Accelerating drug discovery
to improve the lives of people with neurological disease
Train the next generation of researchers to work with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
Translate fundamental research and technology into industry-standard assays
Identify new and improved treatments for neurological disorders
At the EDDU, we are active participants in fostering and practicing open science. We work to share scientific knowledge and train the next generation of iPSC scientists, all while following the highest standards in research. We strongly believe that success comes through collaboration and working together, as a means to accelerate the development of new therapies for patients living with brain disorders
As a group, we are committed to the mission of McGill University and The Neuro to foster equity, diversity, and inclusion in research. We strive for a respectful and diverse working environment and welcome researchers from all backgrounds.
To learn more about EDI at McGill and The Neuro:
Perform iPSC phenotyping, quality control tests, and CRISPR editing
Adapt assays with iPSC-derived cells into screenable 2D and 3D formats
Develop and characterize 3D neuronal organoid models
Develop open-access software and protocols
Provide hands-on and virtual training for working with iPSCs and iPSCs-derived neurons and glia
Create training videos on the steps involved in working with the iPSC technology
A Day in the Life at the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU)
EDDU Spotlight Video
Watch our latest video to learn more about our work being done at the EDDU.
CRISPR with Michael and Zhipeng
Watch our video to learn more about how we apply CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to generate cell lines towards understanding the processes involved in different neurological conditions.
This video is also available with French subtitles!
Read our Newsletter
Click below to read our monthly newsletter and learn about exciting new updates happening at the EDDU.
Next issue coming in November 2023!
A Short History of the Early Drug Discovery Unit
More updates coming soon!
2022 started well with Thomas Durcan becoming the new Director of the EDDU. Also, at the beginning of the year we held our second virtual iPSC training workshop in partnership with Stem Cell technologies, with great success.
In 2022, we continued to build fruitful partnerships and we are grateful for the generous support we have received from The Neuro’s TOSI Grassroots Initiative. With this support, we grew our outreach and training videos portfolio with seven new outreach videos, two new training videos, and all our training videos now translated to Spanish and Portuguese.
We also received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to develop an “Automated 3D brain organoid imaging platform” for discovery and translational activities.
Over the course of the year, we hosted five iPSC seminars, with four of which were virtual, and one being our first in-person seminar in nearly three years. With the return of in-person conferences, we were able to attend the SfN2022 in San Diego! We also published ten open-access papers, one book chapter and two updated open-access protocols.
This year, we also said goodbye to some dear lab members, and also welcomed new members to our team.
With the lab now back open, the EDDU embraced the hybrid in person-virtual life of a scientist with the iPSC seminar series continuing in a virtual manner growing to over 80 attendees for each meeting. We held our first virtual iPSC training workshop in partnership with Stem Cell technologies, published six open-access papers, one book chapter and one new open-access SOP.
Underlining all the new initiatives and work coming from the EDDU, we launched an updated version of the website, with a new data portal with open science video protocols for anyone, anywhere in the world to be able to work with iPSCs in the same manner as we do. With versions in English and French now available, new languages are in development and will be coming online in the coming months as our virtual offerings increase.
With new funding, new personnel and new projects coming online or nearing completion, this has been a year of significant growth as the EDDU builds towards the future and next decade.
Like many other labs, on March 19th 2020 the EDDU lab was shut down with everyone working from home. While staying apart, the group stayed together through all virtual means possible and on May 25th, after being closed for 3 months, we reopened the lab. Over the next 6 months, team members started returning in a phased manner. New protocols were implemented, lab work was restarted and, by the end of the year, projects were brought to a natural conclusion and new ones had been started. Through the extended time at home, the team put our hands and brains together to write. The EDDU´s team published nine open-access SOPs and three reviews.
The EDDU held its second iPSC training workshop, published 2 open-access review articles (bringing their total to 3), and launched a blog on Open Lab Notebooks to share protocols and expertise. The iPSC/CRISPR Platform is now known as The Neuro's Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU) to encompass all the activities that are part of the group.
New industry partnerships and philanthropic gifts to The Neuro allow the iPSC/CRISPR Platform to expand its research focus to ALS and intellectual disabilities.
The iPSC/CRISPR Platform is launched at The Neuro with an initial focus on Parkinson’s disease, thanks to a generous $1 million gift from Mr. J. Sebastian van Berkom, and partnerships with Brain Canada, Laval University, Marigold Foundation and the Quebec Parkinson Network.