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angle-left David Stellwagen, PhD

Scientist, RI-MUHC , Montreal General Hospital

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University



cytokine • tumor necrosis factor (TNF) • huntington's disease • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) • autism • addiction

Research Focus

My research focuses on how inflammation regulates the function of neurons, particularly the synaptic connections between neurons. We have discovered that inflammatory signals are used to maintain normal levels of neuronal activity (homeostasis), and this is achieved through the regulation of synaptic strength. We are investigating how this contributes to the change in brain function observed during many disorders, as most neurological diseases are accompanied by inflammation. In particular, we are investigating the compensatory mechanisms that may be engaged during neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric disorders such as addiction and autism.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Stellwagen D; Malenka RC. Synaptic scaling mediated by glial TNFa. Nature, 2006, 440: 1054-9. PMID: 16547515.

  • Pribiag H, Peng H, Shah W, Stellwagen D, Carbonetto S. Dystroglycan mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity at GABAergic synapses. PNAS 2014, 111(18): 6810-5 PMID: 24753587.

  • Lewitus G, Pribiag H, Duseja R, St-Hilaire M, Stellwagen D. An adaptive role of TNFα in the regulation of corticostriatal synapses. J Neurosci 2014, 34(18): 6286-6293. PMID: 24790185.

  • Altimimi HF and Stellwagen D. Persistent synaptic scaling independent of AMPA receptor subunit composition. J Neurosci 2013, 33: 11763-7. PMID: 23864664.

  • Pribiag H and Stellwagen D. Tumor Necrosis Factor-a downregulates inhibitory neurotransmission through protein phosphatase 1-dependent trafficking of GABAA receptors. J Neurosci 2013, 33(40): 15879-93. PMID: 24089494.