Killam Seminar Series: Molecular Exploration of Neuron Development and Function: From Autophagy to Opioid Signaling


Speaker: Brock Grill, Ph.D.

Professor, Seattle Children's Research Institute, University of Washington, USA

Registration: available now on Eventbrite

Livestreaming via Vimeo: Vimeo

Abstract: I will discuss our latest progress on two fronts. 1) Our discovery that ubiquitin ligase activity inhibits initiation of autophagy in the nervous system. A finding that emerged from unbiased, in vivo proteomics. Biological outcomes from restraining autophagy include timely and accurate axon termination, and maintenance of synaptic connections. These findings have important implications from both a basic science and medical perspective, given the prominent role autophagy plays in nervous system development, aging and disease. 2) I will showcase how we are using an engineered transgenic C. elegans platform to study m-opioid receptor (MOR) signaling. MOR is the principal receptor mediating opioid analgesia and addiction. Combining this engineered behavioral platform with unbiased, forward genetics identified a conserved anti-opioid system that functions from worms through mammals. These findings open up new ways of studying opioid receptor signaling and highlight the importance of engineered C. elegans models in biomedical research.

The Killam Seminar Series at The Neuro

Supported by the generosity of the Killam Trusts, The Neuro’s Killam Seminar series hosts outstanding guest speakers whose research is of interest to the scientific community at The Neuro and McGill University.

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Contact Information

Sasha Kelly
Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital
sasha.kelly [at]

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The Neuro is a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.




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