Montreal Neurological Hospital & Institute

The MNI is the research portion of a world-leading and unique institution combining advanced neurological research with hospital facilities, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. 

Among the internationally recognized strengths of the MNI are the investigative programs in Epilepsy Research and Treatment, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroimmunology, Complex Neural Systems, Neuromuscular Disease and the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre.

The Neuro – a term embracing both the research and hospital entities -- is an ideal environment for translational research where experts apply discoveries of basic science research to improve the care of patients suffering from neurological diseases.

Patients benefit from close interaction among clinical and basic scientists and can receive treatment for ALS, brain tumours, epilepsy, migraine, multiple sclerosis, pain, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.

About 200 students, residents and fellows from around the world work in the 50 research labs of the research institute and another 50 physicians focus on neurology, neurosurgery and related disciplines. 

Three new programs -   Experimental Therapeutics, NeuroEngineering and Neuro Palliative Care -- bring the total of research programs to 15.

 

Click through the tabs for a brief description of the research program, summary bios of the researchers involved and links to additional information.

Brain Tumour Research Centre

The Neuro was founded in 1934 by Dr. Wilder Penfield whose main interest at the time was brain tumours, the causes of which remain a mystery nearly seven decades later. 

The Brain Tumour Research Centre (BTRC) was opened in 2002 and is designed to house 100 researchers investigating the biological causes of brain tumours and developing treatments and cures.  It provides the infrastructure for clinical research and clinical trials involving patients. Opportunities to test anti-tumour therapies will arise from basic research programs in the BTRC as well as with interactions with biotechnology companies.

Brain tumours are amongst the most challenging of diseases. They are the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian children and the third leading cause of cancer death in young adults. They are also the second fastest growing cause of cancer deaths among adults 65 and older.

Here are the principal researchers and their work:

ROLANDO DEL MAESTRO

Phone:  514-398-5791 (office)
E-mail:  rolando.delmaestro [at] mcgill.ca   

Web Site: http://www.delmaestro.org/rolando/Dr._Del_Maestro_Website/Del_Maestro_Laboratory.html      

Research Area: Malignant Glial Tumours

Dr. Rolando F. Del Maestro is the Director of the MNI’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. His research focuses on the invasiveness of malignant glial cells. Malignant glial tumours are complex cellular microenvironments containing one large localized aggregation of tumour cells and smaller subpopulations of invading tumour cells distant from the main tumour mass. Failure to control these subpopulations of invading tumour cells may be the key reason for local and distant recurrence after radical resection and may contribute substantially to the failure of other modalities of treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. His research aims to characterize the invasive paradigms used by malignant glial cells to invade three-dimensional matrices using time-lapsed video microscopy, to delineate the genetic and biochemical determinants of these invasive paradigms and to develop novel chemotherapeutic approaches to target these invasive subpopulations of malignant cells.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/brain_tumour/delmaestro_rolando/ 

KEVIN PETRECCA

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/kevin_petrecca

Research Area: Malignant Glial Cell Invasion

Dr. Kevin Petrecca, Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), specializes in neurosurgical oncology. His research at the Brain Tumour Research Centre in the MNI focuses on understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate cell motility with a focus on malignant glial cell invasion. The most common type of primary brain cancer, malignant gliomas, are among the most devastating of human malignancies. Dr. Petrecca’s research program aims to identify and characterize fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate glial cell movement. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutics that inhibit glial cell invasion. His laboratory has developed a functional forward genetic screening strategy to identify effectors of glial cell movement.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/kevin_petrecca

 

 

 

Cell Biology of Excitable Tissues

 Revealing the molecular foundations of communication between nerve cells, investigators in the Cell Biology of Excitable Tissues unit study the molecules that control nerve cell plasticity, ion channel function, and the production and transport of proteins. 

MASSIMO AVOLI

Phone: 514-398-1955 (office)
E-mail: massimo.avoli [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/avoli_massimo/

Research Area: Inhibitory and Excitatory Influences in Synchronicity within Neuronal Networks

Dr. Massimo Avoli focuses on the excitability of forebrain neurons in rats and mice by using electrophysiological and molecular techniques. He is concentrating on the interaction between inhibitory and excitatory influences, especially as they relate to the genesis of synchronicity in neuronal networks. These processes are fundamental for understanding the mechanisms underlying the generation of seizures in epileptic patients and for developing new anti-epileptic drugs.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/avoli_massimo/

DAVID COLMAN

Phone:  514-398-5359 (office)
E-mail:  david.colman [at] mcgill.ca  

Lab Web Site:  http://colmanlab.mcgill.ca/   

Research Area: Cell Adhesion Molecules and Synapse-Formation

Dr. David Colman, Director of the MNI, holds the Penfield Chair in Neuroscience at McGill University and a Tier I Canada Research Chair. His laboratory’s research deals primarily with the interactions between cell adhesion molecules. One model that he uses is the vertebrate myelin sheath, which is a broad, flattened, self-adherent membrane that surrounds axons and allows for the rapid conduction of the nerve impulse. In other studies, the laboratory is examining how synapses are formed in the central nervous system.

PETER MCPHERSON

Phone: 514-398-7355 (office)
E-mail: peter.mcpherson [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/mcpherson/

Research Area: Vesicle trafficking, endocyctosis, Clathrin-Coated Vesicles

The laboratory of Dr. Peter S. McPherson uses biochemical, molecular, structural and cellular approaches to identify and functionally characterize proteins that function in the formation of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs). CCVs are the major vehicles for endocytic uptake of multiple protein and lipid cargo, including nutrient and signaling receptors.

Moreover, neurons depend on CCVs for the reformation of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic nerve terminal following neurotransmitter release. In addition to understanding the basic mechanisms of CCV formation and endocytic function, Dr. McPherson's studies demonstrate how endocytosis is linked to cell processes such as signaling and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Further developments of these links represent an ongoing focus of his research.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/mcpherson_peter/

LILIANA PEDRAZA

Phone: 514-398-5464 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/pedraza_liliana/

Research Area: Demyelinating Diseases – Myelin Sheath Formation

Dr. Liliana Pedraza is conducting research to understand demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, by studying myelin sheath formation during normal axonal development. The mechanisms by which the myelin sheath is generated remain elusive. Her lab is studying the pattern of new membrane addition to forming myelin, and the dynamic movements of protein, lipid and cytoplasmic compartments.

Their approach studies living, actively myelinating cells observed directly by high-resolution confocal microscopy. They are also using transgenic zebrafish, expressing green-fluorescent-protein (GFP) under the control of a glia-specific promoter, as a model to study in vivo myelination. GFP is expressed in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells at the time that the myelination program starts, which enables an analysis of the forming myelinating structures in vivo.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/pedraza_liliana/

DAVID RAGSDALE

Phone: 514-398-5048 (office)
E-mail: dragsdale [at] mni.mcgill.ca

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/ragsdale_david

Research Area: Molecular Structure of Ion Channels

Dr. David Ragsdale studies voltage-gated ion channels, the membrane proteins that mediate the intrinsic electrical properties of neurons. His group is interested in elucidating the molecular structure of ion channels, in understanding their molecular pharmacology, and in determining how naturally occurring mutations in ion channel genes alter channel function to cause epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/ragsdale_david

EDWARD RUTHAZER

Phone: 514-398-4022 (office)
E-mail: edward.ruthazer [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://ruthazerlab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area: Topographic Mapping of the Brain

Dr. Edward Ruthazer studies the development of topographic maps in the brain at the systems, cellular and molecular levels. In particular, he is interested in the influence of neural activity and early experience on the morphology and connectivity of the individual neurons that make up these neural maps. Individual axonal and dendritic branches in the intact brain are constantly remodeling throughout development.

Using in vivo time lapse two-photon imaging of single neurons in the retinotectal system of Xenopus tadpoles and the visual cortex of rodents, his laboratory is able to observe the development of CNS connections in the intact, living animal.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/ruthazer_edward/

PHILIPPE SÉGUÉLA

Phone:  514-398-5029 (office)
E-mail:  philippe.seguela [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/seguela

Research Area: Hyperexcitability in the Brain

Dr. Philippe Séguéla is primarily interested in the molecular basis of hyperexcitability in the brain and in sensory pathways. Fast synaptic communication required for pain perception, motor control and memory is mediated by the activation of post-synaptic receptor-channels.

Dr. Séguéla's group uses a multidisciplinary approach based on recombinant DNA methodology, biochemistry and electrophysiological recordings in mammalian neurons, transfected cells and the Xenopus oocyte expression system. The laboratory is investigating the functional diversity of several excitatory ion channels to understand their contribution to neurological pathologies.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/seguela_philippe

WAYNE SOSSIN

Phone: 514-398-1486
E-mail: wayne.sossin [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/sossin/index.html

Research Area: Behavioural Memory

Dr. Wayne Sossin is interested in the biochemical changes that occur in the brain during learning and memory. Of particular interest is the identification of molecular memory traces that underlie behavioural memory.

Dr. Sossin’s laboratory examines this problem in the simple nervous system of Aplysia where behavioural memory is encoded by changes in the synaptic strength of identified neurons. In this system, memory can be visualized using modern imaging techniques and electrophysiology, and thus its underlying molecular bases of can be investigated.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/sossin_wayne

 

 

Centre for Neuronal Survival

This research group is dedicated to the study and promotion of nerve cell survival. Neuroscientists investigate mechanisms of nerve cell death occurring as a result of stroke, epilepsy, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Centre for Neuronal Survival is composed of research laboratories with expertise in (1) cellular neurobiology, a research approach that studies how nerve cells develop and undergo repair following injury, and (2) molecular neurobiology, which studies the expression of genes that direct nerve cell function.
A transgenic mouse embryo showing a marker gene which is expressed in developing neurons of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia.

PHILIP BARKER

Phone:  514-398-3064 (office)
E-mail:  phil.barker [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://barker-lab.mcgill.ca//

Research Area: Neuronal survival, Neurotrophins, Apoptosis

Dr. Phil Barker’s lab studies cell surface receptors and signalling pathways that regulate life and death decisions in the normal nervous system and in cancer. One area of concentration is on neurotrophins, secreted factors that play crucial roles in the development and maintenance of the nervous system. Understanding how the apoptosis process is initiated and regulated will have important therapeutic implications for treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/philip_barker/ 

JEAN-FRANÇOIS CLOUTIER

Phone: 514-398-6351 (office)
E-mail: jf.cloutier [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://cloutierlab.mcgill.ca/Cloutier_Lab/Home.html  

Research Area: The Development of Central Nervous Systems

Dr. Jean-François Cloutier’s research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms that control axonal path-finding during development of the nervous systems. The formation of accurate connections between the peripheral and central nervous systems is essential for the functioning of the various sensory systems that allow us to detect odours, sounds, tastes, pain, and temperature. Dr. Cloutier uses a combination of in vivo mouse genetic models and molecular biological approaches to identify cues involved in guiding axons of primary sensory neurons to their targets and to characterize intracellular signals that function downstream of these axon guidance cues.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/jf_cloutier/ 

EDWARD FON

Phone: 514-398-8398 (office)
E-mail: ted.fon [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/edward_fon/

Research Area: Parkin Gene and the Development of Parkinson’s Disease

Dr. Edward Fon is a Clinician-Scientist and Director of the McGill Parkinson Program, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. His research is focused on the molecular events leading to the degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease, an illness that results in devastating motor and functional impairment. Although treatment is available, its effectiveness diminishes over the long term. In the past decade, several genes have been identified that cause familial forms of the disease. Dr. Fon’s team is particularly interested in one of these genes, parkin, which functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase, a key enzyme in the ubiquitin proteasome system, the main protein degradation pathway in the cell. Dr. Fon’s lab has been working on understanding the various functions of ubiquitin in the nervous system and on how defects in parkin could lead to Parkinson’s disease.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/edward_fon/

ALYSON FOURNIER

Phone: 514-398-3154 (office)
E-mail: alyson.fournier [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://fournierlab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area: Neurite Outgrowth and Growth Cone Guidance

Dr. Alyson Fournier's research focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of neurite outgrowth and growth cone guidance. Neurons in the central nervous system fail to spontaneously regenerate following injury. The abortive regenerative response can be attributed to a lack of positive cues to support neurite outgrowth, and to the inhibitory environment of the CNS lesion site. The aim of Dr. Fournier's research program is to develop a better understanding of the molecular components participating in neurite outgrowth and growth cone collapse. A fuller understanding of the mechanism of outgrowth inhibition will be used to develop strategies to promote regenerative growth.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/alyson_fournier/

TIMOTHY KENNEDY

E-mail: timothy.kennedy [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/timothy_kennedy/

Research Area: Neural Development and Mature Mammalian Central Nervous Systems

Dr. Timothy Kennedy’s laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms that direct neural development and how such mechanisms influence the organization and plasticity of the mature mammalian central nervous system. These studies aim to identify the biochemical signals that direct cells and axons to move, as well as the target-derived signals that instruct them to stop once they reach their goal and to make appropriate connections with neighbouring cells.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/timothy_kennedy/

STEFANO STIFANI

Phone: 514-398-3946 (office)

E-mail: stefano.stifani [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/stefano_stifani/

Research Area: Nerve-Cell Genesis

Dr. Stefano Stifani aims at elucidating the events that regulate the generation of nerve cells from pluripotent neural stem/progenitor cells. They seek to clarify the mechanisms that control normal mammalian nervous system development in order to better understand neural diseases and how to promote neural regeneration and repair. More specifically, Dr. Stifani's investigations are aimed at characterizing the mechanisms that regulate: neuron and glial cell differentiation from undifferentiated, pluripotent neural stem/progenitor cells; neuron subtype development and function.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuronal_survival/stefano_stifani/

 

Clinical Research Unit

JACK ANTEL

Phone: 514-398-8550 (office)
E-mail:  jack.antel [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/jack_antel/

Research: Multiple Sclerosis, Neural and Immune Cells, and Their Contribution to the Development of Neurological Diseases

Dr. Jack Antel's research program is focused on understanding how the interactions between human neural and immune cells contribute to the development of neurological disease, specifically multiple sclerosis. A secondary aim of the research is the study of how the nervous system is able to repair itself from injury.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/jack_antel/

DOUGLAS ARNOLD

Phone:  514-398-8185 (office)

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/douglas_arnold

Research:  Magnetic Resonance Imaging and spectroscopy

Dr. Douglas Arnold, a neurologist with special expertise in Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, is interested in the use of advanced neuro-imaging techniques to assess the pathological evolution of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, with the purpose of quantifying the effects of therapy on these diseases.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/douglas_arnold

AMIT BAR-OR

Phone: 514-398-5950 (office)
E-mail: amit.bar-or [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/amit_bar_or/

Research: Immune Regulation, Inflammatory Neurological Diseases and Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Amit Bar-Or, a neurologist and neuro-immunologist, conducts laboratory research directed at understanding principles of immune regulation including B cell, T cell and APC interactions, and how these might relate to inflammatory neurological diseases, primarily multiple sclerosis. A strong interface with neuroscience laboratories provides opportunities to investigate principles of immune-neural interactions and their relevance to CNS injury, repair and regeneration. Another focus of Dr. Bar-Or's research relates to the investigation of novel therapeutics for multiple sclerosis and to the development and application of biological assays to monitor the disease process and to evaluate response to treatment.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/amit_bar_or/

ROLANDO DEL MAESTRO

Phone: 514-398-5791 (office)
E-mail: rolando.delmaestro [at] mcgill.ca   

Lab: http://www.delmaestro.org/rolando/Dr._Del_Maestro_Website/Del_Maestro_Laboratory.html      

Research: Malignant Glial Tumours

Dr. Rolando F. Del Maestro is the Director of the MNI's Brain Tumour Research Centre. His research focuses on the invasiveness of malignant glial cells. Malignant glial tumours are complex cellular microenvironments containing one large localized aggregation of tumour cells and smaller subpopulations of invading tumour cells distant from the main tumour mass. Failure to control these subpopulations of invading tumour cells may be the key reason for local and distant recurrence after radical resection and may contribute substantially to the failure of other modalities of treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/brain_tumour/delmaestro_rolando/

DANIEL GENDRON

Phone:  514-398-1920 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/danielgendron/

Research: Clinical Diagnosis and Pyridostigmin Treatment Protocols

Dr. Daniel Gendron and co-workers provide excellent back-up for clinical diagnosis in the Institute. Dr. Gendron is also active in experimental trials of pyridostigmin treatment protocols for the post-polio syndrome.                 

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/danielgendron/

ANGELA GENGE

Phone: 514-398-3868 (office)
E-mail: angela.genge [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cru/angela_genge/

Research: Neuromuscular Diseases

Dr. Angela Genge, director of the ALS Clinic and of the Clinical Research Unit. She has an active interest in disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Myopathies, Neuropathies and Myasthenia Gravis.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cru/angela_genge/

 

 

Cognitive Neurosciences

Understanding how information is processed and represented in the brain is one of the most challenging questions facing neuroscience research. Scientists in this group employ state-of-the-art techniques to advance our knowledge of the functional organization of the brain.

Neuropsychology, or cognitive neuroscience, investigates the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes such as perception, memory, and thought. The MNI has a distinguished tradition in this research area and in 1989 received a major award from the McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience. Numerous studies are being carried out in collaboration with the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre and with Neurosurgery. 

JELENA DJORDJEVIC

E-mail:  jelena.djordjevic [at] mcgill.ca    

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/djordjevic_jelena/       

Research Area: Olfactory Functions and Clinical Neuropsychology

Dr. Jelena Djordjevic is a clinical neuropsychologist who works with patients suffering from epilepsy and other brain disorders. Her research has evolved in two directions. One direction studies the human sense of smell, with emphasis on topics such as perception of pleasant versus unpleasant odours, modulation of olfactory perception by cognitive processes, and olfactory functions and dysfunctions in different clinical populations. The second direction of Dr. Djordjevic's research lies in the field of clinical neuropsychology. She conducts empirical evaluations of existing neuropsychological tests and their applications, participates in construction and development of new neuropsychological assessment tools, develops and validates a neuropsychological battery for repeated testing, and studies the translation of neuropsychological instruments from one language to another. 

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/djordjevic_jelena/ 

LESLEY FELLOWS

Phone: 514-398-2083 (office)
E-mail: lesley.fellows [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/lesley_fellows/

Research Area: Cognitive Neuroscience, Functions of the Frontal Lobes

Dr. Lesley Fellows is a neurologist specializing in disorders of cognition, with a particular interest in the functions of the frontal lobes. She focuses on the processes of decision making in humans, using the tools of cognitive neuroscience - how focal brain damage or neurochemical dysfunction affects all aspects of decision making, how options are generated and organized, how they are valued and compared, and how choices are made.

She is also interested in more general questions about the roles of the frontal lobes in the regulation of emotion, the expression of personality traits, and the representation of past and future information. This work has relevance for understanding impaired executive function following frontal lobe injury from aneurysm rupture, stroke, or tumour growth, as well as in degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and some forms of dementia. It also provides insights into how the component processes underlying decision making are carried out in the intact brain. 

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/lesley_fellows/

STEPHEN FREY

E-mail: stephen.frey [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/frey_stephen/

Research Area: Neural Mechanisms and Cognitive Processes

Dr. Stephen Frey's research focuses on the neural mechanisms that underlie language and on cognitive processes such as memory. He uses various approaches to explore the functional organization of the brain including neuroimaging (fMRI and PET), electrophysiology, diffusion tensor imaging, direct neuronal stimulation, and neuro-anatomical tract-tracing techniques. 

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/frey_stephen/

MARILYN JONES-GOTMAN

Phone: 514-398-8907 (office)
E-mail: marilyn.jonesgotman [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/jonesgotman/

Research Area: Epilepsy, Olfaction, Cognitive and Sensory Abilities - Learning Mechanisms

Dr. Marilyn Jones-Gotman seeks to understand how the human brain functions with respect to a variety of cognitive and sensory abilities, with a special interest in how learning mechanisms differ as a function from task requirements and stimulus types such as faces, words, designs or odours.

Her studies are of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy before and after epilepsy surgery and healthy volunteers. Her research also uses PET and fMRI to examine brain function during learning and memory, during perception of different odours and tastes, and comparing responses to pleasant versus unpleasant sensory stimuli.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/marilyn_jones-gotman/

DENISE KLEIN

Phone:  514-398-3134 (office)
E-mail:  denise.klein [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/denise_klein/

Research Area: The Language System of the Brain

Dr. Denise Klein takes a Cognitive Neuroscience approach to understanding language by combining behavioural and functional neuroimaging methods to examine how different aspects of processing in the mother tongue and subsequently learned languages are influenced by age of acquisition, proficiency, and the distinctive characteristics of languages. By studying the organization of the language systems of the brain in adults who have had different and specific alterations of language experience, this approach will reveal neural systems that mediate language, and will throw light on the debate about brain plasticity and the specific effects of language experience on the organization of these systems.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/denise_klein/

GABRIEL LEONARD

Phone: 514-398-8905
E-mail: gabriel.leonard [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/gabriel_leonard/

Research Area: Neuropsychology

Dr. Gabriel Leonard is a clinical scientist and he coordinates the MNH neuropsychology outpatient service. Current research projects include examining the long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking on brain structure, function and mental health in adolescence; longitudinal study of brain maturation and cognitive development in teenagers combining several brain mapping approaches (collaboration with Dr. Tomas Paus); magnetic resonance imaging of multiple sclerosis and associated cognitive profiles (collaboration with Dr. Doug Arnold and Dr. Louis Collins).

Dr. Leonard is active in test development and is establishing normative data for a new computerized device to measure simple and complex hand and arm movements. He is collaborating with Drs Clarke, Pike and Appenzeller to examine the cognitive consequences of systemic Lupus.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/gabriel_leonard/

BRENDA MILNER

Phone: 514-398-8503
E-mail: bmilner [at] bic.mni.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/brenda_milner/

Research Area: Cognitive Function in the Frontal and Temporal Lobes

Dr. Brenda Milner's research focuses on cognitive function in the frontal and temporal lobes of humans. With the help of Dr. Denise Klein, Dr. Milner is using positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the brain regions involved in language processing in both unilingual and bilingual volunteer control subjects as well as in patients with brain lesions that are in close proximity to areas critical for language. In another series of PET studies, she has worked with Joelle Crane and Ingrid Johnsrude to delineate further the role of the right hippocampal region in memory for the spatial location of objects.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/gabriel_leonard/

MICHAEL PETRIDES

Phone: 514-398-8375 (office)
E-mail: petrides [at] ego.psych.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/michael_petrides/

Research Area: Frontal and Parietal Cortex, executive function

Dr. Michael Petrides is examining the function of the frontal and parietal cortex in cognitive activity. He has shown that certain aspects of working memory are disrupted by lesions in the mid-dorsolateral frontal cortex. He has examined test animals with damage in this area of the brain to understand the nature of the ability to monitor self-generated, intentional actions. Dr. Petrides is also studying single cells in this region of the brain to determine the specific neural activity that underlies working memory monitoring. 

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/michael_petrides/

ALAIN PTITO

Phone:  514-398-8906 (office)
E-mail:  ptito [at] bic.mni.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/alain_ptito/

Research Area: Concussion, Cerebral Reorganization – Hemispherectomy Influence on Vision

Dr. Alain Ptito investigates the mechanisms involved in cerebral reorganization and plasticity in specific patient populations---hemispherectomy, callosotomy, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and head injury. His clinical work includes the neuropsychological assessment of these patients.  A principal research focus has been the effect on a patient’s vision following a hemispherectomy, the surgical removal or disconnection of a cerebral hemisphere.

In recent years, Dr. Ptito has explored new methods of using fMRI and MRI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging, voxel-based morphometry) for examining brain trauma, particularly among athletes. He has carried out baseline fMRI and neuropsychological testing of varsity hockey and football athletes and repeated the tests immediately after concussion and later until symptom resolution. His results show that fMRI is sensitive enough to detect abnormal activation patterns in individuals who have suffered a concussion.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/alain_ptito/

VIVIANE SZIKLAS

Phone: 514-398-8904 (office)
E-mail: viv [at] ego.psych.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/viviane_siklas/

Research Area: Neural Mechanisms – The Hippocampal System

Dr. Viviane Sziklas uses animal models to study the neural mechanisms underlying various forms of spatial learning and memory. The extended hippocampal system is important for learning that different stimuli, places, and events in the environment are associated with each other. Dr. Sziklas’ work focuses on mapping precisely the neural regions underlying these processes. Such investigation is critical to a better understanding and classification of memory disorders among patients with lesions in these brain areas. Her laboratory also studies memory and other cognitive functions among patients who undergo focal cortical excision for epilepsy.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/viviane_siklas/

ROBERT ZATORRE

Phone: 514-398-8903 (office)
E-mail: robert.zatorre [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://www.zlab.mcgill.ca/

Research Area: Speech and Music in the Brain

Dr. Robert Zatorre is interested in the neuronal basis of auditory events, specifically speech and music. He studies brain-damaged patients as well as normal subjects using contemporary brain-imaging techniques, including PET and MRI. One of his projects investigates the ability to "hear" music in the mind, the goal being to determine whether the same part of the brain is used to perceive sounds originating internally and externally.

Dr. Zatorre also collaborates with Dr. Marilyn Jones-Gotman in studying how the chemical senses---taste and smell---work together to produce a psychological event known as "flavour." In collaboration with Dr. Laura Petitto, he is studying the cognitive processing of sign language among the deaf, the goal being to reveal how the nervous system adapts to the lack of input in one modality to permit the processing of visual signs instead of speech.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cognitive_neuro/robert_zatorre/

 

 

 

 

Complex Neural Systems

Complex Neural Systems is a multidisciplinary unit whose investigators probe the brain’s structure, chemistry and physiology as related to functions of cerebral blood flow, sensory and motor activities, sleep-wake states and memory. Knowing the structures and processes by which these systems work will help to understand their dysfunction in neurological diseases such as migraine headaches, motor disorders, sleep disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

DANIEL GUITTON

Phone:  514-398-1954 (office )1952 (lab)
E-mail:  daniel.guitton [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site:    http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/guitton/

Research Area: Visual-Motor Systems

Dr. Daniel Guitton’s research focuses on a critical problem of systems neuroscience which is to understand the visual and gaze movement motor systems. The overall objective is to gain insight on how we use eye movements to see. His research focuses on how the neural circuits that generate eye and head movements bring the fovea onto salient features of the visual world.

Dr. Guitton analyzes neural activity obtained by recording simultaneously from neurons in different visual and oculomotor areas of the brain. Another important component of his research is the study of visuo-motor deficits in neurological patients with the hope of developing models that can explain normal and pathological visuo-motor behaviour.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/daniel_guitton/

EDITH HAMEL

Phone: 514-398-8928 (office)
Email:  edith.hamel [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/edith_hamel/

Research Area:  Cerebrovascular Dysfunctions, Homeostasis and Pathology, ALheimer’s Diseases, Stroke 

Dr. Edith Hamel's research focuses on the interactions that take place among neurons to assure a proper blood supply to activated brain areas. These interactions are at the basis of the signals used in brain imaging studies to map brain activity under physiological and pathological conditions. This is important because the dysfunction/degeneration of specific populations of cells might have dramatic repercussions on the regulation of local blood flow.

Moreover, several neurological conditions are associated with cerebrovascular dysfunctions. One such condition is migraine headache in which alterations of cerebrovascular homeostasis contributes to the manifestation of head pain or Alzheimer's Disease, where the cerebrovascular pathology adds to the disease process. Her goal is to understand how brain neurons control local cerebral perfusion and how this relationship is altered in pathological conditions.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/edith_hamel/

BARBARA JONES

Phone: 514-398-1913 (office)
E-mail: barbara.jones [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site:   http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/barbara_jones/

Research Area:  Neural Systems and States of Waking and Sleep

Dr. Barbara Jones seeks to understand how the brain generates states of waking and sleep. She studies the chemical neurotransmitters, anatomical projections and physiology of the specific neurons that stimulate and maintain a waking state, as well as those neurons that reciprocally arrest waking and promote sleep.

In this process, different neural systems interact to generate three distinct states: waking, slow wave sleep (SWS) and paradoxical sleep (PS, or rapid eye movement sleep, REM, when dreaming occurs). To study these neural sytems, she uses immunohistochemical and neuroanatomical techniques combined with neurophysiological recording. She is examining the way that cholinergic neurons in the brain stem and basal forebrain stimulate cortical activation with theta and gamma electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during waking and PS and participate in processes of attention and memory. Due in part to loss of cholinergic neurons, these processes are compromised in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/barbara_jones/

CHRISTOPHER PACK

Phone: 514-398-1254 (office)
E-mail:  christopher.pack [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site:  http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/cpack/index.htm

Research Area: Visual Cortex

Dr. Christopher Pack studies the visual cortex, trying to find out how neurons communicate information about the visual world. Using electrophysiological techniques, his laboratory records the activity of individual neurons as they process information about the visual world and relay it to their neighbours.

One of the goals of this research is to develop a quantitative understanding of this neural code, by combining neurophysiological data with mathematical modeling. These models are then combined with data on perception and behaviour to infer the link between neural activity and conscious experience. In particular, the laboratory is interested in eye movement behaviour, with a focus on the smooth pursuit eye movements that allow animals to track moving objects.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/christopher_pack/

AMIR SHMUEL

Phone: 514-398-2192 (office)
E-mail: amir.shmuel [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.bic.mni.mcgill.ca/~amirs/

Research Area: Neuronal Mechanisms of Brain Imaging and The Cerebral Cortex

Dr. Shmuel’s research focuses on two goals. One goal is to understand the neuronal mechanisms that underlie functional brain imaging signals and to evaluate the degree to which these signals reflect the locally measured neuronal activity. The second goal is to elucidate the principles and processes used by the cerebral cortex to analyze visual information and to create coherent visual perception.

Employing an integrative approach, Dr. Shmuel’s laboratory uses a combination of imaging and electrical recording techniques: functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), optical imaging using intrinsic signals and voltage-sensitive dyes, multi-channel neurophysiological recordings, and neurophysiology simultaneously with fMRI. Together, these techniques encompass multiple levels of spatial and temporal resolution.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/mbic/amir_shmuel/

THOMAS STROH

Phone:  514-398-2719 (office)
E-mail:  thomas.stroh [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/mic/index.html

Research Area: Neuronal Receptors and Neuroendocrine Cells

Dr. Thomas Stroh, supervisor of the MNI Microscopy Unit, is interested in G protein-coupled receptors. Specifically, his research focuses on the mechanisms governing the availability of receptors on the cell surface of neurons and neuroendocrine cells, that can determine their sensitivity to endogenous transmitters and neuropeptides and, by extension, to pharmacological agents acting at the same receptors as the endogenous messengers.

Using the family of somatostatin receptors as a model system, he seeks to understand how the density of any given receptor subtype at the cell surface is regulated and how the different receptor subtypes interact in this process. Dr. Stroh studies these phenomena both in vivo and in cell culture, using standard cell lines, which he transfects with combinations of recombinant receptors and accessory proteins involved in intracellular trafficking, as well as cells endogenously expressing somatostatin receptors. The goal of these studies is to better understand the mechanisms which regulate this plasticity in cellular sensitivity to transmitters, peptides, and drugs.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/complex_neural/thomas_stroh/

 

Epilepsy

The Montreal Neurological Institute has been at the forefront of epilepsy treatment and research for over half a century. In the past decade, work carried out here has sparked interest world-wide in the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Group enjoys close research and clinical collaborations with several research groups at the MNI including Neurosurgery, Brain Imaging, Neuropsychology, and Complex Neural Systems.

EVA ANDERMANN

Phone: 514-398-8529 (office)
E-mail:  eva.andermann [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/eva_andermann/

Research Area: Neurogenetics, Genetic Diseases, Epilepsy

Dr. Eva Andermann and her collaborators investigate genetic factors in epilepsy and in epilepsy syndromes, and also examine memory and attention in epilepsy patients and their relatives. Dr. Andermann also provides genetic counselling to families with epileptic disorders, and has studied teratogenic effects of anti-epileptic drugs, work showing that folate supplements given before pregnancy help to prevent birth defects.

She is planning a major genetic study of tubersclerosis mutations and corticoid displasias. She will try to discover the genes involved in various neuronal migration disorders and in Batten disease (neuronal ceroid lipfuceinoses).

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/eva_andermann/

FREDERICK ANDERMANN

Phone: 514-398-1976 (office)
E-mail:  frederick.andermann [at] mcgill.ca 

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/frederick_andermann/

Research Area: Epilepsy, Causes and Treatment, Genetic diseases and syndromes

Dr. Frederick Andermann is a world-renowned expert on epilepsy causes and treatments. He has delineated several epileptic syndromes that stem from neuronal migration defects. He is very interested in chronic encephalitis or Rasmussen's syndrome, a disease first described at the MNI.

He also studies behavioural changes such as psychosis that occur in some people with epilepsy, an important aspect of the management of epilepsy.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/frederick_andermann/

ANDREA BERNASCONI

Phone: 514-398-3361 (office)
E-mail:  andrea.bernasconi [at] mcgill.ca 

Lab Web Site: http://www.bic.mni.mcgill.ca/~noel/index.html

Research Area: Neuroimaging of Epilepsy

Dr. Andrea Bernasconi is a neurologist and epileptologist specialized in Neuroimaging of Epilepsy. His research is focused on demonstrating that advanced MRI techniques lead to major improvements in the management and quality of care, of patients with epilepsy who are candidates for surgical treatment.

His main activity is devoted to modeling epileptogenic lesions and studying their relationship to brain structure and function. His lab has developed computerized MRI analysis methods to identify neuronal migration disorders that are often undetected by conventional imaging.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/andrea_bernasconi/

FRANÇOIS DUBEAU

Phone: 514-398-8553 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/francois_dubeau/ 

Research Area: Epilepsy and Neuronal Migration Disorders

Dr. François Dubeau, a neurologist, examines patients with intractable epilepsy. Using depth electrodes, Dr. Dubeau determines epileptogenic foci that cannot be found by surface electroencephalography. He also studies neuronal migration defects, particularly nodular periventricular heterotopias, and neuronal migration disorders, using data derived from EEG and electrocorticography.

More info:    http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/francois_dubeau/

WILLIAM FEINDEL (retired)

Phone: 514-398-1939 (office)
E-mail:  william.feindel [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/william_feindel/

Research Area: Temporal Lobe Seizures

Dr. William Feindel is a retired neurosurgeon and a former MNI director. He is heading a project on the significance of the amygdale and the entorhinal cortex, and the importance of their surgical removal in treating temporal lobe seizures.  Dr. Feindel also collaborates with Dr. Frederick Andermann on a project on the role of the amygdala in the volumetric analysis of atrophy in patients with temporal lobe seizures.

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/william_feindel/

JEAN GOTMAN

Phone: 514-398-1953 (office)
E-mail:  jean.gotman [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site:  http://apps.mni.mcgill.ca/research/gotman/

Research Area: Epileptogenesis and Epileptic Discharges

The research laboratory of Dr. Jean Gotman investigates the mechanisms of generation of epileptic discharges, as recorded in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of epileptic patients, in order to improve our understanding of epileptogenesis and improve diagnostic techniques. Combining functional imaging techniques (fMRI) and EEG in a novel non-invasive approach, his group studies the brain regions in which abnormal activity is taking place when a discharge occurs. The laboratory also analyzes patterns recently discovered in the EEG, which could improve the ability to localize epileptogenic regions.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/jean_gotman/

ELIANE KOBAYASHI

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/eliane_kobayashi/

Research Area: Epilepsy

Eliane Kobayashi is a neurologist with expertise in the field of Epilepsy. Her main interests include:

(1) genotype-phenotype correlation in familial epilepsies, to understand how the genetic basis influence the clinical presentation and structural/functional abnormalities in patients with inherited forms of epilepsy, especially temporal lobe epilepsies;

(2) application of multimodal neurophysiology, structural and functional neuroimaging for the evaluation of propagation of epileptic activity and the extent of the epileptogenic network (magnetoencephalography/magnetic source imaging, combined recording of electroencephalogram and functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy;

(3) understanding the mechanisms underlying hyperexcitability in epilepsy and their relationship with seizure vulnerability and seizure intractability (using receptor binding studies with positron emission tomography, autoradiography, immunohistochemistry and gene expression studies).

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/eliane_kobayashi/

NEDA LADBON-BERNASCONI

E-mail:  neda.ladbon-bernasconi [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site:  http://www.bic.mni.mcgill.ca/~noel/index.html

Research Area: Epilepsy – Causes and Consequences

Dr. Neda Ladbon-Bernasconi’s laboratory focuses on the study of causes and consequences of epilepsy using high-field MRI techniques. Her work combines multimodal structural and functional MRI with advanced image analysis and statistical models to gain in vivo knowledge of fine brain structure that is up to now only obtainable through histology. She studies brain networks, in particular the limbic system in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Another area of interest for Dr. Ladbon-Bernasconi’s lab is the assessment of the damaging effects of pharmacoresistant seizures on the brain.

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/neda_bernasconi/

GHISLAINE SAVARD

Phone: 514-398-8911 (office)
E-mail: ghislaine.savard [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/ghislaine_savard/

Research Area: Psychiatric Aspects of Epilepsy

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/epilepsy/ghislaine_savard/                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

McConnell Brain Imaging Centre

The mission of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (BIC) is to understand the structure and function of the brain, in health and disease, through the development of novel neuroscience approaches and neuroimaging methods, and thereby facilitate translation into clinical care.

The research performed at the BIC covers all aspects of neuroimaging: from instrumentation, acquisition, analysis methods and practical software solutions, to clinical and systems neuroscience. Our >100 core researchers and trainees have published more than 1,000 journal articles and raised $100'sM in research grants so far. 

The BIC provides neuroimaging platform services to a community of more than 110 scientists, generates 4,000 research scans a year in high-field MRI (1.5T, 3T, small-bore 7T and the first 7T large-bore scanner in Quebec) with simultaneous TMS and high-density EEG, high-resolution PET and micro-PET, and real-time MEG/EEG. Our radiochemistry lab produces the most diverse catalogue of radiotracers in Canada. Importantly, our research is shared with >30,000 registered users worldwide through software and reference datasets. Multiple successful spin-off biomedical companies were created by current and previous BIC members over the past 30 years.

Website: www.mcgill.ca/bic
 

Neuroimmunology

To advance our understanding of immune-mediated and degenerative diseases of the nervous system as well as nerve regeneration, these researchers are studying interactions of the immune and nervous systems under normal and pathological conditions. The studies involve patients with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and post-polio syndrome.

JACK ANTEL

Phone:  514-398-8550 (office)
E-mail: jack.antel [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/jack_antel/

Research Area: Multiple Sclerosis, Neural and Immune Cells, and Their Contribution to the Development of Neurological Diseases

Dr. Jack Antel’s research program is focused on understanding how the interactions between human neural and immune cells contribute to the development of neurological disease, specifically multiple sclerosis. A secondary aim of the research is the study of how the nervous system is able to repair itself from injury.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/jack_antel/

DOUGLAS ARNOLD

Phone: 514-398-8185 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/douglas_arnold/ 

Research Area: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and spectroscopy

Dr. Douglas Arnold, a neurologist with special expertise in Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, is interested in the use of advanced neuro-imaging techniques to assess the pathological evolution of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, with the purpose of quantifying the effects of therapy on these diseases.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/douglas_arnold/

AMIT BAR-OR

Phone: 514-398-5950 (office)
E-mail:  amit.bar-or [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/amit_bar_or/

Research Area: Immune Regulation, Inflammatory Neurological Diseases and Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Amit Bar-Or, a neurologist and neuro-immunologist, conducts laboratory research directed at understanding principles of immune regulation including B cell, T cell and APC interactions, and how these might relate to inflammatory neurological diseases, primarily multiple sclerosis. A strong interface with neuroscience laboratories provides opportunities to investigate principles of immune-neural interactions and their relevance to CNS injury, repair and regeneration.

Another focus of Dr. Bar-Or's research relates to the investigation of novel therapeutics for multiple sclerosis and to the development and application of biological assays to monitor the disease process and to evaluate response to treatment. He is Coordinator of the MNI’s Clinical Research Unit, and established and directs the Experimental Therapeutics Program (ETP). The ETP’s mission is to enhance translational activities by helping to bridge basic research in neurobiology and immunology with human studies of neurological and neuro-immune diseases.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/amit_bar_or/ 

DAVID COLMAN

Phone: 514-398-5359 (office)
E-mail: david.colman [at] mcgill.ca  

Lab Web Site: http://colmanlab.mcgill.ca/   

Research Area: Cell Adhesion Molecules and Synapse-Formation

Dr. David Colman, Director of the MNI, holds the Penfield Chair in Neuroscience at McGill University and a Tier I Canada Research Chair. His laboratory’s research deals primarily with the interactions between cell adhesion molecules. One model that he uses is the vertebrate myelin sheath, which is a broad, flattened, self-adherent membrane that surrounds axons and allows for the rapid conduction of the nerve impulse.

In other studies, the laboratory is examining how synapses are formed in the central nervous system. In particular, Dr. Colman and his assistants focus attention on how adhesion molecules that function in primitive epithelia have been adapted by neurons for adhesion between pre- and post-synaptic membranes. His laboratory recently completed studies on how adhesion between cells fails as cancer cells metastasize to distant sites in the body.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/cell_biology/colman_david/

JOSEPHINE NALBANTOGLU

Phone: 514-398-5920 (office)
E-mail: josephine [at] microimm.mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/josephine_nalbantoglu/

Research Area: Alzherimer’s – Molecular Genetics

Dr. Josephine Nalbantoglu's research interests focus on the molecular genetics of Alzheimer's Disease, on the regulation of gene expression in the nervous system and on gene therapy for brain tumours. In the course of studying the role of amyloid metabolism and deposition in Alzheimer's Disease, her laboratory has generated transgenic mice that express a fragment of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP). These mice show signs of tissue injury and deficits in behaviour that model the changes that occur in Alzheimer's Disease. She is also studying the control of APP gene expression by characterizing important gene regulatory sequences and the proteins binding to them.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroimmunology/josephine_nalbantoglu/
 

 

10th

Neuromuscular Research

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital has become a leading centre in Canada for clinical expertise, research and teaching in neuromuscular science. The Neuromuscular Group, coordinated by Dr. George Karpati, has expertise in a broad spectrum of disease-oriented and basic topics. While each investigator functions independently, the unit as a whole is cohesive in its goals and outlook.

HEATHER DURHAM

Phone: 514-398-8509 (office)
E-mail: heather.durham [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/heather_durham/

Research Area: Motor Neuron Diseases and Defensive Cell Mechanisms

Dr. Heather Durham researches the mechanisms that are responsible for motor neuron diseases and aims to identify therapies to assist vulnerable cells. Her research has linked the vulnerability of motor neurons to how they respond to stress and damaged proteins. Her goal is to identify drugs that can improve the levels of protection in stressed cells. The Durham lab studies amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal muscular atrophy (SBMA or Kennedy's disease) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Using advanced imaging methods, they are monitoring living motor neurons to analyze what influences their degeneration.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/heather_durham/

DANIEL GENDRON

Phone:   514-398-1920 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/danielgendron/

Research Area: Clinical Diagnosis and Pyridostigmin Treatment Protocols

Dr. Daniel Gendron and co-workers provide excellent back-up for clinical diagnosis in the Institute. Dr. Gendron is also active in experimental trials of pyridostigmin treatment protocols for the post-polio syndrome.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/danielgendron/

KENNETH HASTINGS

Phone: 514-398-1852 (office)

E-mail: ken.hastings [at] mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://biology.mcgill.ca/faculty/hastings/

Research Area: Muscles – Development, Biology and Evolution

Dr. Ken Hastings focuses on the development, molecular biology, and evolution of muscle. Information gained from his research helps to explain how the various forms of striated muscle cell are generated and maintained in living organisms, and how these cell types originally arose during evolution. His laboratory employs a variety of techniques, including transgenic mice and gene transfer methods, to uncover the molecular genetic mechanisms that guide fibre-type-specific expression in fast and slow skeletal muscle fibres.

He also studies the genomic organization and gene expression mechanism of primitive chordates and simpler vertebrates to understand how the vertebrate genome arose with its complex gene families, including differentially expressed muscle protein gene families. An experimental focus of particular note is the gene family that encodes the fast-muscle-fiber, slow-muscle-fiber, and heart-specific structural variants of the contractile protein troponin I.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/kenneth_hastings/

PAUL HOLLAND

Phone: 514-398-8502 (office)
E-mail: paul.holland [at] mcgill.ca

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/paul_holland/

Research Area: Cell Adhesion Molecules in Muscle Development

Dr. Paul Holland studies the role of cell adhesion molecules in muscle development. One class of these molecules, the integrins, bind to various proteins that are found outside the cell. Dr. Holland has shown that this interaction is critically involved in controlling the onset of muscle cell differentiation. In collaboration with Dr. Salvatore Carbonetto at the CRN, Dr. Holland has also shown that integrins control certain aspects of astrocyte polarity and migration. Integrins also bind to certain viruses, one of which is being used in a modified, non-infectious form for gene therapy.

In research that began in collaboration with the late George Karpati, Dr. Holland is studying the effect of manipulating the level of expression of receptors for adenovirus on the efficiency of genes delivered by virus both to developing and to mature muscle cells.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/paul_holland/

ERIC SHOUBRIDGE

Phone: 514-398-1997 (office) 8523 (lab)

E-mail: eric [at] ericpc.mni.mcgill.ca

Lab Web Site: http://molecular-neurogenetics.mcgill.ca/

Research Area: Molecular Genetics of Mitochondrial Diseases

Dr. Eric Shoubridge’s laboratory focuses on the molecular genetics of mitochondrial diseases, in particular those that affect the function of the respiratory chain. Mitochondria are essential for a number of cellular processes such as heme and iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis, and for aerobic energy production. Energy production occurs in the respiratory chain, a system composed of five multi-subunit enzyme complexes whose polypeptide components are encoded in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA). Although only a handful of polypeptides are encoded in mtDNA, all are essential.

Defects in respiratory chain function have been linked to a wide spectrum of multi-system disorders, often referred to as encephalomyopathies because of the prominent involvement of the nervous system and skeletal muscle. These defects have an estimated prevalence of one in every five thousand births. Defects can be caused by mutations in nuclear genes or in mtDNA.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuromuscular/eric_shoubridge/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neuroradiology

DONATELLA TAMPIERI, MD

Phone: (514) 398-1910
E-mail: donatella.tampieri [at] muhc.mcgill.ca

Dr. Donatella Tampieri is a Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and is Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. Her major areas of expertise are in interventional Neuroradiology (endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysm, arterio-venous malformations, dural arterio-venous fistula and pre-operatory embolization of tumors).

The treatment of back and cervical spine pain represents also a large component of her activities including nerve and facets block and epidural injections, and vertebroplasty. In Diagnostic Neuroradiology her major expertise is in epilepsy and brain tumors, using fully all the most advanced imaging applications including tractography (DTI). Dr Tampieri practice Neuroradiology in all McGill affiliated teaching Hospitals including the Montreal Children Hospital.

More info: https://home-mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neuroradiology/donatella_tampieri/

Neurosurgical Research

Research activities at the MNI were initiated in the 1930s by Drs. Wilder Penfield and William Cone. These renowned neurosurgeons were prototype clinician-scientists who pursued research in brain tumours and epilepsy with the goal of improving patient treatment. The tradition they established of using surgical interventions as opportunities to learn about the brain's functioning continues to this day.

Neurosurgery, in collaboration with the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, has embarked on a large project using frameless stereotaxy both for microsurgical craniotomies and as an alternative to standard stereotaxy.

GILLES BERTRAND (retired)

Phone: 514-398-1935 (office)

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/gilles_bertrand/ 

Research Area: Parkinson’s and Syringomyelia

Dr. Gilles Bertrand has carried out pioneering research in collaboration with Dr. Herbert Jasper, recording the human thalamus in awake patients operated on for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Bertrand and Dr. Chris Thompson were the first to introduce computers to stereotactic surgery for the treatment of Parkinsonian tremor. Dr. Bertrand has demonstrated that syringomyelia is often due to hydrodynamic problems in the cerebrospinal fluid circulation with partial obstruction of the CSF pathways; he has developed surgical techniques to establish freer cerebrospinal fluid circulation.  More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/gilles_bertrand/

ROLANDO DEL MAESTRO

Phone:  514-398-5791 (office)
E-mail:  rolando.delmaestro [at] mcgill.ca   

Web Site: http://www.delmaestro.org/rolando/Dr._Del_Maestro_Website/Del_Maestro_Laboratory.html      

Research Area:  Malignant Glial Tumours

Dr. Rolando F. Del Maestro is the Director of the MNI’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. His research focuses on the invasiveness of malignant glial cells. Malignant glial tumours are complex cellular microenvironments containing one large localized aggregation of tumour cells and smaller subpopulations of invading tumour cells distant from the main tumour mass. Failure to control these subpopulations of invading tumour cells may be the key reason for local and distant recurrence after radical resection and may contribute substantially to the failure of other modalities of treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. His research aims to characterize the invasive paradigms used by malignant glial cells to invade three-dimensional matrices using time-lapsed video microscopy, to delineate the genetic and biochemical determinants of these invasive paradigms and to develop novel chemotherapeutic approaches to target these invasive subpopulations of malignant cells.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/brain_tumour/delmaestro_rolando/ 

BENOIT GOULET

Phone: 514-398-5738 (office)
E-mail: benoit.goulet [at] mcgill.ca 

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/benoit_goulet/      

Research Area:  Dr. Benoit Goulet, Director of the Spine and Peripheral Nerve Program at the MNI, is a neurosurgeon specialized in spinal surgery.                                                                                                                    

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/benoit_goulet/

RICHARD LEBLANC

Phone:  514-398-1939

Web Site:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/richard_leblanc

Research Area: Brain Tumour Treatments and Genetics

Dr. Richard Leblanc is the director of the Brain Tumour Program and the Brain Tumour Clinic at the McGill University Health Centre, and also co-director of the Skull Base Tumour Program and Clinic. Dr. Leblanc is in charge of a program focused on the integration of new technologies to investigate and treat patients with anterior and posterior skull base lesions. The program has been instrumental in establishing the usefulness of image-guidance and endoscopic approaches in the treatment of patients harbouring these lesions.

For the last decade, Dr. Leblanc's main interest has been investigating brain tumour treatments. He participated in the first molecular characterization of the common forms of cerebral tumours by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and in the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy in guiding treatment of patients with gliomas. He was the local principal investigator in studies evaluating putative treatments for cerebral gliomas, including the first trial of gene therapy for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.

More info:  http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/richard_leblanc

ANDRÉ OLIVIER

Phone:  514-398-1938 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/andre_olivier/

Research Area: Epilepsy Surgery

Dr. André Olivier is currently heading the functional and epilepsy surgery section. Together with Dr. Bertrand, Dr. Olivier has developed stereotactic technology which, in collaboration with the Tipal Instrument Company, has led to the production of the OBT stereotactic frame. The frame has facilitated brain tumour biopsies and the placement of intracerebral electrodes for recording in epilepsy. Dr. Olivier has also established a computer data base of over 1200 surgical procedures carried out for intractable epilepsies. Information includes the follow-up of patients treated by cortical resections, colosotomies, and selective neurosurgical amygdalo- hippocampectomies.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/andre_olivier/

ABBAS SADIKOT

Phone: 514-398-4305 (office)

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/abbas_sadikot/

Research Area: General and Functional Neurosurgery

Dr. Abbas Sadikot is a neurosurgeon with clinical interests in general neurosurgery, including brain tumours, cerebrovascular disease and spinal disorders, and in functional neurosurgery, which includes movement disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, epilepsy and spasticity, and radiosurgery. With the Brain Imaging Centre, he helps to design new techniques for image-guided neurosurgery. Dr. Sadikot's research interest lies in determining how the developing brain forms complex networks, information that can be used to develop new therapies for repairing the damaged nervous system. He is particularly interested in cell and growth-factor replacement strategies. His work has implications for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and maldevelopmental conditions that lead to epilepsy.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/abbas_sadikot/

DENIS SIRHAN

Web Site: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/denis_sirhan/

Research Area: Complex Tumours, Pituitary and Anterior Basal Lesions

Dr. Denis Sirhan is a neurosurgeon who specializes in skullbase approaches for complex tumours and performs endoscopic surgery for pituitary and anterior basal lesions. He has wide experience in microvascular decompressions for pathologies such as TGN and hemifacial spasm. He also has a large adult hydrocephalus practice.

More info: http://www.mni.mcgill.ca/neuro_team/neurosurgical/denis_sirhan/
 

 



 

Experimental Therapeutics

The importance of multidisciplinary translational research in medicine is well recognized. The MNI is expanding such research through the Experimental Therapeutics Program. This program will complement and extend basic laboratory initiatives into pre-clinical and clinical studies of human biology, including normal physiology as well as disease states. Through this initiative, physicians and researchers are expediting the development of new therapies for neurological and auto-immune diseases, while gaining novel insights into disease processes. Using a core laboratory, they integrate fundamental research with rigorous studies on human biological samples derived from well-characterized healthy volunteers and from patients with neurological diseases, both before and during treatment with experimental therapies.

Investigators and trainees active in this program develop and study collections of human biological samples, develop and apply bioassays to these samples, and utilize bioinformatics tools as they target new therapies. They will further define the relationships between clinical and neuro-imaging outcomes and these novel biological measures.

For information, contact

Amit Bar-Or, MD, Director

514-398-5950
Amit Bar-Or

NeuroEngineering

The NeuroEngineering Program is a merger of physical and biological sciences. Together, physicists, chemists, materials scientists, computer engineers and neuroscientists tackle the challenges of creating interfaces between neurons and artificial substrates to restore the function of a damaged nervous system. Applying the tools and techniques of materials science to fundamental questions in neuroscience, the team seeks answers to questions in regenerative medicine.

Aiming to find strategies for functional recovery after spinal cord injury, scientists at the MNI and McGill are using the most advanced tools of nano science and materials science to guide axon growth; induce myelination; stimulate synaptic contacts onto material targets; and measure synaptic activity. The goal is to amplify signals from these new synapses to direct healthy target muscles or a prosthetic limb.

In this program, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows engage in cross-disciplinary research. Their training teaches unique and highly prized skills that have the potential for significant clinical application.

For information, contact

Rob Dunn, PhD

514-398-5205
Rob Dunn

Neuro Palliative Care

Patients with serious neurological diseases at the end of life require the skill and compassion of a dedicated medical team. These patients' needs can differ from those of patients with cancer or other life-ending conditions. To better understand and meet these needs, the MNI has initiated a program in neuro-palliative care.

 As the first such program in Canada, the Neuro Palliative Care Program fosters research and establishes practices of care to benefit patients and their families. Physicians, nurses and others working in this program develop expertise in this increasingly important specialty to share with caregivers and colleagues locally and worldwide.

Researchers, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals working in the Neuro Palliative Care Program are engaged in research and clinical care to help establish standards of palliative care, and to bring support and relief to patients at the end of life.

For information, contact

Elizabeth Kofron, PhD

514-398-2316
Elizabeth Kofron