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Mood disorder • cannabis • melatonin • psychopharmacology • mental disorders
My research focuses on understanding the causes of mental diseases and in the discovery of new treatments for them. In particular, the laboratory is studying the short-term and long-term effects of cannabis use in mood and anxiety and the potential beneficial effects of the drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system (endogenous cannabis) in the cure of mental diseases. I am also studying the effect of melatonin in mood, anxiety, and sleep regulation in an effort to understand how novel selective ligands for melatonin receptors (called MT1 and MT2 receptors) can be used to treat seasonal depression, major depression, sleep disorders, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. My laboratory approach spans from bench to bedside, bridging the gaps between fundamental and clinical research. The techniques employed in the laboratory include in vivo electrophysiology, behavioural pharmacology, and neurochemistry. I am also a psychiatrist in the Mood Disorders Program at the McGill University Health Centre. My other interests include the psychopharmacology of violent behaviour and the neurobiological consequences of paternal separation.
Bambico F, Katz N, Debonnel G, Gobbi G. Cannabinoids elicit antidepressant-like activity and activate the serotonergic neurons through the medial prefrontal cortex J Neurosci.; 27(43):11700-11, 2007.
Hill M., Hillard C.J., Bambico R.F., Patel S., Gorzalka B., GobbiG. The Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System for the Development of a Novel Class of Antidepressants. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 30(9):484-93, 2009
Bambico F, Nhuyen NT., Katz N., Gobbi G. Chronic exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence but not during adulthood impairs emotional behaviour and monoaminergic neurotransmission. Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Mar;37(3):641-655.
Ochoa Sanchez R., Comai S., Lacoste B., Bambico F.R., Lopez-Dominguez S., Rivara S., Mor M., Bedini AL, Spadoni G, Fraschini F., Tarzia G., Descarries L., Gobbi G. Promotion of Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep and Activation of Reticular Thalamic Neurons by a Novel MT2 Melatonin Receptor Ligand. J Neuroscience 2011 Dec 14;31(50):18439-18452.
Ochoa Sanchez R., Comai S., Rainer Q., Rivara S., Mor M., Bedini AL, Spadoni G, Fraschini F., Tarzia G., Gobbi G. Anxiolytic Effects of the Melatonin MT2 Receptor Partial Agonist UCM765: Comparison with Melatonin and Diazepam.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 39(2):318-25, 2012