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angle-left Donald van Meyel, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC , Montreal General Hospital

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program

Centre for Translational Biology

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



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

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 1) differentiation of glial cells during development, 2) dendrite morphogenesis, and 3) 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, and can be used to promote repair in the injured or diseased CNS.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

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

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

  • Ihog and Boi elicit Hh signaling via Ptc but do not aid Ptc in sequestering the Hh ligand. Camp D, Haitian He B, Li S, Althaus IW, Holtz AM, Allen BL, Charron F, van Meyel DJ. Development. 2014 Oct;141(20):3879-88.

  • Neuronal morphometry directly from bitmap images. Ferreira TA, Blackman AV, Oyrer J, Jayabal S, Chung AJ, Watt AJ, Sjöström PJ, van Meyel DJ. Nat Methods. 2014 Oct;11(10):982-4.

  • Dendrite architecture organized by transcriptional control of the F-actin nucleator Spire. Ferreira T, Ou Y, Li S, Giniger E, van Meyel DJ. Development. 2014 Feb;141(3):650-60.