Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre

Office: Room 417
Lab: Room 411

Contact email:

Telephone: 514-398-2659


Assistant Professor
Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre
Department of Physiology
McGill University 

Lab web page : https://quaillab.ca/


Dr. Daniela Quail’s research program is focused on the role of the tumour microenvironment during cancer progression. She is particularly interested how chronic inflammatory conditions affect the microenvironmental landscape of different organs to alter tissue homeostasis and cancer outcomes. Her team is focused on two central themes:

(1) Metastasis is the primary aspect of cancer progression that is associated with patient mortality. Metastatic progression can be modulated by inflammatory changes in the systemic environment, which can remodel the tissue landscape of distant organs to affect seeding efficiency. One major driver of chronic, systemic inflammation is obesity, which affects ~1/3 of adults in Canada/USA. As a growing epidemic, obesity now rivals smoking as the leading preventable risk factor for cancer. Dr. Quail’s research team is investigating how chronic inflammation resulting from obesity affects the microenvironmental landscape of common secondary organs (e.g. lung, liver, brain and bone) and how this ultimately impacts breast cancer metastasis.

(2) Unlike most organs, the brain is protected from inflammation by the presence of the blood-brain barrier (i.e. immune privilege). However, in a brain tumor, the integrity of the blood-brain barrier is compromised by the tortuous nature of the vasculature. This results in a large influx of immune cells that are normally absent in the brain microenvironment, which can promote the progression of cancer. Dr. Quail’s research team is investigating how infiltrating immune cells shape the tumor microenvironment and contribute to progression of different types of brain tumors, including gliomas and metastases from different primary sources (e.g. melanoma and lung cancer).


For a full list of publications, link to PubMed.

1. Olson OC, Quail DF & Joyce JA. The heavy weight of cancer: modulation of tumor progression by an obese microenvironment. Science (In Press).

2. Koelwyn GJ, Quail DF, Zhang X, White RM & Jones LW. Exercise-dependent regulation of the host-tumour microenvironment interaction. Nature Reviews Cancer (2017). PubMed

3. Quail DF & Joyce JA. Multifaceted effects of the microenvironment on tumour progression. Nature Reviews Cancer (2017) Online resource: Poster

4. Quail DF, Olson OC, Bhardwaj P, Walsh LA, Akkari L, Quick ML, Chen IC, Wenden N, Ben-Chetrit N, Walker J, Holt PR, Dannenberg AJ & Joyce JA. Obesity alters the lung myeloid cell landscape to enhance breast cancer metastasis through IL5 and GM-CSF. Nature Cell Biology (2017). PubMed

5. Quail DF & Joyce JA The microenvironmental landscape of brain tumors. Cancer Cell (2017). PubMed

6. Quail DF, Bowman RL, Akkari L, Quick ML, Schuhmacher AJ, Huse JT, Holland EC, Sutton JC & Joyce JA. The tumor microenvironment underlies acquired resistance to CSF-1R inhibition in gliomas. Science (2016). PubMed

7. Pyonteck SM, Akkari L, Schuhmacher AJ, Bowman RL, Sevenich L, Quail DF, Olson OC, Quick ML, Huse JT, Teijeiro V, Setty M, Leslie CS, Oei Y, Pedraza A, Zhang J, Brennan CW, Sutton JC, Holland EC, Daniel D & Joyce JA. CSF-1R inhibition alters macrophage polarization and blocks glioma progression. Nature Medicine (2013). PubMed

8. Quail DF & Joyce JA Microenvironmental regulation of tumor progression and metastasis. Nature Medicine (2013). PubMed

9. Sevenich L, Bowman RL, Mason SD, Quail DF, Rapaport F, Elie BT, Brogi E, Brastianos PK, Hahn WC, Holsinger LJ, Massagué J, Leslie CS & Joyce JA. Analysis of tumour- and stroma-supplied proteolytic networks reveals a brain-metastasis-promoting role for cathepsin S. Nature Cell Biology (2014). PubMed