Studying the senses as a key to understand how complex behaviours are coordinated in the brain
Most senses require movement to extract information from the environment: vision is associated with eye and head movements, hearing with head movements, touching entails limb movements, and olfaction requires movement of the nose. To understand how movement and sensation are coordinated to lead to sensory perception, Professor Martin Deschênes and his team study the rodent vibrissa system, a model widely used in neuroscience.
The whisking movement allows rodents to explore their...
Design of brain-computer interfaces to understand and stimulate neuronal activity leading to the formation of new neuronal connections.
Dr. Christian Éthier studies how neuronal activity, the passage of an electrochemical current between neurons, leads to the formation or strengthening of connections between these neurons. This phenomenon, known as neuronal plasticity, is essential to the process of learning or repairing neural circuits following injury or stroke damage.
Dr. Ethier's team aims to find ways to guide neural reorganization, through electrical or optical...
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...
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...
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...
Study of the neural circuits involved in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases
Professor Martin Parent studies neural circuits within a specific set of brain structures, called basal ganglia, which play a crucial role in the control of movement. His team is particularly interested in the alterations that occur in these circuits that lead to the expression of the symptoms of Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
His studies on animal models have led to the identification of key actors whose function is impaired by these neurodegenerative diseases. His discoveries in...
Dr. Pozzi is presently focused on the study of the effects of the interaction between a previously studied extracellular protein and its receptor in different mutant models of ALS. These proteins are two important players in the communication among different cellular populations in the central nervous system. The final aim is to generate a therapeutic approach against this interaction and test it in animal models of ALS.