Biomedical

Co-leads


Dr. Carolyn Baglole
Phone:  514-934-1934 ext76109
Email address:carolyn.baglole [at] mcgill.ca
Dr. Vigano’s profile PIC
Antonio Vigano
Phone: 514-934-1934 ext78716
Email address:antonio.vigano [at] mcgill.ca
Members Profiles

carolyn.baglole [at] mcgill.ca (Carolyn Baglole)
Director Mcgill research Center for Canabis
Director- Histopathology Technology Platform
Co-Director- Experimental Pathology Unit
Associate Professor
Departments of Medicine, Pathology & Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

Dr. Baglole received her BSc and MSc from the University of Prince Edward Island, and her PhD from the University of Calgary. She then did postdoctoral research and subsequently joined the academic staff at the University of Rochester, before returning to Canada where she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and an Associate Member in the Department of Pathology at McGill.

Research Interests: The research in her laboratory is aimed at identifying novel intracellular and molecular pathways that control the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases associated with environmental exposures, particularly cigarette smoke. Her main focus is understanding how cigarette smoke-induced inflammation and cell death (apoptosis) are regulated. Chronic and persistent inflammation and the death of lung cells are involved in the etiology of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is almost always caused by cigarette smoke (>90% of cases).  There is no cure for individuals afflicted with COPD and there are no effective therapies that can reduce disease progression. This is due, in part, to a lack of novel intracellular targets for the development of pharmacological therapies.

In this regard, her lab was the first to publish that the mere presence of a cellular receptor called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) attenuates lung inflammation caused by cigarette smoke. This was a novel finding, as the normal physiological function of this receptor, which is best known for its ability to respond to synthetic toxicants, had not previously been described. Beyond its regulation of inflammation in the lung caused by cigarette smoke, they also investigate the role of the AhR in attenuating apoptosis, a feature that is characteristic of lung tissue destruction in COPD. Using genetic, molecular  and biochemical approaches, together with in vitro and in vivo models of smoke exposure, her research is focused on establishing that the AhR is a novel and important regulator of apoptosis and understanding in vivo, and the role of the AhR in preventing morphological features of emphysema in the lung.

chawki.benkelfat [at] mcgill.ca (Chawki Benkelfat )
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Senior Scientist,
Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

 

Dr. Benkelfat's research focuses on the neural determinants, brain circuits and mechanisms of normal and abnormal human behaviour, with an emphasis on depressed mood, anxiety and addictive behaviour. His work is concerned with etiology, and the opposition between state versus trait behaviours, with DSM neuropsychiatric disorders emerging from the former. In his lab, observations derived from human research are enriched by a complementary stream of research in animal neurobiology. His work capitalizes on the progress made with neuroimaging techniques, radioligands and positron emission tomography (PET), which permit the study of brain events and chemicals, in real time, in-vivo, in animals and/or in humans.
Karl Cernovitch
Family Medicine, RI-MUHC
 
Dr. Choudhury’s profile PIC
suparna.choudhury [at] mcgill.ca (Suparna Choudhury)
Co-Director of Culture, Mind & Brain Program
Assistant Professor in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

Legalization of Cannabis in Canada:

Implications for Adolescent Brain Development, Mental Health & Public Policy

Multidisciplinary Think Tank on Neuroscience & Policy

Bringing together experts across the fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, anthropology, social policy, and law, members of the think tank will firstly consider how best to interpret and mobilize existing brain research to inform policy and the public concerning young people and cannabis use. Secondly, we will analyze open datasets and review health and social policy literatures from Europe, the US and Canada to develop new directions for the adolescent brain research agenda. Our analysis will contribute to recommended best practices policy development to create the safest environment for adolescents. Throughout, the think tank will engage in knowledge exchange activities with local policy, community and media partners to advance our analysis and recommendations

Dr. Churchward’s profile PIC
tyler.churchward-venne [at] mcgill.ca (Tyler A. Churchward-Venne )
Assistant Professor
Departments of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Faculty of Education
PubMed link
 
Dr. Costiniuk’s profile PIC
cecilia.costiniuk [at] mcgill.ca (Cecilia Costiniuk)
Assistant Professor
Departments of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
 

Dr. Cecilia Costiniuk received her medical degree from McMaster University followed by residency training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Ottawa. This was followed by a Master’s in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ottawa and then an HIV/Tuberculosis research followship at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in Durban, South Africa. She was supported by a CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) post-doctoral fellowship during her training.

Following her return to Canada in 2014, Dr Costiniuk joined McGill University’s Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases/Chronic Viral Illness Service as assistant professor of medicine. Currently a Junior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and a holder of a Chercheur-boursier-clinicien Junior 1 salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQ-S), she leads a research program funded by CIHR and FRQ-S. The two main themes of her research program include 1) the relationship between the lung HIV reservoir, pulmonary immunity and lung inflammation in people living with HIV and 2) the ability of cannabinoid-based medicine to reduce systemic inflammation and immune activation associated with chronic HIV infection.

Dr Costiniuk is interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicines for various conditions in the context of well-designed studies which take into account the perspectives of community members at all stages.

 

Dr. Duncan’s profile PIC
lindsay.duncan [at] mcgill.ca (Lindsay Duncan)
Assistant Professor
Departments of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Faculty of Education
PubMed link
 

Dr. Duncan’s research is focused on investigating strategies to support the initiation and maintenance of physical activity and health behaviour change; particularly among those who face disproportionate risks from unhealthy behaviours (e.g., cancer survivors), or those who face disproportionate challenges to engaging in health behaviour (e.g., medically-underserved populations or the elderly).

Dr. Duncan’s research focuses primarily on the promotion of exercise and physical activity; however, she has a keen interest in a wide variety of health behaviours including but not limited to:

Healthy eating

Smoking cessation

Prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

Currently, Dr. Duncan is working on developing interventions to motivate and support physical activity participation women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. She also is collaborating on a series of projects in the evolving area of “serious games” (i.e., videogames intended for use in education or health) with the goal of developing innovative evidence-based educational materials and targeted videogame interventions for risk reduction and prevention in youth and young adults.

Dr. Duncan believes strongly in taking a theory-based approach to health-behaviour research as well as partnering with community-based organizations to develop practically-relevant and sustainable interventions. Dr. Duncan maintains a network of multi-disciplinary research partners and is excited to expand her collaborative network.

Dr. Eisenberg’s profile PIC
mark.eisenberg [at] mcgill.ca (Mark Eisenberg)
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Heath
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

Dr. Eisenberg is a tenured Professor of Medicine, Associate Member of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, and Director of the MD-PhD Program at McGill University. He is also a Staff Cardiologist at the Jewish General Hospital and a Senior Investigator in the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology of the Lady Davis Institute. Dr. Eisenberg has published over 290 articles in peer-reviewed journals and participated in multiple collaborative works. His research interests include the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, health services and outcomes research, clinical trials, and knowledge syntheses. Dr. Eisenberg’s research also includes broad prevention and public health issues, such as smoking cessation, the obesity epidemic, electronic cigarettes, and more recently, cannabis. His extensive work in public health knowledge synthesis has led to recent reviews concerning the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada, including a commentary on mitigating the potential harms of legalization (Can J Public Health 2019; 110(2):222-226). He is currently conducting a CIHR-funded series of scoping reviews on cannabis use in vulnerable populations and regulatory approaches to legalization, as well as an analysis of the association between recreational cannabis legalization and the incidence of fatal motor vehicle crashes.

Dr. Faridi’s profile PIC
Kia Faridi
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry
PubMed link

 
Dr. Fritzcharles’ profile PIC
mary-ann.fitzcharles [at] mcgill.ca (Mary-Ann Fitzcharles)
associate professor
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

Dr. Fitzcharles is currently an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at McGill University. She received her medical education at University of Cape Town, South Africa, and completed specialist training in rheumatology at The London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, England.

She has been on faculty at McGill University since 1984, and has been a consultant rheumatologist to the McGill Pain Centre, at the Montreal General Hospital for the past five years. Academic activities have included being an examiner for the Royal College of Physicians of Canada Internal Medicine Specialist Examinations for 15 years, a member of Medical Admissions committee for medical students to McGill University for 15 years, and director of postgraduate medical education at Royal Victoria Hospital, and member of postgraduate medical education board of McGill University. In the past 10 years, research interests have been in the area of pain and rheumatic diseases.

Publications have been in the area of chronic pain in fibromyalgia, alternative treatments use in rheumatic diseases, and more recently evaluation of the pain experience in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Other research activities include evaluation of new compounds in the management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Dr. Fritz's profile PIC
jorg.fritz [at] mcgill.ca (Jörg Fritz)
Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link

Alterations in endocannabinoid signalling, owing to changes in the expression and function of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes, as well as modified endocannabinoid tissue concentrations, were found to be associated with diverse pathological conditions including chronic inflammatory diseases, spurring drug development to target the endocannabinoid system. Indeed, synthetic formulations of cannabinoids have shown efficiency in clinical trials aiming to treat chronic and inflammatory disorders. Moreover, several widely used therapeutic interventions in chronic disease management such as acetaminophen (one of the most popular antipyretic and anti-inflammatory drugs on the market), R-profens or ketamine (potent analgesic drugs) have been found to affect the endocannabinoid system and act through it.

Dr. Fritz’s research within the McGill Research Center for Cannabis focuses to investigate detailed immunological mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system at steady state and during chronic disease and further explore the pharmacology of the various C. sativa-derived cannabinoids and assess their potential for clinical use, specifically aiming to;

(i) investigate the molecular and cellular activities instructed by the endocannabinoid system at steady state and during inflammatory diseases including pulmonary disorders;

(ii) determine the endocannabinoid-receptor mediated pathways triggered by isolated and defined phytocannabinoids;

(iii) evaluate distinct phytocannabinoids using in vivo preclinical rodent models of chronic inflammatory diseases.

These studies will provide a comprehensive immunological understanding of endo- and phyto-cannabinoids at steady state and during pulmonary immune challenge and develop novel cannabis-based therapies for chronic inflammatory diseases and assess their potential for clinical use.

Dr. Genge’s profile PIC
angela.genge [at] mcgill.ca (Angela Genge)
Director of the ALS Clinic and the Clinical Research Unit at Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
PubMed link

Newfoundland-born, Dr. Angela Genge completed her medical degree at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She completed her Canadian and American certifications in Internal Medicine and Neurology prior to completing a fellowship in neuromuscular diseases. She joined the staff of the Montreal Neurological Hospital in 1994 and became Director of the ALS Clinic in 1998.

Her involvement in clinical research began while still a resident in Neurology. She began assisting Dr. Gordon Francis, the founding director of the CRU at the Montreal Neurological Institute, in early trials in both multiple sclerosis and NeuroAIDS.

Although her interests in neurology focused on neuromuscular disease, she continued working with the CRU and brought in clinical trials in more neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, Myopathies, Neuropathies, Myasthenia Gravis and pain.

Dr. Genge was appointed Director of the CRU in 2004. Her goal is to expand both the number and scope of clinical trials in neurological disease.

Dr. Gobbi’s profile PIC
gabriella.gobbi [at] mcgill.ca (Gabriella Gobbi)
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine,
Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
Gabriella Gobbi obtained her MD (1991) and specialty in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (1995) at the Catholic University of Rome, Italy.  She then obtained a PhD in Neuroscience in Cagliari with Prof G. Gessa. From 1998-2001 she finalized a post-doc at McGill University with Prof. Pierre Blier. She is now a Professor in Psychiatry at McGill University. Dr Gobbi is also a staff psychiatrist in the Mood Disorders Program, MUHC.
Dr Gobbi’s laboratory is interested in understanding the causes of mental diseases and in the discovery of new treatments for them. In particular, her laboratory is studying the short- 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. Her laboratory is 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. The laboratory approach spans from bench to bedside, bridging the gaps between the fundamental and clinical research. The techniques employed in the laboratory include in vivo electrophysiology, behavioural pharmacology, and neurochemistry. Dr Gobbi is also a psychiatrist in the Mood Disorders Program at the McGill University Health Centre. Her other interests include the psychopharmacology of violent behaviour and the neurobiological consequences of paternal separation.
Dr. Gratton’s profile PIC
alain.gratton [at] mcgill.ca (Alain Gratton)
Executive Scientific Director - Douglas Hospital Research Centre
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Professor
Department of Psychiatry
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
Dr. Gratton is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. His research team is based in the Neuroscience Division of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. He specializes in the neurochemical mechanisms involved in the regulation of the physiological and behavioural responses to stressors in relation to drug addiction.
The focus of his group's research is on the brain circuitry that controls how we cope with life’s many stressors. The group are primarily interested in the role played by the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region that reaches its full development relatively late in life, that is during late adolescence/early adulthood. This brain region is interesting for several reasons. First, it controls several complexe tasks such as decision-making, planning, memory and the control of impulsivity. Second, in part because it matures slowly, the prefrontal cortex is particularly vulnerable to a host of traumatic events which can cause it to develop abnormally and lead to a number of mental disorders. Third but not least, the prefrontal cortex plays an critical role in organizing and managing our coping responses to stressors. Interestingly, the left and right prefrontal cortex appear to control different aspects of our coping responses. His research is aimed at understanding the mechanisms by which the prefrontal cortex is activated by stressors and in particular how the left and right sides of this brain area communicate with each other when coping with stressors.
Dr. Lyer’s profile PIC
srividya.iyer [at] douglas.mcgill.ca (Srividya Lyer)
Scientific-Clinical Director, ACCESS-Canada
Researcher, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Clinician and Researcher, Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP-Montreal)
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
PubMed link

Srividya’s research and clinical interests are in youth mental health and early intervention, including for serious mental illnesses such as psychosis, in Canada and beyond. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is a Researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre and a psychologist at the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) in Montreal. Srividya is supported by a CIHR New Investigator Salary Award, and had earlier received a salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). In 2017, she won the Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers and the Maude Abbott Prize for outstanding research accomplishments. She was also inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Srividya is the Scientific-Clinical Director of ACCESS Open Minds, a national youth mental health services research network established under CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. In this role, she leads the development, implementation and evaluation of a transformation of youth mental health services at over 14 sites in six provinces and one territory. These sites serve urban, semi-urban, rural, Indigenous, immigrant, ethnic minority and homeless youths; university students; youths under state protection; and youths involved in the criminal justice system. She also co-directs ACCESS’s research, training and knowledge translation (KT) strategy and leads a vibrant collaboration of 200+ youths, families, service providers, researchers, policymakers and Indigenous communities.

Srividya is one of five key leaders of Frayme, a Network for Centres of Excellence for translating youth mental health knowledge internationally into practice and policy.

Srividya’s ACCESS and FRAYME roles build on her experience coordinating PEPP, one of Canada’s leading clinical and research program for early psychosis. They also form the core of her larger program of youth mental health research that is funded by CIHR, the National Institutes of Health (USA), Grand Challenges Canada and the National Institutes of Health Research (UK). Srividya has also been actively involved in mental health capacity building and research projects in India (in Kashmir, Chennai and Delhi).

In addition to a thematic focus on early intervention and youth mental health, Srividya’s program of research reflects her interests in using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods; engaging diverse stakeholders, particularly youth and family service users; implementation science; and building sustainable, collaborative clinical and research capacities in community contexts.

As a psychologist, Srividya gained extensive assessment and treatment experience in India, the United States and Canada. Her clinical interests are in mental health and early intervention service design and delivery, mental health care for disadvantaged groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, and clinical supervision and program leadership.


dennis.jensen [at] mcgill.ca (Dennis Jensen)
Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Faculty of Education
PubMed link

Dr. Jensen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University. He is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair from the CIHR in Clinical Exercise & Respiratory Physiology and Director of McGill’s Clinical Exercise & Respiratory Physiology Laboratory (www.mcgill.ca/cerpl). He is a Scientist of the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC); Associate Member of the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit of the RI-MUHC; and Associate Member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories of the RI-MUHC. He is also Director of the McGill Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health (www.mcgill.ca/path) and Associate Dean – Infrastructure in the Faculty of Education at McGill.

The overarching goal of Prof. Jensen’s research program is to improve clinical care and health outcomes of adults living with chronic pulmonary disease. To this end, the specific objectives of his research activities are to:

1) Advance understanding of the mechanisms of physical activity-related breathlessness and exercise intolerance in adults with chronic pulmonary disease.

2) Improve management of breathlessness and exercise intolerance in adults with chronic pulmonary disease by (i) studying the efficacy and physiological mechanisms of action of adjuvant therapies targeted to relief of breathlessness and improved exercise tolerance and (ii) advancing the development and implementation of standardized exercise tests to measure breathlessness in both clinical and research settings.

Prof. Jensen and his team were the first to examine the effect of inhaled vaporized cannabis on breathlessness and exercise intolerance in symptomatic adults with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30049223). In collaboration with scientists of McGill’s Research Centre for Cannabis, Prof. Jensen plans to continue his work on the potential role of cannabis in the medical management of exertional symptoms in people with chronic pulmonary disorders.

 

Ridha Joober  

Dr. kudrina’s profile PIC
irina.kudrina [at] mcgill.ca (Irina Kudrina)
Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
 

Dr. Kudrina is a McGill clinician and an Early Career Investigator; she is a full time Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine (clinical / research) and an associate member of the Department of Anesthesia. Dr. Kudrina is a graduate of the Alan Edwards Clinical Research in Pain fellowship and has been collaborating with the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit team on several clinical and research projects. Dr. Kudrina’s clinical expertise and research interests include areas of chronic pain and addiction, opioid and cannabinoid medicine, their practical applications and long-term toxicity. Dr. Kudrina is a Quebec province representative sitting on the College of Family Physicians of Canada pain committee, an invited reviewer of several opioid and cannabinoid guidelines, and a part of the steering committee of the “Authorizing Dried Cannabis for Chronic Pain or Anxiety: Preliminary Guidance”. Dr. Kudrina leads on several sections of the reviewed guideline that will be published by the end of 2019, including an added sections on long-term cannabis adverse effects and toxicity and recommendations on the follow-up of patients using cannabis long-term.

Dr. Laporte’s profile PIC
stephane.laporte [at] mcgill.ca (Stephane Laporte)
Professor
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
Dr. Laporte received his undergraduate degree in Biology (Major Biotechnology), and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology at the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the group Dr. Marc G. Caron, at Duke University, USA, before joining McGill in 2001.  His career as a pharmacologist has been, to say the least, extremely successful. He trained as a PhD student at the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec, and then as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University, USA, working with Dr. Marc Caron and his collaborator, 2012 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner Robert Lefkowitz. He has developed an expertise in a class of cell receptors involved in all physiological responses. He is also world-renowned for his knowledge of allosteric drugs, a new class of molecules capable of treating diseases in a safer and more refined way. In 2010, he "hit the jackpot" as he likes to say, when an allosteric drug he helped characterize in collaboration with chemist Dr. William Lubell and other researchers from the Université de Montréal and McGill University showed potential to prevent preterm birth, a common and serious problem for newborns' health. Also in collaboration with researchers the Université de Montréal, his lab developed innovative biosensor technology now licensed to a biopharmaceutical company. Professor Laporte is currently studying mechanisms to improve drug action in cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Latimer’s profile PIC
eric.latimer [at] douglas.mcgill.ca (Eric Latimer)
Director, Mental Health and Society Research Program - Douglas Hospital Research Center
Associate Member, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
Professor
Department of Psychiatry
PubMed link
Dr Latimer is Research Scientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. A health economist, his research interests focus on community-based supports for people with severe mental illness, particularly their economic aspects. He has also conducted research on the use of antipsychotic medications in Québec. He has been lead investigator for the Montreal site, and lead economist nationally, of the $110 million Chez Soi / At Home research and demonstration study on homelessness and mental illness, which tested the Housing First approach using nine concurrent trials in five Canadian cities. Currently he is also leading a CIHR-funded study that is implementing and evaluating the strengths model of case management in several sites in Ontario and Québec. He has served as consultant to the Québec government as well as research teams in Europe and North America, and is an associate researcher of Québec’s Centre national d’excellence en santé mentale. He is an associate editor of the Canadian journal, Healthcare Policy, and a fellow of the Québec research group CIRANO. He teaches economic evaluation in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University.
Dr. Leyton’s profile PIC
marco.leyton [at] mcgill.ca (Marco Leyton)
Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC,
Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program
Professor
William Dawson Scholar
Department of Psychiatry
PubMed link

 

 

Dr. Leyton is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. The focus of his research is the neurobiology of addictions and addiction-related neuropsychiatric disorders. He is particularly interested in how these problems might be provoked by individual differences in drug use induced brain adaptations, as measured using neuroimaging (PET, MRI) and responses to drug challenges. In recent years, he has written a series of knowledge translation documents and editorials discussing social and public policy implications of the research, including the legalization of cannabis.

Dr. Malla’s profile PIC
ashok.malla [at] douglas.mcgill.ca (Ashok Malla)
Professor and Canada Research Chair (tier-1),
Department of Psychiatry;
Adjunct Professor,
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
Lead Investigator, ACCESS-Canada;
Clinician Scientist, Douglas Mental Health University Institute.
PubMed link
Dr. Malla's Malla is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, where he holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Early Psychosis, and Director of the Clinical Research Division and the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP-Montréal) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. He is also cross appointed in Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  His research encompasses both the Psychosis as well as the Mental Health and Society platforms.  His clinical and research interests have been primarily related to pursuing the goal of understanding neurobiological and psychosocial aspects of outcome in psychotic disorders.  Briefly, his research has concentrated on the following domains within the psychosis field:
Early case identification and early intervention;
investigations examining predictors of and interventions to improve outcome in psychotic disorders;
Randomized controlled studies of early intervention models of service delivery;
Neuro-cognitive and neuro-biological aspects of negative symptoms and outcome;
Studies of cross-cultural differences in outcome in Psychosis;
State of ultra-high risk for psychosis (service delivery to prevent onset of psychosis; the role of stress and protective factors);
Global Mental Health and application of low cost models of service delivery and evaluation;
Research in transformation of youth mental health services in Canada
Dr. Martel’s profile PIC
marc.o.martel [at] mcgill.ca (Marc Martel)
Assistant Professor 
Faculty of Dentistry & Department of Anesthesia
Associate Member
Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine
PubMed link
 

Dr. Martel's primary line of research is designed to explore the psychological and biological determinants of prescription opioid misuse and addiction among patients with chronic pain prescribed opioid analgesics. As a parallel line of research, He is currently working on the implementation of projects designed to examine the biopsychosocial determinants of negative postsurgical outcomes. He is particularly interested in exploring the contribution of biological and psychological factors to the development of chronic pain and problematic opioid use after surgery.

Some of the key research methods and procedures used in his lab include self-report questionnaires, electronic diaries, structured clinical interviews, and quantitative sensory testing (QST). The bulk of my research projects are conducted in collaboration with clinicians and researchers from the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit (AEPMU) and the Alan Edwards Center for Research on Pain (AECRP).

Dr. Olivier’s profile PIC
martin.olivier [at] mcgill.ca (Martin Olivier)
Departments of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
PubMed link
 

As part of a team involving Drs. Baglole, Fritz, Piccirillo and myself, we are studying how cannabis and cannabinoids influence innate and adaptive immune response in various pathological conditions. My main interest within this highly active group, is to study the impact of cannabinoid derivatives on the inflammatory and microbicidal functions of macrophages. A cell type with a cardinal role in innate immunity and in the regulation of various inflammatory conditions. Impact of cannabinoids on IFNg- and LPS-mediated macrophage functions is studied in culture and in animals, as well as the effect of cannabis derived molecules to confer protection against various pathogens. In addition to microbicidal and inflammatory molecules released by macrophages during innate immune response, we have developed an important interest in the study of extracellular vesicles named exosomes. These nanosized vesicles are released by any eukaryotic cells including cells of the immune system. Exosomes are now recognized for their important role in intercellular communication. We are interested to investigate whether cannabis and cannabinoids may influence their release and contents. Such study should permit to reveal how innate immunity and inflammation can be modified by these vesicles released by cannabinoids-treated immune cells bringing about new ways to treat various inflammatory disorders.

Dr. Perez’s profile PIC
jordi.perez [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Jordi Perez)
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
PubMed link
 

Dr. Jordi Perez, MD, PhD, FIPP is an anesthesiologist specialist in pain management.  He graduated in Medicine and then Anesthesiology in Barcelona, Spain and then pursued a career as pain clinician after a two-year combined research and clinical pain fellowship at McGill. He obtained  his PhD degree with a research on dietary modifications and experimental neuropathic pain. He has practiced  pain medicine in Spain and England before rejoining McGill in 2012.  He is currently Associate professor of Anesthesia at McGill University and directs the Cancer Pain Fellowship and is building the future McGill Pain Medicine Residency Program.

Jordi Perez is Associate Medical Director of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit and Director of the MUHC Cancer Pain Program.  As member of the McGill University Research Institute and the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, his research interest include cancer pain management, interventional procedures for the relief drug resistant pain and the role of methadone as alternative opioid analgesic for pain management.

Dr. Perez prescribes cannabis for clinical purposes in patients with severe pain due to cancer and non-cancer syndromes.  He has has been involved in a phase II trial with vaporized cannabis for knee osteoarthrosis and also is member of the Scientific Committee of the Quebec Cannabis Registry.

 

Dr. Rosa-Neto’s profile PIC
pedro.rosa [at] mcgill.ca (Pedro Rosa-Neto)
Associate Professor
Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory
McGill Centre for Studies in Aging
Stop-AD Centre (Deputy Director)
PubMed link
Dr. Rosa-Neto is an Associate Professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry at McGill University, and is affiliated with the Douglas Research Centre. He is a clinical neurologist with expertise in quantification of brain function using imaging techniques, in particular positron emission tomography (PET). Dr. Rosa-Neto’s research interests focus on imaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Roy’s profile PIC
mathieu.roy3 [at] mcgill.ca (Mathieu Roy)
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
PubMed link

Dr. Roy's research aims at understanding how the brain encodes the subjective experience of pain. How is pain affected by prior expectations and ongoing emotional states? Why do some people experience more pain than others, and why does sometimes pain seem to endure despite the absence of peripheral injury.  We currently have a good understanding of the mechanisms by which noxious stimuli are encoded in the periphery and transmitted to the brain, but little is known about how those nociceptive signals ultimately cause our subjective experience of pain: the age-old mind-body problem! However, for pain this is more than a just philosophical question since an increased understanding of the cerebral mechanisms giving rise to pain could have important implications for treatment. Why do certain people seem to suffer from excruciating pain in the absence of injury? How can certain people tolerate severe pain without taking any pain killers? While certain brain structures may be, perhaps, necessary for experiencing pain, it seems that no single structure is at the same time both necessary and sufficient for pain. Rather, pain seems to emerge from large-scale interactions between several brain regions – the hallmark of consciousness.

His lab is tackling these important questions using a variety of brain imaging (MRI, EGG, MEG) and psychological/psychophysiological methods (pain ratings, response times, decision-making, nociceptive flexion reflexes, skin conductance responses, facial EMG, heart rate, cortisol, etc.). His research projects also span across a more clinically-oriented axis and a more fundamental research axis. Projects with patients with chronic pain investigate topics such as the role of the central nervous system in the effects of physical exercise training on pain, brain predictors of the transition from acute to chronic pain, as well as brain markers of chronic pain and their potential relationships with other genetic and epigenetic markers of chronic pain. Projects in cognitive neuroscience investigate phenomena such as the interactions between pain and cognition, pain and emotions, the effects of music on pain, how we learn to predict and avoid pain, and how we take decisions between and competing rewards.

Dr. Shapiro’s profile PIC
stan.shapiro [at] mcgill.ca (Stan Shapiro)
Emeritus Professors
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health
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Dr. Naeini’s profile PIC
Reza.Sharif [at] mcgill.ca (Reza Sharif-Naeini)
Associate Professor
Department of Physiology & Cell Information Systems Group
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Dr. Sharif’s lab is interested in understanding the molecular bases of mechanotransduction, and the role of mechanosensory neurons in normal and pathological pain transmission.  Mechanotransduction, the process through which cells convert a mechanical stimulus into an electrical signal, is of fundamental importance to physiological functions such as our senses of touch (including pain) and hearing, as well as our ability to regulate our hydromineral homeostasis (thirst), baroreflex function and myogenic tone (regulation of blood pressure). Mechanosensitive ion channels are membrane proteins responsible for most mechanotransduction processes, yet their molecular identity has not been fully resolved. Because these channels are involved in several pathologies of the nervous (chronic pain, deafness) and cardiovascular (hypertension) systems, the molecular identification of these channels, and understanding their activation properties may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies in several clinical areas.

There are three main themes: 1) Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal mechanotransduction. 2) Defining the role of MSCs in physiology and pathophysiological conditions 3) Defining the neuronal circuits in the spinal cord and how changes in the function of these networks changes in the setting of chronic pain.

Dr. shir’s profile PIC
yoram.shir [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Yoram Shir)
Professor of Anesthesia
Edwards Chair in Clinical Pain
Director – Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit
PubMed link
Following training in anesthesiology and pain medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Shir served as Director of the Pain Relief Unit at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem prior to assuming his Chair at McGill.  In addition to research, his clinical responsibilities include serving as Director of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, McGill University Health Centre, in Montreal.
Dr. Shir's research focuses on means to improve therapeutic outcome of patients with chronic non-cancerous and cancer pain. This research is done in the following domains: opioid analgesia, the analgesic role of specific dietary ingredients, novel diagnostic measures of patients with low back pain, characterizing and developing new therapeutic approaches of patients with fibromyalgia and using pain registries to predict and improve therapeutic outcomes of chronic pain patients.
Dr. Siddiqui’s profile PIC
nadeem.siddiqui [at] mcgill.ca (Nadeem Siddiqui)
CEO/CSO co-founder
Oncore Pharma Inc.
Department of Biochemistry
Goodman Cancer Research Centre
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Dr. stone’s profile PIC
laura.s.stone [at] mcgill.ca (Laura Stone)
Associate Professor
Department of Dentistry
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Laura Stone is a Neuroscientist working in the field of chronic pain. She discusses her research to better understand the neurobiology of chronic pain.

Dr. Vigano’s profile PIC
vigano.antonio [at] gmail.com (Antonio Vigano)
Associate Professor
Departments of Oncology and Medicine
Director, McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory
PubMed link

In 2002, Dr. Vigano joined the Supportive and Palliative Care Division at McGill as Assistant Professor. He is now Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. He has been practicing palliative care medicine for over 30 years both in Europe and in Canada. In 2005, he received both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator and Fonds de la Recherche en Sante (FRSQ) Chercheur-Boursier Clinicien Career Awards. Through a Canadian Foundation for Innovation award, he founded the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory (www.mnupal.mcgill.ca). His research and clinical activities at MNUPAL were developed in partnership with the Department of Exercise Science at Concordia University (Dr. Robert Kilgour), the Division of Geriatric Medicine (Dr. Jose Morais), and the Lymphedema Program (Dr. Anna Towers) at McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Vigano has either first or senior authorship on over 55 publications in peer reviewed journals, 40 invited lectures, 115 peer-reviewed published abstracts and four book chapters. These reflect his clinical interests and expertise and include: the organization of the first palliative care unit in Italy within a public hospital, prognostication in terminal cancer patients, age-related changes in opioid consumption, cancer cachexia assessment and management, prevalence and role of hypogonadism in male cancer patients, cancer pre-habilitation and rehabilitation and more recently the role of medicinal cannabis in pain and symptom management, supportive and palliative care. Dr. Vigano was appointed Expert on Medical Cannabis by the Court of Quebec, created the first world-wide post-doctoral research fellowship in medicinal cannabis and cancer supportive care within McGill’s Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, developed the first cannabis clinic within a quaternary oncology centre, is co-lead of Biomedical Axis of the newly created McGill Research Centre for Cannabis and is Principal Investigator in several cannabis clinical trials including the first large scale, province wide, prospective, multicenter cohort study, the Quebec Cannabis Registry with over 3000 patients enrolled to date.

Dr. Sullivan’s profile PIC
Michael Sullivan
Professor
Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Health
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science
PubMed link

Dr. Sullivan studies the psychology of pain and disability. He is known primarily for his research on the relation between catastrophic thinking and pain experience, and for the development of community-based approaches to the management of pain-related disability.  Current research focuses on the communication of pain experience and the prediction of problematic health outcomes.