Alexandre Orthwein, MSc, PhD


Titles and Roles

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Research Program
Cell and Molecular Biology


Alexandre Orthwein, MSc, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Orthwein was an Assistant Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill University and a Principal Investigator at the Segal Cancer Centre within the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital, where he held the Canada Research Chair in genome stability and hematological malignancies.

Dr. Orthwein is member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute.


Dr. Orthwein obtained his MSC and PhD from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Montreal. There, he developed a strong interest in B-cell biology and hematological malignancies by studying a critical mutagenic enzyme called Activation Induced Deaminase in the laboratory of Dr. Javier M. Di Noia at the IRCM in Montreal, Canada.

He subsequently joined the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Durocher at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, Canada for his postdoctoral training. There, he investigated the interplay between the cell cycle and the signaling/repair of DNA double-strand breaks, the most cytotoxic DNA lesions. In 2014, he became the recipient of the Young Canadian Cell Biologist of the Year awarded by the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.


As a cancer biologist and molecular immunologist, Dr. Orthwein is primarily interested in understanding:

  • how DNA repair pathways are regulated in different physiological contexts, including antibody diversification during B-cell development;
  • how their dysregulation can lead to different pathologies, such as cancer and immunodeficiency syndromes;
  • how these pathways influence the response to radio- and chemotherapies and the risk of relapse/resistance, particularly for hematological cancers.

His research team uses cutting-edge technologies including genome editing technologies, proteomics and single-cell transcriptomic approaches to tackle these complex and significant knowledge gaps.


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