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McGill University Department of Pharmacology

Neuropharmacology lies at the interface between two rapidly-advancing disciplines: neuroscience and pharmacology. For at least a generation, the discipline of neuropharmacology has enjoyed pride of place in the research interests of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill.

Currently, almost one half of core departmental members conduct neuropharmacological research.  These individuals run well-funded research groups, each with a strong track record of high-quality research and training. The internationally-recognized research covers a vast gamut

Following is a list of faculty members currently conducting research.   Follow the links to read additional information about each investigator's research interests, publications and the work being done in their laboratory.

GUILLERMINA ALMAZAN

Phone: 514-398-622 
E-mail: guillermina [dot] almazan [at] mcgill [dot] ca (guillermina [dot] almazan [at] mcgill [dot] ca )

Research:  Molecular Neuropharmacology

Central nervous system development with emphasis on myelination; molecular and cellular signals that regulate the growth of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors; critical interactions of oligodendrocytes with neurons and astrocytes; signaling mechanisms in oligodendrocytes. Relevance for demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=23

DAN BERNARD

Phone: 514-398-2525
E-mail: daniel [dot] bernard [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research:  Molecular endocrinology, reproductive physiology, intracellular signaling, transcriptional regulation

Signal transduction mechanisms through which members of the transforming growth factor β (TGF β) superfamily regulate synthesis of pituitary hormones, in particular follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This research may identify causes and treatments for some forms of infertility and will highlight novel contraceptive targets.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=174

DEREK BOWIE

Phone: 514-398-1581 (office) 2513 (lab)
E-mail: derek [dot] bowie [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Lab Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/dbowielab

Research: Synaptic Transmission, Neurodevelopment & its Disorders, Epilepsy, Glaucoma

Structure/function analysis of ionotropic glutamate receptors and GABA-A receptors. These receptors are implicated in disease states associated with postnatal development (e.g. Autism, Schizophrenia), cerebral insult (e.g. Stroke, Epilepsy) and aging disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsonism).

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=19

PAUL CLARKE

Phone: 514-398-3616 ext. 1 (office) or ext. 2 (lab)
E-mail: paul [dot] clarke [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Lab Web Site: http://www.ice-rci.org/people/mcgill/index.cfm

Research:  How drugs affect brain function.

Mechanisms by which drugs affect brain function, specifically the dopaminergic system; mechanisms by which drugs such as nicotine, amphetamine and cocaine create addiction. Approaches include a combination of neurochemical and behavioural tests in rats, e.g. intravenous self-administration, conditioned place preference, combined with autoradiographic and immunohistochemical analyses.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=9

CLAUDIO CUELLO

Phone: 514-398-3618
E-mail: claudio [dot] cuello [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Lab Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/cuellolab/

Research: Cellular and Molecular Neuropharmacology

Degenerative and regenerative processes in the CNS with emphasis on aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The laboratory utilizes and develops transgenic animal models presenting features of the AD neuropathology. The lab makes comparative neurochemical studies between post-mortem human brain samples and transgenic models. The research is of a multidisciplinary nature ranging from molecular approaches, tissue culture, neurochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy immunocytochemistry to cognitive studies. The lab focuses on early aspects of the Alzheimer’s pathology therapeutics such pre-plaque inflammatory processes and deregulation of cell signaling pathways and trophic factor metabolism.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=1

BARBARA F. HALES

Phone: (514) 398-3610   (514) 398-3634
E-mail: barbara [dot] hales [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research: Developmental Pharmacology / Toxicology

Mechanisms of action of drugs as teratogens; developmental toxicity using a combination of in vivo, in vitro, and molecular approaches with the goal of elucidating how the embryo responds to insult after direct or maternal exposure and the consequences to progeny of paternal drug exposure.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=7

TERRY HEBERT

Phone: Office: 514-398-1398/Lab: 514-398-8803
E-mail: terence [dot] hebert [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Lab Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/hebertlab

Research: Cellular Signalling

Cells must discriminate among a plethora of signals and in many instances must be able to integrate signals coming from several different pathways. Thus, the cell must simultaneously facilitate this crosstalk between receptor pathways and paradoxically limit it in order to preserve specificity.  Thus, our work focused on signalling complexes associated with G protein-coupled receptors.   

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=6

DUSICA MAYSINGER

Phone: 514-398-1264
E-mail: dusica [dot] maysinger [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Lab Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/dmaysingerlab/

Research:  Nanomedicine – Nanodelivery Systems, Subcellular Fate of nanoparticles & nanoparticles in Medicine

Investigations of mechanisms of drug action; non-invasive imaging at single cell level and in experimental animal models-signal transduction pathways in glia and neurons. Combinatorial cell-and drug-based therapeutic interventions in conjunction with nano-delivery systems.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=28

ANNE MCKINNEY

Phone: 514-398-5685
E-mail: anne [dot] mckinney [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research: Excitatory synapses in the CNS

Mechanisms involved in development and maintenance of excitatory synapses in the CNS, during physiological and pathological conditions, such as epilepsy and mental retardation; specific emphasis on structure and function of dendritic spines and their synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. Use of organotypic cultures, real-time 3-dimensional confocal laser scanning microscopy and advanced electrophysiological techniques.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=155

GREGORY MILLER

Phone: 514-398-6833
E-mail: gregory [dot] miller2 [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research: Structural Biology/ Signal Transduction

Structural analysis of intracellular signaling components, specifically kinases and phosphatases that produce inositol phosphates  and phosphatidylinositols, using x-ray crystallography to determine the high-resolution structures of these enzymes and protein engineering to correlate the structure of each enzyme with its catalytic function. These studies facilitate drug design efforts to target inositol-based signaling networks to treat cancer and cystic fibrosis.

More info:  http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=193

ALFREDO RIBEIRO-DA-SILVA

Phone: 514-398-3619
E-mail: alfredo [dot] ribeirodasilva [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research: Neuroscience (Neurocytology, Neuropharmacology)

Mechanisms underlying chronic pain states, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems; particular emphasis on arthritis and neuropathic pain models. Methods used include: immunocytochemistry at the light and electron microscopic levels, animal behavior testing, and neurochemistry. Also collaborates with Dr. Cuello in the study of the effects of aging on the structure and function of the neocortex.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=34

BERNARD ROBAIRE

Phone: (514) 398-3630; (514) 398-6241
E-mail: bernard [dot] robaire [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/robairelab/

Research: Reproductive Pharmacology

Mechanisms and regulation of androgen action in the epididymis; specifically: Effects of toxic substances (drugs or environmental chemicals) on male reproductive function and: Effect of aging on reproductive tissues.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=35

URI SARAGOVI

Position: Associate Professor
Phone: 514-340-8222 ext. 5055
E-mail: uri [dot] saragovi [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research:  Receptor Biology Structure- Function Relationships and Signal Transduction Events

Macromolecular structure/function relationships in receptor-ligand interactions; development of mimics of antibodies, cellular receptors and polypeptide growth factors (antagonists and agonists); use of these ligands for in vivo imaging and tumor localization; selective delivery of therapeutic agents can be selectively delivered to the target cell; extension of the concept of ligand mimicry to develop functional ligands.

More info:  http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=44

MOSHE SZYF

Phone: 514-398-4400 ext. 00595

E-mail: moshe [dot] szyf [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Web Site: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/mszyflab/

Research:  Epigenetics

Role of epigenetic changes, specifically DNA methylation, in mediating cancer development and mediating the effects of early childhood experience (maternal care, stress,..) on adult behavioural patterns; molecular mechanisms mediating dynamic changes of DNA methylation . Overall: mechanisms explaining how nurture affects nature. The epigenome as a target for novel pharmacological and therapeutic interventions, ranging from cancer therapy to human behavior.

More info:  http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=36

JASON TANNY

Phone:  (514) 398-3608
E-mail:  jason [dot] tanny [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research:  Chromatin remodeling

Mechanism of chromatin remodeling, specifically effects of covalent modification of histone proteins on chromatin structure during transcription. Epigenetic changes involving chromatin remodeling may underlie diverse complex human diseases, such as cancer, autoimmune disease, and neuropsychiatric disorders.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=275

JACQUETTA TRASLER

Phone: 514-934-1934  ext. 25235
Email:    jacquetta [dot] trasler [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Research: Regulation of gene expression in developing germ cells

Normal and abnormal mammalian development; specifically: regulation of gene expression in developing germ cells and the implications for the resulting embryo; role of DNA methylation during gametogenesis and in genomic imprinting. Abnormalities in DNA methylation have been associated with abnormal development, genetic disease and cancer.

More info: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/pharma/displaypharma.asp?Pharma_ID=42