Ongoing EDDU Activities

What We Do

We combine our capabilities with those of our partners to:

  1. Use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived neurons to study the molecular basis of neurological diseases
  2. Develop new tools and technology in disease modelling and target engagement that will help to identify potential therapies
  3. Translate newly developed assays onto an automated high-throughput platform that can be integrated with preclinical drug screens



Watch our video with Nicolas Ferry, from the Clinical Biospecimen Imaging and Genetic Repository (C-BIG), and Taylor Goldsmith from The Neuro's EDDU (Early Drug Discovery Unit) and learn how we are collaborating to accelerate the discovery of new treatments for neurological disorders benefiting patients worldwide.


Discover Our Working Groups

iPSC phenotyping and CRISPR editing

iPSCs are at the heart of research at the EDDU.

This working group is responsible for characterizing iPSC lines that come through the EDDU to ensure that only high-quality iPSCs are used in our research projects. The group is further expanding their library of iPSC lines by generating gene-edited versions using CRISPR technology.

iPSC phenotyping

  • Optimization of growth media and passaging reagents
  • Quality control testing including chromosomal integrity, morphological features, pluripotency marker expression, microbiological/viral screening

CRISPR editing

  • Genetic knockin or knockout (KO) in control lines
  • Correction of disease-associated mutations in patient lines

Antibody Validation and CRISPR KO

Disease Mechanisms and Discovery Assays

Automation is driving research forward at the EDDU.

With state-of-the-art equipment, this group is working to bring our assays with iPSC-derived cells into  screenable 2D and 3D formats.

"In-house" tools for image acquisition and analysis

  • Optimization of immunofluorescence-based assays
  • Established workflow for data management
  • Open-source software developed in house to enhance data analysis

Focus on multiple disease areas:

  • Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Neurodevelopmental diseases
  • Neuroimmune and Neuroinflammation

Brain Organoids and 3D Cultures

3D neuronal organoids are shaking up our perspective on the human brain.

Taking iPSC-derived neurons beyond two dimensions has allowed this group to establish the EDDU’s organoid program. The team is applying multiple approaches to characterize 3D neuronal organoid models, while also exploring innovative 3D culturing systems.

3D model development

  • Multiple tissue types: forebrain, midbrain, cerebral
  • Customizable batch numbers (100 to 700) and age (15 days to 100+ days)

Histology and 3D imaging

  • Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence microscopy
  • Parafilm embedding and microtome sections
  • Cubic tissue clearing
  • Methods for automated 3D imaging on Opera Phenix HCs

Organoid maintenance and quality control

  • 15K minibrain capacity in organoid-specific incubators
  • Dedicated team oversees day-to-day monitoring of each individual organoid using a Laboratory Information Monitoring System (LIMS)

Single cell phenotyping

  • Comprehensive analysis of individual cell types in organoids using our state-of-the-art, automated Attune Acoustic Flow Analyzer
  • Workflow for isolation of single cells from organoids for flow analysis or single-cell sequencing analysis
  • Informatics pipeline for handling single-cell expression data of specific cell types within organoids

Training and outreach

Train and learn with us at the EDDU.

For more information about our workshops, seminars, software and protocols, and other training resources, please visit our Training and Outreach page.



Contact Us

Email or call us to schedule a visit to the EDDU and to meet the team.

Early Drug Discovery Unit
The Neuro
3801 University
North Wing B150
Montreal, QC H3A 2B4


For general inquiries: Email us at neuroeddu.mni [at]

For career and training opportunities: Contact Genevieve Dorval by genevieve.dorval [at] (email).

For operations and lab oversight: Contact Genevieve Dorval by genevieve.dorval [at] (email).

For accessing iPSCs: Please email us at neuroeddu.mni [at]

Visit our Instagram and LinkedIn for more information about work being done at the EDDU.

​Sign up to receive our newsletter and general news, here

Front entrance of The Neuro

Google Maps

Collaborate with Us

Interested in partnering with us? neuroeddu.mni [at] (Email us) 

Join Us

Want to join our team? Visit Neuro Careers for available positions.

For training and staff positions, please email genevieve.dorval [at] (Genevieve Dorval).

Support Us

If you would like to support our work, visit Neuro Giving for more information.

The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are 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.



Facebook instagram x, formerly known as twitter linkedIn youtube

Back to top