null Leonard Levin, MD, PhD

Investigator, RI-MUHC

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program

Montreal Neurological Institute

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Surgery, Division of Adult Ophthalmology, MUHC



optic nerve disease • neuroprotection • retinal ganglion cells • axonal degeneration

Research Focus

My laboratory studies how the fibers connecting the eye to the brain are damaged in diseases such as trauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the world, glaucoma. These fibers, the axons of the optic nerve, cannot regenerate in humans, and so understanding how they degenerate in disease is the first step to finding new therapies. Based on what we have discovered, we have been actively developing new drugs that are able to prevent visual loss from these blinding diseases. Given that many of these diseases have no proven therapies, we hope that the knowledge we gain will lead to effective treatments in the future.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Coussa RG, Merat P, Levin LA. Propagation and selectivity of axonal loss in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. Sci Rep, 9:6720, 2019.

  • Chan W, Almasieh M, Catrinescu M, Levin LA. Cobalamin-dependent superoxide scavenging in neuronal cells is a potential mechanism for vitamin B12-deprivation optic neuropathy. Am J Pathol, 188:160-172, 2018.

  • Rath EZ, Hazan Z, Adamsky K, Segal ZI, Levin LA. Randomized controlled Phase 2a study of RPh201 in previous nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. J Neuro-Ophthalmol, 39:291-298, 2019.

  • Saragovi HU, Galan A, Levin LA. Neuroprotection: Pro-survival and anti-neurotoxic mechanisms as therapeutic strategies in neurodegeneration. Front Cell Neurosci, 13:231, 2019.

  • Almasieh M, Catrinescu M-M, Binan L, Costantino S, Levin LA. Axonal degeneration in retinal ganglion cells is associated with a membrane polarity-sensitive redox process. J Neurosci, 37:3824-3839, 2017.