Themes

The Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program brings together neuroscientists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, and population health/evaluative researchers to create an exceptional environment for basic and translational neuroscience research. Five primary research themes aim to uncover new properties of the healthy and diseased nervous system and identify and implement novel therapies to help patients affected by disease.

1. Neural and synaptic development and function

2. Aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other neurological disorders
2.1 Fundamental mechanisms behind neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases
2.2 Clinical assessment and treatment of neurological disorders
2.3 Health outcomes for neurological disorders

3. Vision and cognitive neuroscience
3.1 Vision
3.2 Cognitive neuroscience

4. Pain, inflammation, trauma and repair
4.1 Pain and inflammation
4.2 Trauma and repair

5. Mental health and addiction
5.1 Neuropsychiatric disorders
5.2 Addiction
 

1. Neural and synaptic development and function
A core of fundamental scientists investigates the development, structure, activity/plasticity of the nervous system. Scientists share interests in identifying cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal and dendritic growth, synapse formation and plasticity, neuron-glial interactions, and brain and body homeostasis. Cutting-edge technologies are used to study genes, molecular signaling pathways, cellular activity, brain circuitry and behaviour.

Dr. Charles Bourque (osmoregulation, hypothalamus, osmosensitivity, hypertension)

Dr. Salvatore Carbonetto (synapse formation and plasticity, cell adhesion, neurodevelopmental disorders)

Dr. Brian Chen (neural circuitry formation, cell adhesion, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuromuscular disorders)

Dr. Sam David (microglia, peripheral nervous system, spinal cord injury, neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis, regeneration)

Dr. Keith Murai (synapse formation and plasticity, neuron-glia communication, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Yong Rao (axon guidance, behaviour, visual pathway, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. David Stellwagen (synapses, neuroinflammation, neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, addictions)

Dr. Jesper Sjöström (synaptic plasticity, circuitry, learning, memory, epilepsy)

Dr. Don van Meyel (axon/dendrite development, neuron-glia communication, neurodevelopmental disorders)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Jean-François Cloutier (axon guidance, neural development, neurodevelopmental disorders)

Dr. Alan C. Evans (neuroanatomy, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Alyson E. Fournier (neurite outgrowth, neural development, multiple sclerosis, regeneration)

Dr. Edith Hamel (neurovascular coupling, dementia, neurodegenerative disease)

Dr. Barbara E. Jones (circuitry in wake-sleep cycles, sleep disorders)

Dr. Timothy E. Kennedy (axon guidance, synapses, neurodevelopmental disorders)

Dr. Guy A. Rouleau (genetics, neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Edward S. Ruthazer (neural circuitry formation, synapses, neurodevelopmental disorders)

Dr. Philippe A. Seguela (synapses, pain, epilepsy, stroke)

Dr. Wayne S. Sossin (synapses, signaling cascades, learning and memory)

Dr. Stefano Stifani (neural development, stem cells, cancer)

Dr. Thomas Stroh (G protein-coupled receptor trafficking, neuropeptides)

 

2. Aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other neurological disorders
2.1 Fundamental mechanisms behind neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases
Researchers investigate genes and pathways to identify new treatments for central nervous system dysfunctions. Disorders/diseases of interest include Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and stroke.

Dr. David Haegert (multiple sclerosis, biomarkers)

Dr. Tuong-Vi Nguyen (endocrinology, steroid hormones, behaviour)

Dr. Roberta Palmour (behaviour, neuropharmacology)

Dr. Charles Bourque (osmoregulation, hypothalamus, salt intake, hypertension)

Dr. Sam David (microglia, peripheral nervous system, spinal cord injury, neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis, regeneration)

Dr. Gabriella Gobbi (cannabinoids, melatonin, depression, mood disorders, psychopharmacology)

Dr. Keith Murai (synapses, neuron-glia communication, neurodevelopment disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Yong Rao (axon guidance, visual pathway, behaviour, neurodegenerative disorders)

Dr. David Stellwagen (synapses, neuroinflammation, neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Yannis Trakadis (childhood metabolic diseases)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Jack P. Antel (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Amit Bar-Or (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Massimo Avoli (neural synchronicity, epilepsy)

Dr. Heather D. Durham (proteins misfolding, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

Dr. Alan C. Evans (neuroanatomy, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Edward A. Fon (genetics, cell pathways, Parkinson's disease)

Dr. Edith Hamel (neurovascular coupling, dementia, neurodegenerative disease)

Dr. Kenneth E.M. Hastings (genetics, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular diseases)

Dr. Heidi M. McBride (cell signaling, mitochondrial dysfunction, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Peter S. McPherson (endosomal protein trafficking, ataxia, neurodegenerative disorders)

Dr. Guy A. Rouleau (genetics, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Eric A. Shoubridge (mitochondrial dysfunction, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Stefano Stifani (neural development, stem cells, cancer)

Dr. Hiroshi Tsuda (genetics, endoplasmic reticulum, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

2.2 Clinical assessment and treatment of neurological disorders
Scientists investigate potential risk factors and assessments of effective treatments for neurological disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson's disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis in human patients.

Dr. Colin Chalk (movement disorders, peripheral neuropathies)

Dr. Theodore Kolivakis (brain stimulation, addiction, neurotransmission)

Dr. Lisa Koski (neuropsychology, neuroimaging, cognitive disorders, brain stimulation)

Dr. Élaine de Guise (neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury, concussions, cognitive impairments)

Dr. Robert Hess (cortical plasticity, functional imaging, psychophysics, amblyopia)

Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine (movement disorders, Parkinson's disease)

Dr. Ron Postuma (movement disorders, Parkinson's disease, sleep disorders)

Dr. Theodore Wein (electrodiagnostic medicine, polyneuropathies)

Dr. Anthony Zeitouni (anxiety, addictions, cancer)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Eva Andermann (genetics, epilepsy)

Dr. Andrea G.L. Bernasconi (functional imaging, epilepsy)

Dr. Bernard Brais (genetics, ataxia, neuromuscular diseases)

Dr. Alain Dagher (functional brain imaging, movement disorders, addiction)

Dr. François Dubeau (neuronal migration, epilepsy)

Dr. Angela L. Genge (multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, clinical trials)

Dr. Jean Gotman (electroencephalogram, functional imaging, epilepsy)

Dr. Jason Karamchandani (neuropathology)

Dr. Eliane Kobayashi (genetics, epilepsy)

Dr. Neda Ladbon Bernasconi (brain imaging, epilepsy)

Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine (movement disorders, Parkinson's disease)

Dr. Gabriel T. Leonard (functional imaging, multiple sclerosis, cognitive function)

Dr. Rami Massie (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders)

Dr. Erin O'Ferrall (neuromuscular disorders)

Dr. Kevin Petrecca (cancer, intraoperative tools for surgery)

Dr. Alain Ptito (concussions, traumatic brain injury, blindsight)

Dr. Abbas F. Sadikot (image-guided neurosurgery, neurodegenerative disorders)

Dr. Donatella Tampieri (tomography, brain imaging, epilepsy, brain tumors)

Dr. Jeane S. Teitelbaum (stroke recovery)

Dr. Martin Veilleux (epilepsy)

2.3 Health outcomes for neurological disorders
This theme focuses on aspects of population health and the outcome of neurological diseases. Researchers seek to develop new or improved diagnostic tools, evaluate programs of prevention, interventions, health systems and policies to optimize beneficial results for the general population. The main research targets include normal aging as well as neurological disorders such as stroke, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and mild cognitive impairment.

Dr. Sara Ahmed (chronic diseases, psychometric assessments, health outcomes)

Dr. Susan Bartlett (chronic diseases, mental health outcomes)

Dr. Lisa Koski (neuropsychology, neuroimaging, cognitive disorders, brain stimulation)

Dr. Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay (nurse training)

Dr. Nancy Mayo (chronic diseases, health outcomes)

Dr. Cécile Rousseau (mental health, immigration, health outcomes)

Dr. Mark Ware (pain, cannabis/cannabinoids, health outcomes)

Dr. Christina Wolfson (aging, chronic diseases, health outcomes)

 

3. Vision and cognitive neuroscience
3.1 Vision
Scientists are using advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the fundamental properties of the visual system. Basic studies concentrate on the structure, activity, plasticity and connectivity of the visual system. Human visual perception is assessed by techniques including psychophysics, brain stimulation and functional neuroimaging.

Dr. John Chen (retina pathology)

Dr. Curtis Baker (neurophysiology, psychophysics)

Dr. Jean Deschênes (choroidal melanoma, ocular inflammation, sonography and radiotherapy treatments)

Dr. Reza Farivar-Mohseni (functional imaging, psychophysics, traumatic brain injury)

Dr. Robert Hess (cortical plasticity, functional imaging, psychophysics, amblyopia)

Dr. Frederick Kingdom (perception, psychophysics, image processing)

Dr. Len Levin (neurite outgrowth, optical neuropathies, regeneration)

Dr. Janine Mendola (functional imaging, psychophysics, amblyopia)

Dr. Kathy Mullen (colour vision, functional brain imaging, cortical stimulation, psychophysics)

Dr. Yong Rao (axon guidance, behaviour, visual pathway, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Hady Saheb (glaucoma)

Dr. Jesper Sjsötröm (synaptic plasticity, circuitry, learning, memory, epilepsy)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Daniel E. Guitton (oculomotor areas and connectivity, visuo-motor deficits)

Dr. Christopher C. Pack (neurophysiology, visuo-motor activity, cortical stimulation)

Dr. Amir Shmuel (functional imaging, cortical stimulation)

3.2 Cognitive neuroscience
Researchers are integrating innovative multimodal brain imaging methods and computational techniques with psychophysics, cognitive tasks, neuropsychological tests and brain stimulation to pinpoint specific brain activity, and understand brain structure and connectivity involved in cognitive processes that will ultimately lead to therapeutic treatments for cognitive disorders.

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Douglas L. Arnold (neuroimaging, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease)

Dr. Sylvain Baillet (functional and structural brain imaging)

Dr. Andrea G. L. Bernasconi (functional imaging, epileptogenic lesions)

Dr. D. Louis Collins (brain mapping, neurodegenerative disorders)

Dr. Alain Dagher (functional brain imaging, movement disorders, addiction)

Dr. Étienne De Villers-Sidani (sensori-motor processing, cognitive disorders)

Dr. Jelena Djordjevic (neuropsychology, olfactory perception)

Dr. Alan C. Evans (neuroanatomy, brain mapping, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Lesley K. Fellows (decision making, emotions, frontal cortex, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Marilyn Jones-Gotham (functional imaging, perception, memory, epilepsy)

Dr. Denise Klein (functional imaging, learning deficits, children)

Dr. Brenda A. Milner (brain imaging, language processing, learning and memory, brain lesions)

Dr. Michael Petrides (cortical cytoarchitecture and connectivity, working memory)

Dr. Gilbert Pike (functional imaging, magnetic resonance imaging tools)

Dr. Andrew Reader (functional imaging, positron emission tomography tools)

Dr. Jean-Paul Soucy (nuclear-based neuroimaging)

Dr. Viviane Sziklas (brain mapping, memory, spatial learning)

Dr. Christopher J. Thompson (functional imaging, positron emission tomography tools)

Dr. Robert J. Zatorre (functional imaging, speech, music)

 

4. Pain, inflammation, trauma and repair
4.1 Pain and inflammation
Scientists are investigating inflammation in the context of pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Secondary damage linked to inflammation following trauma is an important focus, in addition to identifying new therapeutic strategies for treating chronic pain.

Dr. Terence Coderre (nociception, plasticity, excitatory amino acids)

Dr. Sam David (microglia, peripheral nervous system, spinal cord injury, neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis, regeneration)

Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles (chronic pain, cannabinoids)

Dr. Gabriella Gobbi (cannabinoids, melatonin, psychopharmacology, mental disorders)

Dr. Kosar Khwaja (traumatic brain injury)

Dr. David Lussier (pharmacology, chronic pain)

Dr. Nancy Mayo (chronic diseases, health outcomes)

Dr. Carlo Santaguida (spinal cord injury)

Dr. Petra Schweinhardt (chronic pain, supraspinal pain processing)

Dr. Yoram Shir (chronic pain, fibromyalgia, opioids)

Dr. Mark Ware (pain, cannabis/cannabinoids, health outcomes)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Jack P. Antel (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Douglas L. Arnold (neuroimaging, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease)

Dr. Amit Bar-Or (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Alyson E. Fournier (neurite outgrowth, neural development, regeneration)

Dr. Yves L. Lapierre (multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Josephine Nalbantoglu (gene therapy, Alzheimer's disease)

Dr. Gilles Plourde (pain, anesthesia)

Dr. Philippe A. Séguéla (synapses, pain, epilepsy, stroke)

Dr. Daria A. Trojan (post-polio syndrome)

4.2 Trauma and repair
Scientists are investigating the underlying mechanisms, and recovery processes of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and injury to the visual system. Some of this work takes place in coordination with the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) site, the only designated Level 1 trauma centre in Montreal.

Dr. Sam David (microglia, peripheral nervous system, spinal cord injury, neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis, regeneration)

Dr. Reza Farivar-Mohseni (functional imaging, psychophysics, traumatic brain injury)

Dr. Élaine de Guise (neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury, concussions, cognitive impairments)

Dr. Lisa Koski (neuropsychology, neuroimaging, cognitive disorders, brain stimulation)

Dr. Len Levin (optical neuropathies)

Dr. Judith Marcoux (traumatic brain injury)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Benoit Goulet (spinal cord injury, surgery)

Dr. Alain Ptito (concussions, traumatic brain injury, blindsight)

 

5. Mental health and addiction
5.1 Neuropsychiatric disorders
Scientists in the mental health group are interested in basic science as well as drug development processes in clinical trials, neurostimulation treatments, and psychotropic therapeutics. A training fellowship program in clinical pharmacology is also available for junior pharmacologists.

Dr. Linda Beauclair (psychiatric disorders, cognitive dysfunctions, psychopharmacology)

Dr. Chawki Benkelfat (brain circuits, behaviour, psychiatric disorders)

Dr. Pablo Cervantes (psychiatric disorders, behaviour, symptomatology)

Dr. Simon Ducharme (psychiatric disorders, dementia, epilepsy, neuroimaging)

Dr. Ronald Fraser (psychiatric disorders, opioids)

Dr. Gabriella Gobbi (cannabinoids, melatonin, psychopharmacology, psychiatric disorders)

Dr. Shuvo Gosh (psychiatric disorders, gender identity)

Dr. Theodore Kolivakis (brain stimulation, addiction, neurotransmission)

Dr. Lise Laporte (prevalence, personality disorders, youth protection services)

Dr. Nancy Low (psychiatric disorders, longitudinal cohort, childhood adversity, population outcomes)

Dr. Howard Margolese (schizophrenia, early phase psychosis, psychopharmacology)

Dr. Gail Myhr (cognitive behavioural therapy, anxiety, psychosis)

Dr. Lucie Nadeau (child/adolescent health, health outcomes)

Dr. Tuong-Vi Nguyen (neural development, endocrinology, steroid hormones, behaviour)

Dr. Robert Pihl (psychiatric disorders, adolescent, drug abuse)

Dr. Cécile Rousseau (child mental health, mental health in immigrant populations)

Dr. Warren Steiner (psychology, traumatic event, health outcomes)

Dr. Yannis Trakadis (childhood metabolic diseases)

5.2 Addiction
Scientists with interests in addiction and addiction-related psychiatric disorders have expertise in behavioural and molecular genetics, neuropharmacology, drug effect assessment by neuroimaging, and vulnerability factors in high-risk clinical cases. The group also developed both hospital- and community-based treatment programs.

Dr. Chawki Benkelfat (brain circuits, behaviour, psychiatric disorders)

Dr. Dara Charney (addiction, training and clinical practices)

Dr. Ronald Fraser (opioids, psychiatric disorders)

Dr. Kathryn Gill (addiction, knowledge translation, treatment outcomes)

Dr. Theodore Kolivakis (neurotransmission, brain stimulation, addiction)

Dr. Marco Leyton (addiction, vulnerability traits, susceptibility)

Dr. Roberta Palmour (neuropharmacology, behaviour)

Dr. Robert Pihl (psychiatric disorders, adolescent, drug abuse)

Dr. David Stellwagen (synapses, neuroinflammation, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, addiction)

Researchers located at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI):

Dr. Alain Dagher (functional brain imaging, movement disorders, addiction)