Alyson Fournier, PhD

Contact Information

Email: alyson.fournier [at] mcgill.ca (Alyson Fournier)
Tel.: 514-398-3154
Website: Canada Research ChairsFournier Lab
Recent Publications: PubMed
Academic Affiliations: Neurology and Neurosurgery, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Research Groups: Neurodegenerative DiseasesNeuroimmunological Diseases


Dr. Alyson Fournier's research focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of neurite outgrowth and growth cone guidance. Neurons in the central nervous system fail to spontaneously regenerate following injury. The abortive regenerative response can be attributed to a lack of positive cues to support neurite outgrowth, and to the inhibitory environment of the CNS lesion site. While there has been progress in the characterization of myelin-associated proteins and glial scar components that inhibit neurite outgrowth, the mechanism of action of inhibitory proteins remains ill defined. The aim of Dr. Fournier's research program is to develop a better understanding of the molecular components participating in neurite outgrowth and growth cone collapse. We are particularly interested in studying rho family GTPases and their downstream effectors due to their effects on the actin cytoskeleton. A fuller understanding of the mechanism of outgrowth inhibition will be used to develop strategies to promote regenerative growth.

Selected Publications: 

Ong Tone S., Dayanandan B, Fournier, A.E*., Mandato, C.A.*. (2010) GSK3 Regulates Mitotic Chromosomal Alignment through CRMP4. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14345. * Co-corresponding authors.

Kent, C., Shimada, T., Ferraro, G., Rodriguez, S., Yam, P., Ritter, B., McPherson, P., Charron, F., Kennedy, T., Fournier, A.E. (2010) 14-3-3 proteins regulate growth cone responses through PKA. J. Neurosci. 30(42): 14059-14067

McKerracher, L., Fehlings, M., Fournier, A., Ong Tone, S. (2010 - In Press). Targeting Rho inactivation to promote regeneration and treat spinal cord injury: Bench to bedside translational medicine.. In: Essential of Spinal Cord Injury, Thieme Medical Publishers Inc. NY, NY.

Thomas, R., Favell, K., Morante-Redolat, J.M., Kent, K., Wright, M., Poole, M., Daignault, K., Fournier, A.E., Pérez-Tur, J., Barker, P.A. (2010) LGI1 is a Novel Nogo Receptor Ligand that Blocks Myelin-based Growth Inhibition. Journal of Neuroscience: In press

Alabed, Y.Z., Pool, M., Ong Tone, S., Sutherland, C., Fournier, A.E. (2010) GSK3b regulates myelin dependent axon outgrowth inhibition through CRMP4. Journal of Neuroscience: In press

O'Connor, K.C., Lopez-Amaya, C., Gagne, D., Moore, N.H., Kennedy, J., Krupp, L., Tenembaum, S., Ness, J., Belman, A., Boiko, A., Bykova, O., Mah, J., Stoian, C., Waubant, E., Kremenchutzky, M., Ruggieri, M., Bardini, M.R., Rensel, M., Hahn, J., Weinstock-Guttman, B., Yeh, A., Farrell, K., Freedman, M., Livanainen, M., Bhan, V., Dilenge, M., Hancock, M.A., Gano, D., Fattahie, R., Kopel, L., Fournier, A.E., Hafler, D.A., Moscarello, M., Banwell, B., Bar-Or, A. (2010) Anti-myelin antibodies modulate clinical expression of childhood multiple sclerosis. J. Neuroimmunol., doi:10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.02.019

Nash, M., Pribiag, H., Fournier, A.E., Jacobson, C. (2009) Central Nervous System Regeneration Inhibitors and their Intracellular Substrates. Mol. Neurobiology DOI 10.1007/s12035-009-8083-y

Pool, M., Niino, Rambaldi, I., Robson, K., Bar-Or, A., Fournier, A.E. (2009) Myelin regulates immune cell adhesion and motility. Exp. Neurol. 217(2):371-7

Moore, S.W., Correia, J.P., Lai Wing Sun, K., Pool, M., Fournier, A.E., Kennedy, T.E.. (2008) Rho inhibition recruits DCC to the neuronal plasma membrane and enhances axon chemoattraction to netrin 1. Development. 135(17):2855-64

Costantino, S., Kent, C.B., Godin, A.G., Kennedy, T.E., Wiseman, P.W., Fournier, A.E. (2008). Semi-Automated Quantification of filopodial dynamics. J. Neurosci. Methods 171(1): 165-173

Pool, M., Thiemann, J., Bar-Or, A., Fournier, A.E. (2008) NeuriteTracer: A novel ImageJ plugin for automated quantification of neurite outgrowth. J. Neurosci. Methods 168(1):134-139.

Alabed, Y.Z., Pool, M., OngTone, S., Fournier, A.E. (2007) Identification of CRMP4 as a convergent regulator of axon outgrowth inhibition. J. Neurosci. 27, 1702-1711.

Darenfed, H., Dayandana, B., Hsieh, S. H.-K., Fournier, A.E., Mandato. C.A. (2007) Molecular Characterization of the Effects of Y-27632. Cytoskeleton and Cell Motility. 64, 97-109.

Niino, M., Bodner, C., Simard, M.-L., Alatab, S., Gano, D., Kim, H., Trigueiro, M., Racicot, D., Guérette, C., Mainville, M., Antel, J.P., Fournier, A.E., Grand’Maison, F., Bar-Or, A. (2006) Natalizumab Effects on Immune Cell Responses in Multiple Sclerosis: The Expected and Less Expected. Ann. Neurol. 59:748–754.

Alabed, Y.Z., Grados-Munro, E., Ferraro, G.B., Hsieh, S.H.-K., Fournier, A.E. (2006) Neuronal responses to myelin are mediated by ROCK. J. Neurochem. 96, 1616-1625

Hsieh, S. H.-K., Ferraro, G.B., Fournier, A.E. (2006) Myelin-associated inhibitors regulate cofilin phosphorylation and neuronal inhibition through Lim kinase and Slingshot phosphatase. J. Neurosci. 26(3), 1006-1015.

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