Genetics of brain disease
Development of statistical methods to identify the genetic causes of complex diseases.
Many psychiatric illnesses have complex causes, which may include multiple genetic factors, and significant environmental contributions. In addition, the symptoms associated with different psychiatric illnesses are sometimes variable from one individual to another. Alexandre Bureau's team aims to develop and apply statistical methods to identify the genes involved in these complex diseases.
The statistical approaches developed by Dr. Bureau make it possible to analyze whole genomes of...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Psychiatric genetics and child neurodevelopment program: characterizing infant risk pathways for the prevention of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression
Dr. Michel Maziade, a clinical psychiatrist and researcher, has led a research program for more than 35 years on families affected by schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. The risk of developing these disease in children born to an affected parent is 15 to 20 times higher than that of other children. His work has shown that healthy children who are born to an affected parent can, early in life, carry...
Development and application of biostatistical analysis methods for experimental and observational data in neuroscience
Professor Chantal Mérette is a specialist in the analysis of the complex data that is generated in neuroscience studies. Thanks to her expertise and that of her team of biostatisticians and epidemiologists (specialists in the factors influencing the health of populations), her research has made it possible to detect and validate biomarkers of risk of major neurodevelopmental diseases, including schizophrenia, recurrent major depression, and bipolar disorder....
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...