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.

Neural and synaptic development and function

Aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other neurological disorders

Vision and cognitive neuroscience

Pain, inflammation, trauma and repair

Mental health and addiction
 

Neural and synaptic development and function

Circuit development, homeostasis and plasticity


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. Gary Armstrong* (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cellular and synaptic defects, disease models)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Austen Milnerwood* (neural development, connectivity, plasticity, neurodegenerative diseases)

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

Dr. Adrien Peyrache* (spatial navigation, electrophysiology, optogenetics)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and other neurological disorders

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. Jack Antel* (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Gary Armstrong* (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cellular and synaptic defects, disease models)

Dr. Massimo Avoli* (neural synchronicity, epilepsy)

Dr. Boris Bernhardt* (epilepsy, autism, brain anatomy, connectivity, statistical modeling)

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

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

Dr. Thomas Durcan* (induced pluripotent stem cells, Parkinson’s disease, translational research)

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

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

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

Dr. Ziv Gan-Or* (genotyping, Parkinson’s disease, REM sleep behaviour disorder)

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

Dr. David Haegert (multiple sclerosis, biomarkers)

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

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

Dr. Richard Hoge* (brain imaging technology, physiological brain changes, aging)

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

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

Dr. Austen Milnerwood* (neural development, connectivity, plasticity, neurodegenerative diseases)

Dr. Bratislav Misic* (brain networks, cognitive neuroscience, connectivity, computational modelling)

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

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

Dr. Roberta Palmour (behaviour, neuropharmacology)

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

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

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

Dr. Nathan Spreng* (cognitive neuroscience, aging, large-scale brain networks)

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

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

Dr. Yannis Trakadis (childhood metabolic diseases)

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Clinical assessment and treatment of neurological disorders


Scientists investigate risk factors, assessment and diagnostic tools, and novel treatments for neurological disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson's disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis in human patients.

Dr. Eva Andermann* (genetics, epilepsy)

Dr. Andrea Bernasconi* (functional imaging, epilepsy)

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

Dr. Colin Chalk (movement disorders, peripheral neuropathies)

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

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

Dr. Raquel Del Carpio-O’Donavan (neuroradiology)

Dr. François Dubeau* (neuronal migration, epilepsy)

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

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

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

Dr. Jason Karamchandani* (neuropathology)

Dr. Eliane Kobayashi* (genetics, epilepsy)

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

Dr. Neda Ladbon Bernasconi* (brain imaging, epilepsy)

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

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

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

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

Dr. Madeleine Sharp* (movement disorders, cognitive dysfunction, basal ganglia)

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

Dr. Jeane Teitelbaum* (stroke recovery)

Dr. Martin Veilleux* (epilepsy)

Dr. Theodore Wein (electrodiagnostic medicine, polyneuropathies)

Dr. Anthony Zeitouni (anxiety, addictions, cancer)

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

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. Stefanie Blain-Moraes (consciousness, quality of life, physiological signal, assistive technology, personhood)

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)

Vision and cognitive neuroscience

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. Bryan Arthurs (ophthalmology, oculoplastic surgery)

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

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

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

Dr. Hady Saheb (glaucoma)

Dr. Amir Shmuel* (functional imaging, cortical stimulation)

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

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Cognitive neuroscience


Researchers are integrating innovative multimodal brain imaging methods and computational techniques with psychophysics, cognitive tasks, neuropsychological tests and brain stimulation to map out brain circuits that give rise to cognitive processes. Ultimately, this work aims to develop new treatment avenues for cognitive disorders.

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

Dr. Sylvain Baillet* (functional and structural brain imaging)

Dr. Andrea Bernasconi* (functional imaging, epileptogenic lesions)

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Bratislav Misic* (brain networks, cognitive neuroscience, connectivity, computational modelling)

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

Dr. Madeleine Sharp* (movement disorders, cognitive dysfunction, basal ganglia)

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

Dr. Nathan Spreng* (cognitive neuroscience, aging, large-scale brain networks)

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

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

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Pain, inflammation, trauma and repair

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. Jack Antel* (neuroinflammation, multiple sclerosis)

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

Dr. Steven Backman (anesthesia)

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. Alyson Fournier* (neurite outgrowth, neural development, regeneration)

Dr. Paul Giacomini* (multiple sclerosis, neuro-inflammatory disorders, neuroimaging)

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

Dr. Yves Lapierre* (multiple sclerosis)

Dr. Nancy Mayo (chronic diseases, health outcomes)

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

Dr. Gilles Plourde* (pain, anesthesia)

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

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

Dr. Daria Trojan* (post-polio syndrome)

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

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

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. Stefanie Blain-Moraes (consciousness, quality of life, physiological signal, assistive technology, personhood)

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. Benoit Goulet* (spinal cord injury, surgery)

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

Dr. Kosar Khwaja (traumatic brain injury)

Dr. Len Levin (optical neuropathies)

Dr. Judith Marcoux (traumatic brain injury)

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

Dr. Rajeet Saluja (neurosurgery, brain imaging, traumatic brain injury)

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Mental health and addiction

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

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

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

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

Dr. Yannis Trakadis (childhood metabolic diseases)

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute

Addiction


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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Roberta Palmour (neuropharmacology, behaviour)

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

*Researcher located at the Montreal Neurological Institute