EDDU: Meet the team



Ted Fon

Edward Fon

Scientific Director
ted.fon [at] mcgill.ca
Fon lab website/French version
"We have to ask if there is a better way to find therapies that will modify the course of diseases, slowing or stopping them from progressing. While Open Science is not going to solve every problem, it will be a big part of the solution."

Edward Fon bio

I am a full Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and the Scientific Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute. I am a clinician-scientist at the Neuro where I practice in the area of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders. I serve as Director of the McGill National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence and of the FRQS Quebec Parkinson Network.

I obtained my M.D. from the Université de Montréal in 1989 and then completed my Neurology Residency as well as a Clinical and Research Fellowship in Neurogenetics at McGill University. I joined The Neuro in 1999 after four years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, where I conducted genetic studies leading to a breakthrough in the understanding of dopamine transmission.

My research focusses on the molecular events leading to the degeneration of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. I am particularly interested in α-Synuclein, parkin and PINK1, all genes known to cause familial forms of the disease. My work developing cellular models of Parkinson’s disease using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could provide important clues about the mechanisms of dopamine neuron death and lead to innovative therapeutic strategies for the disease. My many awards include the CIHR Clinician-scientist award, the Prix de Jeune Chercheur Blaise Pascal, the EJLB Foundation Scholar Research Award, and a National Scholar Award from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. I am a former Killam Scholar at The Neuro. In 2015, I was elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).


Edward Fon select publications

  1. Roberts RF, Bayne AN, Goiran T, Lévesque D, Boisvert FM, Trempe JF, Fon EA. Proteomic Profiling of Mitochondrial-Derived Vesicles in Brain Reveals Enrichment of Respiratory Complex Sub-assemblies and Small TIM Chaperones. J Proteome Res. 2021 Jan 1;20(1):506-517. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00506.

  2. Yi W, MacDougall EJ, Tang MY, Krahn AI, Gan-Or Z, Trempe JF, Fon EA. The landscape of Parkin variants reveals pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic targets in Parkinson's disease. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Sep 1;28(17):2811-2825. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddz080.

  3. McLelland GL, Goiran T, Yi W, Dorval G, Chen CX, Lauinger ND, Krahn AI, Valimehr S, Rakovic A, Rouiller I, Durcan TM, Trempe JF, Fon EA. Mfn2 ubiquitination by PINK1/parkin gates the p97-dependent release of ER from mitochondria to drive mitophagy. Elife. 2018 Apr 20;7. pii: e32866. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32866.

  4. Tang MY, Vranas M, Krahn AI, Pundlik S, Trempe JF, Fon EA. Structure-guided mutagenesis reveals a hierarchical mechanism of Parkin activation. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 9;8:14697. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14697.

  5. McLelland GL, Lee SA, McBride HM, Fon EA. Syntaxin-17 delivers PINK1/parkin-dependent mitochondrial vesicles to the endolysosomal system. J Cell Biol. 2016 Aug 1;214(3):275-91. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201603105.

  6. Schreij AM, Chaineau M, Ruan W, Lin S, Barker PA, Fon EA, McPherson PS. LRRK2 localizes to endosomes and interacts with clathrin-light chains to limit Rac1 activation. EMBO Rep. 2015 Jan;16(1):79-86. doi: 10.15252/embr.201438714.

  7. Grenier K, Kontogiannea M, Fon EA. Short mitochondrial ARF triggers Parkin/PINK1-dependent mitophagy. J Biol Chem. 2014 Oct 24;289(43):29519-30. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.607150.

  8. McLelland GL, Soubannier V, Chen CX, McBride HM, Fon EA. Parkin and PINK1 function in a vesicular trafficking pathway regulating mitochondrial quality control. EMBO J. 2014 Feb 18;33(4):282-95. doi: 10.1002/embj.201385902.

  9. Trempe JF, Sauvé V, Grenier K, Seirafi M, Tang MY, Ménade M, Al-Abdul-Wahid S, Krett J, Wong K, Kozlov G, Nagar B, Fon EA, Gehring K. Structure of parkin reveals mechanisms for ubiquitin ligase activation. Science. 2013 Jun 21;340(6139):1451-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1237908.

Thomas Durcan

Thomas Durcan

Associate Director, EDDU
Associate Professor, The Neuro
thomas.durcan [at] mcgill.ca

"Open Science goes beyond just being a concept. It means finding ways every day to work with others, to share our work, to hear about the work of others, and to ensure the research we do is of the highest standard to be reproduced anywhere else in the world."

Thomas Durcan bio

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, I have been at the MNI since 2007 and this place has become like a second home to me. As an Associate Professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and McGill University (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuO2IKE4JME), my research focus is on applying patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) towards the development of phenotypic discovery assays and 3D mini-brain models (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjOS_trumik) for both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders.

As Associate Director of the EDDU at The Neuro, I oversee a team of over 35 research staff and students, committed to applying novel stem cell technology, combined with CRISPR genome editing, mini-brain models and new microfluidic technologies towards elucidating the underlying causes of these complex disorders. Combined with new approaches in the group towards building multiomics profiles on the patient-derived IPSC cells, the long-term strategy is to identify new personalized precision.

Thomas Durcan select publications

  1. Chen X-Q, Abdian N, Maussion G, Thomas RA, Demirova I, Cai E, Beitel L, Fon EA, Durcan TM. Standardized workflow for analyzing the quality and differentiation potential of human iPSCs. (BioRxiv-preprint in review)
  2. Maussion G, Thomas RA, Demirova I, Cai E, Gu G, Chen X-Q, Abdian N, Nauleau-Javaudin A, Ramoz N, Gorwood P and Durcan TM. Auto-QPCR: A Python based web app for the reproducible analysis of qPCR data. (BioRxiv-preprint in review)
  3. Mohamed N-V, Mathur M, Da Silva RV, Beitel LK, Fon EA, Durcan TM. Generation of human minibrain organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells MNI Open Research - In revisions. https://doi.org/10.12688/mniopenres.12816.1
  4. Zhang I, Lépine P, Han C, Lacalle-Aurioles M, Chen CX, Haag R, Durcan TM, Maysinger D. Nanotherapeutic Modulation of Human Neural Cells and Glioblastoma in Organoids and Monocultures. Cells. 2020 Nov 7;9 (11):2434. doi:10.3390/cells9112434. PMID: 33171886; PMCID: PMC7695149.
  5. Lacalle-Aurioles M, Cassel de Camps C, Zorca CE, Beitel LK, Durcan TM. Applying hiPSCs and Biomaterials Towards an Understanding and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury. Front Cell Neurosci. 2020 Nov 12;14:594304. doi:10.3389/fncel.2020.594304. PMID: 33281561; PMCID: PMC7689345.
  6. Castellanos-Montiel MJ, Chaineau M, Durcan TM. The Neglected Genes of ALS: Cytoskeletal Dynamics Impact Synaptic Degeneration in ALS. Front Cell Neurosci. 2020 Nov 13;14:594975. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2020.594975. PMID: 33281562; PMCID: PMC7691654.
  7. Thiry L, Hamel R, Pluchino S, Durcan T, Stifani S. Characterization of Human iPSC-derived Spinal Motor Neurons by Single-cell RNA Sequencing. Neuroscience. 2020 May 5:S0306-4522(20)30275-X. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.04.041. PMID: 32380268.
  8. Soubannier V, Maussion G, Chaineau M, Sigutova V, Rouleau G, Durcan TM, Stifani S. Characterization of human iPSC-derived astrocytes with potential for disease modeling and drug discovery. Neurosci Lett. 2020 Jul 13;731:135028. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2020.135028. PMID: 32380146.
  9. Krahn AI, Wells C, Drewry DH, Beitel LK, Durcan TM, Axtman AD. Defining the Neural Kinome: Strategies and Opportunities for Small Molecule Drug Discovery to Target Neurodegenerative Diseases. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2020 Jul 1;11(13):1871-1886. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00176. PMID: 32464049.
  10. Jefri M, Bell S, Peng H, Hettige N, Maussion G, Soubannier V, Wu H, Silveira H, Theroux JF, Moquin L, Zhang X, Aouabed Z, Krishnan J, O'Leary LA, Antonyan L, Zhang Y, McCarty V, Mechawar N, Gratton A, Schuppert A, Durcan TM, Fon EA, Ernst C. Stimulation of L-type calcium channels increases tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine in ventral midbrain cells induced from somatic cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2020 Jun;9(6):697-712. doi: 10.1002/sctm.18-0180. PMID: 32154672; PMCID: PMC7214648.
  11. Laflamme C, McKeever PM, Kumar R, Schwartz J, Kolahdouzan M, Chen CX, You Z, Benaliouad F, Gileadi O, McBride HM, Durcan TM, Edwards AM, Healy LM, Robertson J, McPherson PS. Implementation of an antibody characterization procedure and application to the major ALS/FTD disease gene C9ORF72. Elife. 2019 Oct 15;8:e48363. doi: 10.7554/eLife.48363. PMID: 31612854; PMCID: PMC6794092.
  12. Maussion G, Rocha C, Bernard G, Beitel LK, Durcan TM. Patient-Derived Stem Cells, Another “in vitro” Model, or the Missing Link Toward Novel Therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders? Front Pediatr. 2019 Jun 6;7:225. doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00225. PMID: 31245336; PMCID: PMC6562499.
  13. Mohamed NV, Larroquette F, Beitel LK, Fon EA, Durcan TM. One Step Into the Future: New iPSC Tools to Advance Research in Parkinson's Disease and Neurological Disorders. J Parkinsons Dis. 2019;9(2):265-281. doi: 10.3233/JPD-181515. PMID: 30741685; PMCID: PMC6597965.
  14. Bell S, Maussion G, Jefri M, Peng H, Theroux JF, Silveira H, Soubannier V, Wu H, Hu P, Galat E, Torres-Platas SG, Boudreau-Pinsonneault C, O'Leary LA, Galat V, Turecki G, Durcan TM, Fon EA, Mechawar N, Ernst C. Disruption of GRIN2B Impairs Differentiation in Human Neurons. Stem Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 10;11(1):183-196. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.05.018. PMID: 29937144; PMCID PMC6067152.
  15. Han C, Chaineau M, Chen CX, Beitel LK, Durcan TM. Open Science Meets Stem Cells: A New Drug Discovery Approach for Neurodegenerative Disorders. Front Neurosci. 2018 Feb 6;12:47. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00047. PMID: 29467610; PMCID: PMC5808201.

Lenore Beitel

Lenore Beitel
Program and Communications Manager
lenore.beitel [at] mcgill.ca

"It’s great working with bright, motivated people who use state-of-the-art scientific techniques and equipment to understand human neurological diseases, with the goal of discovering treatments for these diseases."

Lenore Beitel bio

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, I came to McGill to study science . . . and made Montreal my home. With both a B.Sc. (Honours) and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill, I learned molecular biology and cell culture techniques along the way.

As a Post-doctoral Fellow and Research Scientist at the Lady Davis Institute (Jewish General Hospital), I carried out research on the structure, function and genetics of the androgen receptor. Interestingly, mutations in the androgen receptor protein can lead to a neurodegenerative disease called spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA or Kennedy’s disease), cause androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), and are associated with prostate cancer.

I believe science has a life cycle: we do the research, then write the papers, to get the funding, to do the research . . . Since joining the NeuroEDDU in 2017, my main job is to help my colleagues write and edit applications for funding and articles for publication. The Open Science policy at The Neuro means that the methods and research results published by the NeuroEDDU will be available for all.

Fun facts: I enjoy decorating cakes, photographing flowers and traveling.

Carol Chen

Xiuqing (Carol) Chen
iPSC Manager
xiuqing.chen [at] mcgill.ca

蒙特利尔神经科学研究所是世界顶尖的神经科学中心, 我为能成为Neuro的一员感到非常自豪。

"The Neuro is a world leading institute for brain research. I am proud to work at The Neuro."

Carol Chen bio

I am a research assistant in the NeuroEDDU. I received my PhD in Neurobiology in 1999. During my postdoc training at the University of Pittsburg and the University of McGill, I focused on identifying molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission and their implication in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

In 2006, I joined Dr. Edward Fon’s lab at the Neuro, where I identified various functions of ubiquitin in the nervous system and how defects in parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, could lead to PD. In 2015, I joined the EDDU as the IPSC Manager, where I was responsible for laboratory establishment, protocol development and cell line management. Subsequently, I participated more in the development of client projects, providing high-quality services to academic users with IPSC-derived neurons. In 2017, I became a training coordinator, providing IPSC and neuronal induction training and technical support for the EDDU.

In 2019, I became group coordinator of IPSC phenotyping and CRISPR editing, responsible for IPSC reprogramming, IPSC banking and quality control.

Genevieve Dorval

Genevieve Dorval
Operations Manager
genevieve.dorval [at] mcgill.ca

"Le Neuro est un institut connu des Montréalais pour son prestige. En tant qu’employée, j’y trouve également un endroit ou les gens partagent des valeurs d’entraide et d’intégrité. L’avancement de la science s’y fait dans un environnent positif et ouvert d’esprit."

"The Neuro offers a challenging and exciting environment where smart, positive and open minded people all work together for the advancement of science."

Genevieve Dorval bio

I started working at the Neuro in April 2000 after finishing my Masters in Montreal. I worked as a research assistant in a cell signaling lab directed by Dr Phil Barker. My duties included molecular biology work like cloning and virus purification but also lab management.

In early 2016, I joined Dr Durcan’s team where I had the opportunity to become familiar with IPSC culture and CRISPR genome editing. I am now Operations Manager making sure all scientists in our group can run their experiments efficiently.


Narges Abdian

Narges Abdian

Research Assistant
narges.abdian [at] mcgill.ca

پارکینسون پدرم را از من گرفت من تلاش می کنم تا روزی که هیچ دختری پدرش رو به خاطر هیچ بیماری از دست نده

"Parkinson's Disease is the reason that I lost my father. I will make all my efforts so that nobody will lose his father because of any disease."

Narges Abdian bio

I am a research assistant at the EDDU since 2018. I received my PhD. degree in molecular medicine in 2015.

Currently, I am working in the IPSC generation group and I am responsible for IPSC generation and differentiation of these iPSCS into different neuronal types. I am also involved in characterization, quality control and managing datasheets of IPSC lines. In addition, I coordinate iPSC and neural induction training.

It is the most important joy and motivation for me to wake up every day with the hope to know something new in science and find a way to help people suffering from any neurodegenerative disease. I am really happy to have the opportunity to do research in neuroscience which is one of the most complicated and unique systems that I have ever seen in creation.

Faiza Benaliouad

Faiza Benaliouad

Research Assistant
faiza.benaliouad [at] mcgill.ca

"Au Neuro, tout semble possible. Il y a pléthore de scientifiques, de stagiaires postdoctoraux et d’étudiants qui travaillent en équipe afin de développer de nouveaux essais ou modèles de maladies neurologiques. Au sein de la plateforme, les défis ne font peur à personne et il y a plusieurs collaborations avec des partenaires internes, mais également externes au Neuro."

"At The Neuro, everything seems possible. There is a plethora of scientists, postdoctoral fellows and students working together to develop new assays and neurological disease models. Within the platform, challenges scare no one and there are many collaborations with internal and external partners."

Faiza Benaliouad bio

I completed my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Montreal and then continued my research on the neural circuit of reward as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore.

Following my fellowship, I joined the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics of McGill University to develop in vivo assays with FRET biosensors to study bias signaling of G-protein coupled receptors and to implement primary neural culture.

Currently, I am working within the High-Content Screening (HCS) group to develop assays with iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and NPC-derived neurons. I am also doing HCS of compound libraries.


Mathilde Chaineau

Mathilde Chaineau

Research Associate
mathilde.chaineau [at] mcgill.ca

"Travailler au Neuro, c’est avoir la chance de travailler dans un environnement dynamique, collaboratif et innovant, favorisant non seulement la qualité des soins et traitements offerts aux patients, mais également celle de la recherche scientifique qui y est menée."

"Working at The Neuro means the chance to work in a dynamic, collaborative and innovative environment that benefits not only patients’ treatments and care, but also the quality of the scientific research conducted here."

Mathilde Chaineau bio

I obtained my PhD in Cell Biology from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, where I specialized in studying vesicular trafficking and more particularly SNARE mediated exocytosis. After completing my PhD, I moved to Montreal in 2009 to join The Neuro with the desire to focus my research on neurological disorders. My decision to move across the Atlantic Ocean was not a surprise for anyone as I fell in love with Canada quite early. Indeed, at the age of 6 or 7, I tried to convince my parents to move the entire family here!

During my post-doctoral training in Dr. Peter McPherson’s laboratory, I studied rab-mediated trafficking in glioblastoma and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). I then joined the Neuro-EDDU platform and the Structural Genomic Consortium (SGC) as a Research Associate in 2017. My current research is focused on developing assays using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)–derived cells (motor neurons, astrocytes and skeletal muscle) from ALS patients to identify effective molecules and compounds to help the development of new treatments for the disease. 

My research also consists of modeling the disease with human cells in 2D and 3D, in order to understand how some specific pathways are affected in ALS.

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Eric Deneault

Eric Deneault
Research Associate
eric.deneault [at] mcgill.ca

"La coopération entre les membres de l'équipe m'inspire pour travailler au Neuro."

"The cooperation between lab members inspires me to work at The Neuro."

Eric Deneault bio

I did a B.Sc. in Biotechnology at the University of Sherbrooke, an M.Sc. in Veterinary Sciences at the University of Montreal, a Ph.D in Molecular Biology at the University of Montreal, and postdoctoral training in Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Anna Franco

Anna Kristyna Franco Flores

Research Assistant
anna.francoflores [at] mcgill.ca

"Una de mis mayores motivaciones para trabajar en The Neuro fue el hecho de poder trabajar a lado de los mejores neurocientíficos en el mundo y así poder entender y desarrollar tratamientos efectivos para disminuir los padecimientos de personas con enfermedades neurodegenerativas. La segunda razón es que The Neuro es una institución multicultural que te brinda una experiencia enriquecedora en todos los aspectos."

"I am inspired to work at the Neuro because of the opportunity to learn and work with the best neuroscientists in the world and its multicultural environment."

Anna Franco Flores bio

I am a Research Assistant at The Neuro EDDU. I obtained my BSc in Bioengineering in Baja California, Mexico. During my undergraduate studies I was awarded a research internship scholarship (MITACS) at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) in the neuro-metabolic group. This experience enhanced my research skills and passion for understanding the inner workings of the brain. Following my dream, I moved to Montreal to later obtain my MSc degree in Neuroscience from the University of Montreal in 2018, while working as a trainee at CRCHUM. My outstanding work in cellular and molecular neuroscience brought me to The Neuro in 2019, joining the team of high-content screening and automation. I currently work on ALS-specific projects along with the generation, characterization and maintenance of iPSC cells derived from ALS patients or healthy individuals.

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Ghazal Haghi

Ghazal Haghi
Research Assistant
ghazal.haghi [at] mcgill.ca

من باور دارم که کار در زمینه سلول های بنیادی یکی از بهترین راه های پیدا کردن درمان برای بیماریهای عصبی است. با کار کردن در این زمینه و در این مرکز، امیدوارم که قدم حتی کوچکی برای کمک به بیماران برداشته شود.

"I believe that stem cell research is one of the best ways to find treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. By working in this field at The Neuro, I hope to take a step, even though small, towards finding treatments for patients."

Ghazal Haghi bio

I started my journey as a scientist with a bachelor degree in Genetics in Iran. To continue my studies I moved to the UK. After completing a master degree in Reproductive biology and focusing mainly on human stem cells, I joined the Centre for Neuroregeneration in Edinburgh as a research assistant for a few years. Moving to Canada and finding my path again was a new challenge. After working in a few companies and expanding my expertise into reproductive genetics, I have returned to academia and am excited to be working with human iPSCs again.

Chanshuai Han

Chanshuai Han

Research Associate
chanshuai.han [at] mcgill.ca


"The Neuro gives me a sense of belonging and purpose. Working at The Neuro is not just a job; it is a joy."

Chanshuai Han bio

From the beginning of my doctoral research, my long-term goal has been to elucidate the mechanisms of neurological diseases and to seek possible cures. After completing my PhD degree in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, I joined The Neuro as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Peter McPherson’s lab in 2012, where my research focused on membrane trafficking and neurodevelopmental disorders.

I have been working with stem cells since 2016. I joined the NeuroEDDU as a research associate in 2017. I work in the group of Discovery assays and screens and serve as the leader of Parkinson’s disease/synucleinopathies team. I specialize in using iPSC-derived neurons to develop assays for Parkinson’s disease–related drug discovery and using cerebral organoid culture to model neurodevelopmental disorders.

Andrea Krahn

Andrea Krahn

Research Assistant
andrea.krahnroldan [at] mcgill.ca

"Ser parte de un instituto en el cual científicos como Wilder Penfield, Donald Hebb y Brenda Milner hicieron sus descubrimientos más famosos, es realmente un honor."

"Working at the first Open Science Institute in the world, where scientists like Wilder Penfield, Donald Hebb, and Brenda Milner made their most famous discoveries is truly an honour."

Andrea Krahn bio

I was born in Mexico City and later raised in the small town of Niagara on the Lake. I attended Brock University, where I received my BSc in Neuroscience. I then worked as a chemical analyst at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters before moving to Montreal to pursue a Master’s in Neuroscience at McGill. I am now a research assistant at the Neuro’s EDDU, working on automation of assays in iPSC-derived neurons for high content screening.

Maria La Calle Aurioles

Maria La Calle Aurioles

Research Associate
maria.lacalleaurioles [at] mcgill.ca

"The Neuro es una institución de referencia en el campo de la neuroimagen y enfermedades neurodegenerativas. Quería descubrir el ambiente que ha inspirado tanta creatividad y ciencia de alta calidad."

"The Neuro is a benchmark institution in the field of neuroimaging and neurodegenerative diseases. I wanted to discover the environment that has inspired so much creativity and high-quality science."

Maria La Calle Aurioles bio

I am a research associate in the Neurodegenerative Disorders Group at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. 

I received my BSc from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in collaboration with the Biomedical Imaging and Instrumentation Group (BiiG), Madrid, Spain. In 2014, I joined the Neuro as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Hamel’s Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Research and, in 2019, I became part of Dr Durcan’s lab and member of the Neuro's EDDU.

During my early career, I focused my work on the vascular and disconnection hypotheses in Alzheimer’s disease trying to comprehend the role of vascular disfunction and white matter inflammation in this multifaceted disease, working on clinical and preclinical research projects. Now I am involved in the fascinating field of iPSCs and “mini brains”, hoping to find some targetable mechanisms for therapies in Parkinson’s disease.

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Paula Lépine

Paula Lépine

Research Assistant
paula.lepine [at] mcgill.ca

"J’apprécie beaucoup faire partie d’une communauté scientifique exceptionnellement riche formée par des chercheurs et chercheuses venant du monde entier."

"Being part of the amazing scientific community made up of researchers from all over the world is an inspiration to me."

Paula Lepine bio

I received my Master’s degree from Université de Montréal in Neuroscience with the focus on Neuro-Immunology. Upon graduation, I started working at Centre de Recherche du CHUM (CRCHUM) where I expanded my knowledge of histology, cell culture and flow cytometry. Later on, I joined The Neuro’s EDDU where I help other researchers analyze their organoids through cryosectioning. I am also a part of the organoid generation team where alongside other team members I oversee the production of numerous brain organoids.

Wen Luo

Wen Luo

Research Associate
wen.luo2 [at] mcgill.ca


"Finding new drugs for treatment of neurodegeneration still remains a challenge even after four decades. I am proud of working in The Neuro with my expertise to support the PD research and facilitate drug discovery through providing high-quality proteins for our research team and collaborative partners in Canada and abroad."

Wen Luo bio

Before joining the Neuro in Feburary 2017, I have more than two decades of benchwork experience in purification and characterization of proteins/enzymes of various origins (for bioconversion of lignocelluloses, indoor airborne allergen monitoring, antibody generation, and cancer treatment drug discovery) as well as in development and Taguchi-based optimization of immunoassays (for quantitation of indoor fungal allergens or cancer biomarkers using sandwich ELISA, high throughput microarrays, etc.). Over the past twenty years, though the misfolded alpha-synuclein has been implied to play a role in Parkinson disease (PD), there are still some gaps in our knowledge and challenges in finding pharmaceuticals to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Providing high-quality purified proteins of interest is my essential task and effective support for our research team and collaboration partners in fighting against PD and other diseases.

Meghna Mathur

Meghna Mathur

Research Assistant
meghna.mathur [at] mcgill.ca

"My grandmother, who I have always been really close to, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease when I was in undergrad. Since I saw her in that state, I really wanted to work towards finding a cure for such neurodegenerative diseases. That is why when I had the opportunity to work at one of the world’s leading research institutes, I chose to work in this field. This motivates and inspires me to work at The Neuro everyday."

Meghna Mathur bio

I am a Research Assistant in the Organoids and Tissue-Engineering group and currently leading the node of Organoid Maintenance and Quality Control.

In 2015, I obtained my Biotechnology Engineering degree from India. I gained research experience at the Defence Research and Development Organisation, India and Panacea Biotech Ltd. In 2017, I obtained my MSc in Biotechnology from McGill University. During my master’s, I interned with Dr. Nguyen-Vi Mohamed to set up and develop the organoid platform with the support of Dr. Thomas Durcan at the EDDU. Fascinated by my internship project, I joined the EDDU in 2018 to focus on generating different types of organoids from human iPSCs to study neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Part of my work involves optimization and trouble-shooting different protocols to generate a more uniform model. During this time, I published in the MNI Open Research journal, discussing the method to generate human midbrain organoids from iPSCs. In addition, I coordinate organoid generation training and oversee maintaining, tracking and managing resources for organoids.

Apart from research, I love theatre. I used to perform street-plays in India so if I use my street-play voice, you'll be able to hear me clearly, even at a two-block distance.


Gilles Maussion

Gilles Maussion

Research Associate
gilles.maussion [at] mcgill.ca

"Travaillant dans un lieu qui combinent des services de soins et laboratoires de recherche, j’espère faire avancer notre compréhension des maladies du neurodéveloppement afin que l’on puisse proposer aux patients et à leur proches un traitement et une meilleure qualité de vie."

"I am convinced that combining clinical and fundamental research as the Neuro does will allow researchers to improve our current understanding of neurological and psychiatric diseases toward better healthcare and treatments for patients."

Gilles Maussion bio

Over the past fifteen years, I have been working on understanding the cellular and molecular causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases. In 2008, at the University René Descartes, Paris, France, I completed a PhD focused on (i) the molecular deregulation observed in post-mortem brain tissue from patients diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and (ii) the subcellular mechanisms that are potentially affected by this deregulation.

In 2009, I joined the McGill Group for Suicide Studies as a postdoctoral fellow, where I analysed epigenetic modifications, microRNA and non-coding RNA expression potentially related to suicidal behaviours using post-mortem brain samples. Since January 2012, through my research activity in the McGill Psychiatric Genetics Group, I became interested in the field of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a tool to elucidate the molecular causes of developmental disorders. Using embryonically-derived stem cells, I studied events occurring early in life that are required for proper differentiation into neurons.

Since January 2017, as a research associate at the MNI Early Drug Discovery Unit, I have managed projects related to intellectual disabilities, while specializing in generating and characterizing iPSC-derived neurons and astrocytes to further investigate neurodevelopmental disease.


Emmanuelle Nguyen


Emmanuelle Nguyen-Renou

Research Assistant
emmanuelle.nguyen-renou [at] mcgill.ca

"Travailler au Neuro est un privilege car nous travaillons directement avec du materiel biologique provenant des patients sains ou malades."

"Working at The Neuro is a privilege because we work directly with biological material coming from healthy or sick patients."

Emmanuelle Nguyen-Renou bio

I have a Master’s degree in Cellular Biology (Immunology) and a postgraduate degree in Biology and Pharmacology of Aging.

I started to work in Paris in the pharmaceutical industry (SANOFI) for 10 years in neurodegenerative disease service where I studied ischemia and trauma in rat models; then in oncology service working on telomerase and cell senescence. I moved to Marseille (France) for the public institute (Inserm) where I worked for 1 year on Huntington disease and RNA interference. I left France for Singapore where I worked for 5 years in MBI (Mechanobiology institute) in the regenerative nanomedicine service first and then in cell adhesion and mechanics service to study dynamics of epithelial cell-cell junctions.

I joined The Neuro in Montreal (Canada) in March 2017 in neurodegenerative disorders service to work on Parkinson’s disease.

Michael Nicouleau photo

Michael Nicouleau

Research Assistant
michael.nicouleau [at] mcgill.ca

"The Neuro est un lieu exceptionnel qui permet une interaction entre patients, médecins et chercheurs. Cette synergie entre recherche et clinique favorise la compréhension des maladies et l’émergence de nouveau traitements."

"The Neuro is an exceptional place allowing interaction between patients, physicians and researchers. Such synergy between research and clinical practice help to better understand diseases and lead to the emergence of new treatments."

Michael Nicouleau bio

I am a Research Assistant whose main activity is to help on the genetic side, by sequence validating and characterizing new cell lines; this is the first step for the generation of new models to study neurodegenerative disorders.

Before starting at the Neuro, I spent 9 years in several research groups in France and in the US where I studied distinct human diseases, from nephrology to ophthalmology and cerebellar malformations. Using a recent high-throughput sequencing approach, I participated in the identification and characterization of novel genes and mutations associated with rare genetic diseases. Over the past 5 years, I have focused on brain pathologies using multiple models that include mouse, human stem cells and iPSCs-derived 3D-organoids.

When not traveling, I enjoy going on hikes, riding motorcycle and dreaming of the next adventure.

Linkedin profile

Luisa Pimentel

Luisa Pimentel

Research Assistant
luisa.pimentel [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"Eu também acredito na democratização do conhecimento como um fator essencial para acelerar a descoberta de novos tratamentos para doenças neurológicas, a fim de beneficiar o maior número possível de pacientes e contribuir para o avanço científico internacional."

"I believe that the democratization of knowledge is an essential factor in accelerating the discovery of new treatments for neurological diseases in order to benefit the largest number of patients and contribute to international scientific progress."

Luisa Pimental bio

I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I discovered the fascinating field of neuroscience. I moved to Canada to continue my studies in Alzheimer's disease and in my 10th year in Montreal, I joined the EDDU as a Research Assistant. Since then, I've been digging into the exciting fields of IPSCs and CRISPR gene editing.

Working at the EDDU means having access to cutting edge technology while being part of a collaborative team that works to further the progress on drug discovery. As I am a firm believer in "giving back", it is a pleasure to be part of the Open Science initiative and to be building partnerships to benefit patients worldwide.

I am also very happy to be collaborating with researchers in Brazil. I am excited to be part of the future advances in neuroscience. In order to keep on track with my goals at the EDDU, I practice yoga daily and I meditate almost every day.

Valerio Piscopo

Valerio Piscopo

Research Associate
valerio.piscopo [at] mcgill.ca

"Il cervello umano è una macchina affascinante e comprendere il suo funzionamento è di vitale importanza per l’avanzamento della Scienza. Il Neuro è senza dubbio uno dei principali centri a livello mondiale di Neuroscienze e per questo motivo sono fiero di esserne parte."

"I am proud of being part of one of the world’s leading centres in neuroscience. This institute is a stimulating environment and the people working here are a big family."

Valerio Piscopo bio

I graduated in Naples, Italy in Medical Biotechnology and immediately after I joined the Physiology program of the PhD course in Applied Biology, working at the National Research Council where I became interested in developmental neurobiology that remains my main focus. After the PhD, I moved to Montreal, at the MNI where I have been working on glioblastoma stem cell biology with Dr. Stefano Stifani. Finally, I joined the Neuro EDDU where I’m mainly focusing on the differentiation of oligodendrocytes from human iPSCs.


Wolfgang Reintsch

Wolfgang Reintsch

Research Associate
wolfgang.e.reintsch [at] mcgill.ca

"Die Arbeit hier am “The Neuro” bietet mir die einmalige Gelegenheit zusammen mit einem multidisziplinaeren Team von Wissenschaftlern neue Wege zu finden um neurodegenerative Krankheiten zu bekaempfen."

"I am inspired to work at the Neuro by the opportunity to work together with a large and diverse team of bright people to discover new means to battle neurodegenerative diseases."

Wolfgang Reintsch bio

I have been part of the EDDU since 2017, where I manage the assay automation and High Content Screening platform and oversee the discovery assays and screening group. Before joining the platform, over the course of 10 years, I worked in several industrial laboratories in Montreal with a focus on automation, high content microscopy and image analysis and I managed a light microscopy and molecular biology platform in the Department of Pharmacology at McGill University. 

I was born in Germany and received my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany. My work there and later as a postdoc at McGill University circled around the cellular mechanisms that shape the developing embryo. During that time, I already started to develop microscopy tools and automated approaches for my research, and I have maintained a strong interest in this area ever since.   

Cecilia Rocha

Cecilia Rocha

Research Associate
cecilia.rocha [at] mcgill.ca

"Estudar o Sistema Nervoso sempre me fascinou, entao é uma enorme satisfacao poder trabalhar no Neuro com pesquisadores de todas as partes do mundo onde eu posso contribuir com a minha experiencia e continuar aprendendo novas tecnicas produzindo ciencia de alta qualidade."

"I am fascinated by the nervous system, so it is a great satisfaction to work at the Neuro where I have the opportunity to collaborate with neuroscientists from all over the globe offering my expertise and learning new techniques to produce groundbreaking work."

Cecilia Rocha bio

I am Brazilian born in Rio de Janeiro and raised just across the bridge in the most beautiful city in the world, Niteroi. I always loved science and travelling so I naturally moved to the second most pretty city in the world, Paris, to do my PhD studying cellular cytoskeleton alterations in cancer cells. But I was always very intrigued by neuronal morphology and freezing temperatures, so I came to Montreal to work on brain development research and enjoy the real winter wonderland.

Linkedin profile

Rina Shlaifer

Rina Shlaifer

Research Assistant
irina.shlaifer [at] mcgill.ca

אני מאוד שמחה וגאה להיות חלק מהצוות מדעי של הנוירו אשר מביא הזדמנות מצוינת לחקור את הטבע המסתורי של המוח ועוזר לקדם את גילוי התרפיות כדי לטפל בחולים אשר סובלים ממחלות נוירולוגיות קשות 

"I am very pleased and proud to be part of The Neuro research team that provides an excellent opportunity to explore brain’s mysterious nature and helps accelerate the discovery of therapies to treat patients suffering from devastating neurological diseases."

Rina Shlaifer bio

Born in Ukraine and raised in a family of a physician and a science teacher, I always had a passion for biomedical science.  Following the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred near my hometown, I moved to Israel where I completed my Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Sciences and MSc in Biotechnology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focusing on delineating the structure and function of brain glutamate transporters. After working for several years in medical genetics and biotechnology research and development laboratories, I decided to realize my dream and immigrate to Canada together with my spouse and my two children. After completing my PhD in Biochemistry at Concordia University I joined the MNI in 2018. At the EDDU I oversee the generation of CRISPR knockout cell lines and the antibody validation for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Reproducible Antibody Platform (ALS-RAP). This exciting leading work will allow us to combat neurodegenerative diseases and may bring a positive change to our world. 

Other interests: Besides science, I love mother nature and love to garden colorful flowers and berries and to explore beautiful places around the globe. I also like music and am singing with the Neuro Cosgrove choir to encourage patients and personnel.

Julien Sirois

Julien Sirois

Research Assistant
julien.sirois [at] mcgill.ca

"Initialement, juste pour aider à l'avancement des connaissances sur les maladies neurologiques. Il y a quelques années, ma tante a reçu un diagnostic de SP ici au Neuro. Cela m'a donné un surplus de motivation pour trouver un traitement pour cette maladie."

"Initially, I was inspired to work at the Neuro just to help the advancement of knowledge of neurological diseases. A couple of years ago, my aunt was diagnosed with MS here at the Neuro. This just gave me a boost to find a cure for this disease."

Julien Sirois bio

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a scientist, mainly because of fictional characters such as Egon Spengler, Donatello, Gandalf, Obi-Wan and Dr. Beakmann. In 2006, I got a chance when I became an immunology and microbiology undergraduate. After, I continued my studies in the field of immunology in the laboratory of Dr. Nathalie Labrecque at Université de Montréal. I learned many techniques during this time, but mainly focused on flow cytometry. My passion was born. While I was writing my thesis, I worked for a contract research organization but missed the academic side of science. After months of searching, an opportunity opened up in the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Montreal Neuro, led by Dr. Amit Bar-Or. I brought a lot of my flow cytometry expertise to my newfound new team. Unknown to me at the time, my growing curiosity of the neurology world helped me create new ways to approach flow cytometry in general. In the beginning of 2019, I was promoted as the first Neuro Flow Cytometry Facility Manager, which will help to make flow cytometry more accessible.


Vincent Soubannier

Vincent Soubannier
Research Associate
vincent.soubannier [at] mcgill.ca

"Avoir la chance de travailler dans un environnement d'excellence et d'utiliser une technologie de pointe afin d’étudier des maladies humaines m'inspire pour travailler au Neuro. L'institut est un lieu idéal pour offrir une multitude de possibilités d'apprentissage, ainsi que pour enseigner et encadrer les autres."

"To have the chance to work in an environment of excellence and using a cutting-edge technology to study human diseases inspires me to work at The Neuro. The institute is a perfect place for providing a multitude of learning opportunities, as well as mentoring and coaching others."

Vincent Soubannier bio

I studied biochemistry at University of Bordeaux 2 and obtained a Ph.D. in biological and medical sciences in 2002, studying the structure of the mitochondrial ATP synthase where we demonstrated that the oligomerization of the enzyme drives the tubulation of inner membranes. I then worked as a post-doc in Munich, at the Butenandt Institute, where I identified the first molecular component of cristae junctions, structures present at the opening of the tubular shape of the mitochondrial inner membrane. In 2006, I emigrated in Canada, in Ottawa, working as a post-doc on the newly discovered mitochondrial-derived vesicles, a new cell pathway that we showed being possibly implicated in Parkinson’s disease. This study raised my interest in the field of neurosciences and in 2011, I moved to Montreal and started to work as a research associate at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

I notably contributed to clarifying the mechanisms that control normal mammalian nervous system development and today, I am involved in a large effort that aims to model amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using neural cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).


Mahdieh Tabatabaei

Mahdieh Tabatabaei

Research Assistant
ma.tabatabaeishafiei [at] mcgill.ca

"Working at The Neuro means working alongside Dr. Penfield’s vision. That is not something to be taken for granted."

Mahdieh Tabatabaei bio

Mahdieh (Maddie) obtained her Master’s degree from Concordia University in the field of Immunology. After working at the same lab for a year, she brought her extensive expertise in human blood processing and cell culture to the Montreal Neurological Institute where she worked at the bio-repository C-BIGr. Her skills in immunology, cell culture and GLP techniques greatly contributed to the formation and expansion of C-BIGr. Given her knowledge in biobanking, Maddie then became organoid tracking coordinator at EDDU where she created a Laboratory Information Management System for organoid generation and tracking. This system allows for all organoid plates to be barcoded and scanned in and out of incubator inventories. She works closely with the organoid generation team and provides assistance in histology related tasks, especially in the tissue sectioning area. Other than C-BIGr and EDDU, Maddie is developing and establishing the Tissue Translational Platform (TTP) at the Neuro under the supervision of Neuro-pathologist Dr. Jason Karamchandani. This newly established platform is meant to provide histology equipment for tissue scientists at a low cost. Maddie’s extensive work at C-BIGr, EDDU and TTP is all driven by her enthusiasm and excitement towards being a part of The Neuro scientific community. 

Linkedin Profile

Zhipeng You

Zhipeng You

Research Associate
zhipeng.you [at] mcgill.ca


"The Neuro is one of the world’s best institutions for research and the inclusion, diversity, fairness, respect and teamwork make me happy to work here."

Zhipeng You bio

I work as a research associate from 2016 in the Neuro EDDU and participate to set up the cellular biobank in the Neuro EDDU. My majority responsibility is to provide various immortal cell lines (iPSC lines and cancer cell lines), in which disease relevant genes have been edited with the CRISPR-CAS9 gene editing tool, including gene knock out and knock in. Meanwhile I also generated iPSC lines from patients and healthy persons for the cellular biobank using iPSC reprogramming methods.



Nguyen-Vi Mohamed

Nguyen-Vi Mohamed

Post-Doctoral Fellow
vi.m [at] me.com

"Le Neuro possède une unité unique de cellules souches pluripotentes induites. C'est cela qui m'a attirée à rejoindre le Neuro. Je souhaitais vraiment travailler avec du matériel de recherche directement issu des patients."

"The EDDU at the Neuro is unique. I really wanted to work with human material coming from patients. That's the reason why I joined the EDDU."

Nguyen-Vi Mohamed bio

I did my Ph.D at University of Montreal, on tau pathology spreading in Alzheimer’s disease. Interested by the similarities shared by misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (PD), I joined Dr Fon’s laboratory for my postdoc. I implemented the brain organoids technology at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) in order to investigate the pathological mechanisms leading to the spreading of PD within the brain.

Rosalind Roberts

Rosalind (Rozzy) Roberts
Post-Doctoral Fellow
rosalind.roberts [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"I have a long-standing interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease. For my Post-Doctoral Fellowship, I wanted to delve further into the cell biology of Parkinson’s using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue this interest in the laboratory of Dr Ted Fon. It is very exciting to be able to carry out my research at The Neuro, which has been home to some of the most important discoveries in neuroscience, and where the cells that I work with are derived from people with Parkinson’s seen by neurologists at the Institute."

Rozzy Roberts bio

I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow investigating the role of mitochondrial-derived vesicles in Parkinson’s disease using iPSC-derived neurons. In addition to my research, I am the Coordinator and Chair of the EDDU iPSC Seminar Series.

I obtained my DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2015 where I developed a novel method to detect alpha-synuclein oligomers in post-mortem tissue (AS-PLA). Using AS-PLA, we were able to pinpoint areas of early pathology in tissue from people with Parkinson’s. My doctoral research sparked my passion for identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease. It has been rewarding to continue to pursue this for my Postdoctoral Fellowship, especially with innovative tools, such as iPSCs. By using iPSCs, we have for the first time the ability to study neurons from patients with neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.

As the Coordinator and Chair of the EDDU iPSC Seminar Series, I want to harness the enthusiasm surrounding the novelty and utility of iPSCs to cultivate dialogue and collaboration within the iPSC community in Montreal. In this way, I hope that we can maximize the benefit of our research that uses cells donated by patients and ensure that our results have impact for patients.

Rhalena Thomas

Rhalena Thomas
Post-Doctoral Fellow
rhalena.thomas [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"To make progress in a world of ever-increasing scientific specialization we need to increase our efforts towards open collaboration and The Neuro provides a stage for those collaborations to take place."

Rhalena Thomas bio

I earned my BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2004. I studied regulation of gene expression in yeast for my honours project at the University of Guelph with Dr. Joseph Yankulov.

After traveling to Asia and working as an English teacher, I moved to Montreal and started to pursue an MSc in Neuroscience at McGill University, working under the supervision of Dr. Philip Barker. I transferred to the PhD program and completed my PhD in Neuroscience in 2016. My thesis focused on two proteins, LGI1 and NgR1, and their functions in neuronal development and degeneration and their genetic links to epilepsy and schizophrenia. I joined Dr. Maurice Chacron in the McGill department of physiology as a postdoctoral researcher to work on systems neuroscience in 2017, gaining expertise in computational analysis. I joined Dr. Edward Fon’s group at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 2018 to use a combination of computational analysis of biological systems, genetics and cell signaling to study Parkinson’s Disease.

I am currently working on analyzing gene expression profiles of individual cells from human 3D tissue models (“mini-brains”) of Parkinson’s disease.

GitHub profile


Sarah Lepine

Sarah Lépine

Graduate student
sarah.lepine2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"De grandes questions demeurent non résolues dans le domaine des neurosciences et combler ces lacunes pourra significativement améliorer la pratique médicale. Au Neuro, je sens que mon travail pourrait faire une réelle différence dans la vie des patients."

"Important questions remain unresolved in the field of neurosciences and filling these knowledge gaps could significantly improve medical practice and patient care. At The Neuro, I feel my work could make a real difference in the life of patients."

Sarah Lépine bio

Having a career in research has been a dream for me ever since high school. I started my training in the Laboratory Technology program of the CEGEP of Saint-Hyacinthe. I then completed an undergraduate degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Sherbrooke and had the opportunity to complete multiple paid internships in various research fields.

I am currently studying medicine and neurosciences in McGill’s MDCM & PhD joint program to become a clinician-scientist. I first joined the NeuroEDDU as a summer student and I am now pursuing the PhD portion of my program with the group. My project involves using cellular models and biofluidic devices to study neurodegenerative diseases.

Linkedin profile page

María José Castellanos Montiel

María José Castellanos Montiel

Graduate student
majocamo96 [at] gmail.com

"Mi fascinación por el cerebro. En el Instituto Neurologico de Montreal, se juntan grandes mentes para hacer investigación."

"My fascination for the human brain inspires me to work at the Neuro. At The Neuro, great minds come together to do research."

María José bio

I was born and raised in Mexico City where I finished a Biology Major at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). During my undergraduate studies, I got the opportunity to do an internship (exciting enough to make me stay for two years) in a lab specialized on stem cells. The project that I was working on required the use of stem cells to model the junction of muscle and motor neurons, the key players involved in the movement of our body.

Since I can remember I have loved sports. Because of this reason, I was always fascinated by the processes that allow us to run, swim or hit a ball. I came to Montreal to start my graduate studies and I currently have the great pleasure to keep studying motor neurons and muscle. Even more, I am doing studies on a disease context.

I am happy to know that I can generate knowledge to help people whose mobility has been impaired.

Lorenza Villegas

Lorenza Villegas

Graduate student
lorenza.villegas [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"La diversidad, el conocimiento, y los métodos modernos de la ciencia son las cosas que nos hacen crecer como humanos. Yo respeto a la individualidad de los seres humanos, y en el Neuro aplicamos estos conceptos para poder progresar con la medicina en la búsqueda constante para una cura para las enfermedades neurológicas, y poder hacer el mundo un lugar mejor. Eso es lo que me hace seguir todos los días."

"Diversity, knowledge, and modern methods of science are the things that make us grow as humans. I respect the individuality of human beings, and at The Neuro we apply these concepts to be able to progress with medicine in the constant search for a cure for neurological diseases, and to make the world a better place. That is what keeps me going."

Lorenza Villegas bio

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, I’m a U.S Citizen who has lived in Florida for 17 years. Before coming to Canada, I was at the Paris-Sorbonne University learning French language and civilization, and I graduated from Nova Southeastern University (Florida, USA) with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Along the way in life, I’ve had the opportunity to travel starting at a young age, which encouraged me to discover other cultures and shaped my perception on life, education, and society. These experiences opened many doors to the beauties of our world, to the different people with different mindsets and the understanding of absolutely diverse lifestyles. I took that burning curiosity to enrich my self-awareness and self-discovery. This gave me the desire to be involved in an area of study about the inquisitiveness of human beings, our vast biology, and essentially how our brain works in a biological aspect.

Throughout my academic career, I’ve matured intellectually and learned more specific and complex concepts of the brain. I went from a curious child, to a student passionate about psychology, to a university student absorbing the great concept of neuroscience, and now a McGillian researcher ready to take on the world.

Eddie Cai

Eddie Cai

Undergraduate student
eddie.cai [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"I am interested in how computational models and machine learning can help solve biology-based problems, as well as how our understanding of the brain can inspire novel deep learning models."

"Le cerveau est l’objet le plus compliqué de l'univers qu’on connait. J’aimerai aider à le démystifier."

Eddie Cai bio

I am an undergraduate student currently studying Computer Science and Biology at McGill.

Abel Plata-Gonzalez

Abel Plata-Gonzalez

Undergraduate student
abel.platagonzalez [at] mail.mcgill.ca

"La Salud Humana siempre ha sido uno de los temas de gran interés para mí y , viniendo de un país con pocos recursos asignados hacia investigación y servicios de salud, me llevo querer trabajar en el área."

"Human health has always interested me and coming from a country with low impulse on research and health services, lead me to work on human health."

Abel Plata-Gonzalez bio

My long interest in helping others through research led me to study a Biotechnology engineering in México, with a focus in Molecular Biology. After working on different projects during my BSc, from industrial perspective and academic oriented projects, it became apparent that human health was of great interest to me. Helping others through research would be a task that I was drawn to. I graduated and started working on animal health as a researcher, and a couple of years decided to move to Canada into a MSc program in Biotechnology. Then, I joined The Neuro in their quest for drug discovery and the study of neurodegenerative diseases.

Angela Nauleau-Javaudin

Angela Nauleau-Javaudin

CEGEP student
angelaboaanj [at] gmail.com

"C’est toujours avec le sourire que je vais travailler au Neuro. Non seulement je sais que mon travail permet à la science d’avancer, mais je sais aussi que cela permettra de sauver des vies, ce qui me motive beaucoup."

"It’s always with a smile that I go work at The Neuro. Not only do I know that our work is important for science, but it also allows us to save lives, which motivates me a lot."

Angela Nauleau-Javaudin bio

Passionate about neurology, I did my first brain dissection at the age of 15.

In 2018, I earned Sainte-Marcelline College’s Academic Excellence Scholarship for the overall grades throughout high school. Furthermore, I received the McGill Science Award, a prize given to a student who shows exceptional promise in science and mathematics. Currently studying in CEGEP, I won The Governor’s General Academic Medal at Sainte-Marcelline’s high school for getting the best overall grades of my promotion.

Since 2016, I have participated in various robotics competitions, which consist of constructing and programming robots from scratch. In 2018, my team and I won the Canadian ConVerto Cup from CRC Robotics. My knowledge in technology is useful in the laboratory in order to make new 3D tools designed entirely for cell culture.

When I am not studying, I love doing sports and helping others. In fact, since 2015, I do triathlons, which combine running, cycling and swimming. Also, I volunteer in many activities to promote natural and environmental sciences to young students in need.




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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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