Sarah Kimmins, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology

McGill University

Department of Animal Science and Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Room MS1-091,

MacDonald-Stewart Building

21,111 Lakeshore Road

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada

H9X 3V9

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Phone: 514-398-7658


Research Interests:  

Epigenetics/epigenome, epigenetic-inheritance, histones, chromatin, spermatogenesis, infertility, paternal disease transmission, development, ovary, transgenics, epigenetic-environment interactions.


Resume of recent results:

We have been studying how the sperm and oocyte epigenome influence development and the health of offspring. Ongoing projects are examining mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and how environmental factors such as diet and toxicants can impact the sperm epigenome and subsequent generations.


Lab Members: 



Email Address

George Chountalous


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Keith Siklenka


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Romain Lambrot


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Christine Lafleur

Research Associate

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SK lab


List of Publications: 

  1. Marteinson SC*, Kimmins S, Bird DM, Shutt JL, Letcher RJ, Ritchie IJ, Fernie KJ Diet exposure to technical hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) affects testes and circulating testosterone and thyroxine levels in American kestrels (Falco sparverius). In Press Environmental Research, August, 2011.
  2. Lambrot, R*. Jones. S*. Sainte-Phar S*. Kimmins S. Specialized distribution of the histone methyltransferase Ezh2 and histone demethylase Rbp2 in the sub-acrosomal region of round spermatids and their interaction with histone variant H1t2. In Press Journal of Andrology, 2011
  3. Marteinson SC*, Kimmins S, Bird DM, Shutt JL, Letcher RJ, Ritchie IJ, Fernie KJ. Embryonic exposure to the polybrominated diphenyl ether mixture, DE-71, affects testes and circulating testosterone concentrations in adult American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Toxicological Sciences, May 2011 121(1):168-76.
  4. Godmann M*. May E*. and Kimmins S. Exposure of GC-1 spermatogonial-like cells to Tranylcypromine and Trichostatin A alters histone H3 methylation and acetylation and stimulates the expression of Gfra1 and Oct3/4 stem cell markers. PLOS One, September 14, 2010, online.
  5. Lambrot R*. Kimmins S*. Histone methylation is a critical regulator of abnormal gene expression in testis cancer. International Journal of Andrology. 2010 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. Kimmins S. Expanding waistlines heighten risk for reproductive toxicity. Biology of Reproduction. 2010 Jan;82(1):1-3.
  7. Godmann M*, Lambrot R*, Kimmins S. The dynamic epigenetic program in male germ cells: its role in spermatogenesis and its response to the environment. Microscopy Research and Techniques. 2009 Aug;72(8):603-19
  8. Eberlin A, Grauffel C, Abdelghani-Oulad M, Robert F, Lambrot R*, Spehner D, Ponce-Perez L, Wurtz JM, Stote RH, Schultz P, Dejaegere A, Kimmins S, and Tora L. Histone H3 tails containing dimethylated lysine and adjacent phosphorylated serine modification adopt a specific conformation during mitosis and meiosis. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2008: 28:1739-54.
  9. Seneda MM*, Godmann M*, Murphy BD, Kimmins S*, Bordignon V*, Developmental Regulation of histone H3 methylation at lysine 4 in the porcine ovary. Reproduction. 2008,135:829-38. *Co-corresponding authors
  10. Godmann M*, Auger V*, Ferraroni-Aguiar V*, Di Sauro A, Sette C, Behr R, and Kimmins S. Dynamic regulation of histone H3 methylation at lysine 4 in mammalian spermatogenesis. Biology of Reproduction. 2007; 77:754-64.
  11. Kimmins S, Crosio C, Kotaja N, Hirayama J, Monaco L, Hoog C, van Duin M, Gossen JA, Sassone-Corsi P. Differential functions of the Aurora-B and Aurora-C kinases in mammalian spermatogenesis. Mol Endocrinol, 2007 21:726-39
  12. Lapointe J, St-Pierre I, Kimmins S, Roy M, MacLaren LA and Bilodeau JF. Hormonal and spatial regulation of nitric oxide synthases (nNOS, iNOS and eNOS) in the oviducts, Endocrinology 2006 147:5600-10.
  13. Kotaja N, Bhattacharyya SN, Jaskiewicz L, Kimmins S, Parvinen M, Filipowicz W, Sassone-Corsi P. The chromatoid body of male germ cells: similarity with processing bodies and presence of Dicer and microRNA pathway components. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 21;103(8):2647-52. 2006
  14. Lapointe J, Roy, M, St-Pierre I, Kimmins S, Gauvreau D, MacLaren LA, Bilodeau JF. Hormonal and Spatial Regulation of Nitric Oxide Synthases (NOS) (Neuronal NOS, Inducible NOS, and Endothelial NOS) in the Oviducts. Endocrinology. 2006 Dec;147(12):5600-5610.
  15. Ruiz-Cortés T, Kimmins S, Monaco L, Burns KL, Sassone-Corsi P, Murphy BD. Estrogen receptor-alpha mediates estrogen-induced phosphorylation of histone H3 in ovarian follicle cells via the mitotic kinase, Aurora B. Molecular Endocrinology. 19, 2991-3000 2005
  16. Lapointe J, Kimmins S, MacLaren LA, Bilodeau JF.   Estrogen selectively up-regulates the phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) in the oviducts. Endocrinology 146, 2583-2592 (2005)
  17. Kimmins S, Sassone-Corsi P. Chromatin Remodeling and Epigenetic Features of Germ Cells. Nature. 434, 583-589 (2005)
  18. Kimmins S¹, Kotoja N¹, Brancorsini S, Hentsch D, Vonesch JL, Davidson I, Parvinen M, Sassone-Corsi P. Preparation, isolation, and characterization of stage-specific spermatogenic cells for cellular and molecular analysis. Nature Methods 1, 249 – 254 (2004). ¹co-first author
  19. Arosh JA, Banu SK, Kimmins S, Chapdelaine P, MacLaren LA, Fortier MA. Effect of interferon tau on prostaglandin biosynthesis, transport and signaling during maternal recognition of pregnancy in cattle: evidence of polycrine action of PGE2. Endocrinology 145, 5280-5293 (2004)
  20. Monaco L, Kotaja N, Fienga G, Hogeveen K, Kolthur US, Kimmins S, Brancorsini S, Macho B, Sassone-Corsi P. Specialized rules of gene transcription in male germ cells: The CREM paradigm. International Journal of Andrology 27: 322-327 (2004)
  21. Kimmins S, Kotaja N, Davidson I, Sassone-Corsi P. Testis-specific transcription mechanisms promoting male germ cell differentiation. Reproduction 128, 5-12 (2004)
  22. Kimmins S, Kotaja N, Fienga G, Kolthur US, Brancorsini S, Hogeveen K, Monaco L, Sassone-Corsi P. A specific program of gene transcription in male germ cells. Reproduction Biomedicine 8, 496-500 (2004)
  23. Kimmins S, Lim HC, MacLaren LA. Periimplantation expression of integrin avb3 and osteopontin illustrates differences in the uterine cell biology of sheep and cattle. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 19, (2004).
  24. Emond V, MacLaren LA, Kimmins S, Arosh JA, Fortier MA, Lambert RD. Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in the endometrial epithelium of the cow is up-regulated during early pregnancy and in response to intrauterine infusions of interferon-tau. Biology of Reproduction 70, 54-64 (2004).
  25. Kimmins S, Lim HC, Parent J, Fortier MA, MacLaren LA. The effects of estrogen and progesterone on prostaglandins and integrin beta 3 (b3) subunit expression in primary cultures of bovine endometrial cells. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 25,141-54 (2003).
  26. Kimmins S, Russell GL, Lim HC, Hall BK, MacLaren LA. The effects of estrogen, its antagonist ICI 182, 780, and integrin avb3 on cycle day 16 in bovine endometrium. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 1:38 (2003).
  27. MacIntyre DM, HC, Lim Ryan K, Kimmins S, Small JA, and MacLaren LA. Implantation‑associated changes in bovine uterine expression of integrins and extracellular matrix. Biology of Reproduction 66, 1430-1436 (2002).
  28. Kimmins S, MacLaren LA. Oestrous cycle and pregnancy effects on the distribution of Oestrogen and progesterone receptors in bovine endometrium. Placenta 22, 742-748 (2001).
  29. Kimmins S, MacRae TH. Maturation of Steroid Receptors: an example of functional cooperation among molecular chaperones and their associated proteins. Cell Stress and Molecular Chaperones 5, 76-86 (2000).



Canada Research Chair in Epigenetics, Reproduction and Development