2016) 170(2):174-6.
  • Marr N, Wang TI, Kam SH, Hu YS, Sharma AA, Lam A, Markowski J, Solimano A, Lavoie PM, Turvey SE. "Attenuation of respiratory syncytial virus-induced and RIG-I-dependent type I IFN responses in human neonates and very young children." J Immunol (2014) 192(3):948-57.
  • Sharma AA, Jen R, Brant R, Ladd M, Huang Q, Skoll A, Senger C, Turvey SE, Marr N, Lavoie PM. "Hierarchical maturation of innate immune defences in very preterm neonates." Neonatology (2014) 106(1):1-9.
  • Marr N, Turvey SE, Grandvaux N. "Pathogen recognition receptor crosstalk in respiratory syncytial virus sensing: a host and cell type perspective." Trends Microbiol (2013) 21(11):568-74.
  • Marr N, Turvey SE. "Role of human TLR4 in respiratory syncytial virus-induced NF-κB activation, viral entry and replication." Innate Immun(2012) 18(6):856-65.