Renowned Quebec scientist to head the Neuro


After a worldwide search, the renowned Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro – of McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre has a new director, Guy Rouleau, MD, PhD, FRCPC, OQ. Dr. Rouleau, a prominent Quebec clinician-scientist recognized for his contributions to science and society, will also hold the Wilder Penfield Chair in Neuroscience as Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill. The appointment takes effect January 1, 2013.
“As Neuro Director and Wilder Penfield Professor of Neuroscience, Dr. Rouleau will have endless opportunities in which to invest his passion for neuroscience, his creativity and his leadership,” said Normand Rinfret, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the McGill University Health Centre. “As the talented professionals at The Neuro continue to map and share their understanding of the brain, as well as provide exceptional care and training, we will also be charting a bright future at the Glen site that will support even more collaboration and benefits for society.”

Dr. Rouleau comes to The Neuro from the Université de Montréal, where in addition to his own research laboratory, he currently directs the CHU Ste-Justine Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence in Neuroscience  of the Université de Montréal (CENUM) and the Réseau de médecine génétique appliquée du Québec - FRQS. He is a recipient of many honours, including most recently the 2012 Prix du Québec – Prix Wilder Penfield, the Henry Friesen Prize and the Margolese Prize. He is also an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.   

“I have dedicated my career to advancing neuroscience and neurological care,” said Dr. Rouleau. “To increase the impact of this work in Quebec and beyond, The Neuro is the place to be. Staying true to Dr. Penfield’s vision, scientists and physicians work hand in hand so that problems encountered in the clinic inspire research, and new findings from the labs are directly applied to patients’ medical needs. The Neuro is a world leader in its integration of research, patient care and teaching. “

Dr. Rouleau’s landmark achievements are his contributions to the identification of over 20 disease-causing genes and his discovery of new mutational mechanisms. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Rouleau and his team have focused on identifying genes causing neurological and psychiatric diseases, including autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hereditary neuropathies, epilepsy and schizophrenia, as well as providing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that lead to these disease symptoms.

“Dr. Rouleau is a pioneer in both research and clinical care in this field and committed to training the next generation of neuroscientists,” said David Eidelman, Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine at McGill. “He will be instrumental in reinforcing ties and creating new ones with academic institutions, hospitals and communities across Quebec, Canada and internationally. We are delighted to welcome him back to McGill.”

“The Neuro is a world-renowned hub of innovation known for taking calculated risks vital for advancing neuroscience and for solving some of the world’s most pressing neurological problems,” said Mr. Jacques Bougie, Chairman of The Neuro’s Advisory Board. “It requires a visionary leader and Dr. Rouleau is just the person for the job.”
Founded in 1934, The Neuro’s mission is to conduct cutting-edge neuroscience research and to provide the highest levels of advanced and compassionate care for patients with neurological conditions. Diseases of the nervous system account for more hospitalizations, long-term care and chronic suffering than nearly all other medical conditions combined. As we live longer, half of the Canadians alive today will eventually experience a neurological disease within their own families, making the pioneering work at The Neuro more critical than ever.



Guy A. Rouleau, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, OQ
Dr. Rouleau comes to The Neuro from the Université de Montréal, where he was Director of the CHU Ste-Justine Research Centre and founder and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Neuroscience.  There he held the Canada Research Chair in Genetics of the Nervous System as well as the Jeanne-et-J.-Louis-Levesque Chair in Genetics of Brain Diseases.  Dr. Rouleau is Director of the Réseau de Médecine Génétique Appliquée – Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé. 
Dr. Rouleau obtained his MD (Magna Cum Laude) in 1980 from the University of Ottawa and his PhD in Genetics at Harvard University in 1989. His post-graduate research in neuroscience was conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute and at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Rouleau conducted his clinical training in internal medicine at the Montreal General Hospital, neurology residency at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and research fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Rouleau’s landmark achievements are his contributions to the identification of over 20 disease-causing genes and his discovery of new mutational mechanisms. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Rouleau and his team have focused on understanding the genetic basis for diseases and identifying genes causing neurological and psychiatric diseases includingamyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, Essential Tremor, familial aneurysms, cavernous angiomas, epilepsy, spinocerebellar ataxia, spastic paraplegia, autism, Tourette syndrome, restless legs syndrome, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  He has published more than 500 articles in top peer-reviewed journals such as The Lancet, Cell, and Nature, as well as 40 review articles and book chapters. His work has been cited over 26,000 times. He has delivered more than 120 lectures around the world. He has supervised many students (9 Master’s, 40 PhD, and 40 post-doctoral fellows).  Many of his former students are now professors at universities in Brazil, France, Portugal, Japan, the USA and Canada.
He has received numerous awards, most recently the  2012 Prix du Québec – Prix Wilder Penfield, the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize from the University of British Columbia, and the Henry Friesen Prize from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada / The Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation.  He is an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
Dr. Rouleau sits on the editorial boards of major scientific journals including Neurology of Disease and Annals of Human Genetics, and performs ad hoc reviews for more than 25 journals. He also serves on several international scientific boards including the IGBMC Strategic Scientific Advisory Board, Strasbourg, France and is a board member of several foundations and societies dedicated to finding cures for nervous system diseases, including the Jumelles Coudé foundation, Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay Foundation, Gairdner Medical Advisory Board, the Cole Foundation and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Dr. Rouleau has also served on the panel for numerous grant committees (ex. CIHR, NIH, ALSA, ENR, NNFF, FRQS). He has founded and directed several successful companies including RGS Genome Inc., Xenon Genetics Research Inc., and Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
Media Relations, McGill University
cynthia.lee [at]
Office Phone: 

Secondary Contact Information

Anita Kar
The Neuro, Communications Associate
Secondary Email: 
anita.kar [at]
Office Phone: 
514 398-3376