Cell signaling

Mohamed Chahine

Mohamed Chahine

Study of the structure and function of sodium channels in the brain and heart to identify new therapeutic targets to improve communication between cells.

Mohamed Chahine is a world-renowned expert on the structure, function and biophysical properties of sodium channels, which are channels on the surface of cells that allow entry and exit of sodium ions. Sodium channels are specifically found in the brain and the heart, where they affect the function of cells. Dr. Chahine's research has led to the characterization of sodium channels involved in several disorders including...

Yves De Koninck

Synaptic transmission: from chronic pain to Alzheimer's disease

Yves De Koninck's work focuses on the transmission of signals from one neuron to another, also called synaptic transmission, and the necessary balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals in the brain and spinal cord. His research has shown how a normally benign stimulus can turn into a pain signal, leading to the development of chronic pain.

One person in five will experience chronic pain in their lifetime, a proportion that increases with age. This is the leading cause of disability in the country, but few...

Paul De Koninck

Discoveries about the molecular mechanisms that control the connections between neurons and the development of neural circuits for learning and memory

Professor Paul De Koninck and his team study the development of connections between neurons, called synapses, and their remodeling in response to stimuli. These mechanisms of neural circuit remodeling are the basis of learning and memory. Their precise regulation is crucial as abnormal levels of neuronal activity can lead to disorders such as Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia.

Using advanced neurophotonic technologies...

Nicolas Doyon

Nicolas Doyon

Reaching a deeper understanding of neurons and neural networks through mathematical simulation and modeling.

Professor Nicolas Doyon, from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, uses his expertise in mathematical modeling to better understand how ion transporters influence signal processing by neurons. Precise control of the amounts of certain ions, such as chloride ions, is necessary for the proper functioning of neurons. Professor Doyon's studies have led to a better understanding of the spatio-temporal control of ion transport in neurons.

Defects in the...

Paul Dutchak

Investigating Neurometabolic Pathways involved in Brain Health and Disease.

Dr. Paul Dutchak's research program aims to understand the metabolic requirements for normal brain function and determine how genetic changes effect the regulation of metabolic pathways in the brain.  Dr. Dutchak is particularly interested in developing a metabolic map of neurological disorders to better diagnose, and therapeutically target neurological diseases that are underscored by a dysregulation of metabolism, including: epilepsy, autism and tuberous sclerosis...

Benoit Gosselin

Benoit Gosselin

Simon Hardy

Simon Hardy

Development of mathematical models to understand and analyze complex biological systems

Professor Simon Hardy develops mathematical and computational models based on experimental data that allow us to analyze the complex dynamics of biological systems.

In collaboration with biologists, Dr. Hardy's team is developing theoretical models of neurons integrating physiological, biochemical and electrical current measurements in neural networks.

The models developed can predict the system's response in different situations, how the normal behavior of the system can be...

Jean-Pierre Julien

Promising discoveries on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gherig's disease, is a serious progressive disease that causes the death of motor neurons, which control muscle movement.

The death of motor neurons causes paralysis, which makes walking, speech, swallowing and eventually, breathing impossible. This is a terminal illness, without remission or cure.

Jean-Pierre Julien is a pioneer in ALS research

Professor Jean-Pierre Julien was the first to show that...

Edouard Khandjian

Edouard W Khandjian

Discovery of mechanisms underlying the development of Fragile X Syndrome

Professor Edouard Khandjian studies the molecular mechanisms underlying Fragile X syndrome, which is an inherited disease that causes significant mental retardation.  Fragile X Syndrome is the most common form of hereditary mental retardation, and an important cause of autism which manifests itself in learning difficulties, language disorders and hyperactive or autistic behaviors. This syndrome is caused by the absence of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), resulting from mutations in the FMR1 gene...

Jasna Kriz

Innovative approaches to understand the role of immune cells in brain diseases

Dr. Jasna Kriz studies the role of brain immune cells, called microglia, in the healthy brain, in cerebral ischemia, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Dr. Kriz has developed mouse models in which she can detect the activation of genes of interest by bioluminescence, and thus see which genes are activated or inhibited during brain damage, or in neurodegenerative diseases. These models make it possible to see the expression of genes in real time and in...

Benoit Labonté

Discoveries about differences in the brains of depressed men and women

Dr. Benoit Labonté's research aims to understand the biological basis of depression and other mood disorders, with a specific focus on sex differences. Although depression is twice as common in women, most preclinical studies have been conducted primarily in males. Dr. Labonté's research has recently shown that genes expressed in the brains of model animals and humans with depression are very different in the two sexes.

Dr. Labonté's research focuses on mouse models of mood disorders, but his results...

Martin Lévesque

Martin Lévesque

Research into the causes of Parkinson's disease aiming to develop new treatments

Professor Martin Lévesque studies the development and maintenance of neural circuits that produce dopamine in the brain. His research has identified molecules that are necessary for the development, survival and integration of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. These neurons play a crucial role in movement control, mood, attention and stress response.

Dr. Lévesque's research has led to important advances in the understanding of Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by...

André Parent

André Parent

A pioneer in the study of the organization of connections and pathways of the healthy brain, and changes that lead to the development of Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

Professor André Parent is a world-renowned pioneer for his research that has advanced our understanding of the role of neurons in a region of the brain called the basal ganglion. He has studied the role of these nerve structures deep under the cerebral cortex in the control of psychomotor behavior, both in normal and pathological conditions (for example in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases).

His...

Christophe Proulx

Deciphering the neural mechanisms of emotions and their contribution to behavior through the brain reward circuits

Professor Christophe Proulx studies the neural mechanisms of emotions underlying normal behavioral responses, but also the defects in these mechanisms that can lead to mood disorders such as depression. Areas of the brain that play an important role in these responses are the reward circuitry of the brain, which includes various limbic system nuclei, the lateral habenula, and the dorsal raphe nucleus.

To understand how emotions are encoded and transmitted in...

Chantelle F. Sephton

Investigation of new therapeutic targets to slow or prevent the development of severe neurodegenerative diseases

Dr. Chantelle Sephton's research program aims to find new therapeutic targets to slow or stop the development of devastating diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Sephton is particularly interested in the role of two proteins, named TDP-43 and FUS, that bind to RNA, the genetic material that is used to produce proteins. These RNA binding proteins play a crucial role in controlling the production of other proteins that are...

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