null Donald van Meyel, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Montreal General Hospital site

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, MUHC



neural development • dendrite morphogenesis • glial cell differentiation • membrane transport proteins • neuron-glial interactions • neurological disorders • sleep-wake regulation • ataxia

Research Focus

We study neurons and glial cells, two major cell types in the brain. Interactions between them are vital for the central nervous system (CNS) to develop and function properly. In addition, signaling between neurons requires formation of complex intercellular connections through the patterned development of axons and dendrites. Research themes in my lab currently focus on molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling differentiation of glial cells during development, dendrite morphogenesis, and movement and bioavailability of ions and neuroactive chemical messengers in the brain. We study how these mechanisms influence motor and sensory behaviours and sleep-wake cycles. We believe that improved understanding of these mechanisms can determine how perturbations of these processes contribute to certain neurological diseases, such as ataxia, and could be used to promote repair in the injured or diseased CNS.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Wu Q, Akhter A, Pant S, Cho E, Zhu JX, Garner A, Ohyama T, Tajkhorshid E, van Meyel DJ, Ryan RM. Ataxia-linked SLC1A3 mutations alter EAAT1 chloride channel activity and glial regulation of CNS function. J Clin Invest. 2022 Apr 1;132(7):e154891. doi: 10.1172/JCI154891. PMID: 35167492.

  • Stahl BA, Peco E, Davla S, Murakami K, Caicedo Moreno NA, van Meyel DJ, Keene AC. The Taurine Transporter Eaat2 Functions in Ensheathing Glia to Modulate Sleep and Metabolic Rate. Curr Biol. 2018 Nov 19;28(22):3700-3708.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.039. Epub 2018 Nov 8. PMID: 30416062.

  • Davla S, Artiushin G, Li Y, Chitsaz D, Li S, Sehgal A, van Meyel DJ. AANAT1 functions in astrocytes to regulate sleep homeostasis. Elife. 2020 Sep 21;9:e53994. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53994. PMID: 32955431.

  • Parinejad N, Peco E, Ferreira T, Stacey SM, van Meyel DJ. Disruption of an EAAT-Mediated Chloride Channel in a Drosophila Model of Ataxia. J Neurosci. 2016 Jul 20;36(29):7640-7. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0197-16.2016. PMID: 27445142.

  • Peco E, Davla S, Camp D, Stacey SM, Landgraf M, van Meyel DJ. Drosophila astrocytes cover specific territories of the CNS neuropil and are instructed to differentiate by Prospero, a key effector of Notch. Development. 2016 Apr 1;143(7):1170-81. doi: 10.1242/dev.133165. Epub 2016 Feb 18. PMID: 26893340.