Reza Sharif-Naeini - Associate Professor


Department of Physiology & Cell Information Systems Group
McGill University
Life Sciences Complex (Bellini)
Room 171
3649 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montréal, Québec H3G 0B1

Phone: 514-398-5361 

Email: reza.sharif [at]

Lab Website: 



Research Area:  Neurophysiology

Research Description:

We are interested in understanding the molecular bases of mechanotransduction, and the role of mechanosensory neurons in normal and pathological pain transmission. Mechanotransduction, the process through which cells convert a mechanical stimulus into an electrical signal, is of fundamental importance to physiological functions such as our senses of touch (including pain) and hearing, as well as our ability to regulate our hydromineral homeostasis (thirst), baroreflex function and myogenic tone (regulation of blood pressure). Mechanosensitive ion channels are membrane proteins responsible for most mechanotransduction processes, yet their molecular identity has not been fully resolved. Because these channels are involved in several pathologies of the nervous (chronic pain, deafness) and cardiovascular (hypertension) systems, the molecular identification of these channels, and understanding their activation properties may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies in several clinical areas.

The projects in the lab focus on two areas of research:

1)   Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal mechanotransduction.

2)   Identification of central (spinal cord) neuronal circuits engaged by mechanosensory afferents in control or during chronic pain conditions.

Education:  B.Sc., Université de Montréal; M.Sc. McGill University; Ph.D., McGill University

Selected Publications:

Peyronnet R, Sharif-Naeini R, Folgering JH, Arhatte M, Jodar M, El Boustany C, Gallian C, Tauc M, Duranton C, Rubera I, Lesage F, Pei Y, Peters DJ, Somlo S, Sachs F, Patel A, Honoré E, Duprat F. Mechanoprotection by polycystins against apoptosis is mediated through the opening of stretch-activated K(2P) channels. Cell Rep. (2012) 1: 241-50.

Bráz JM, Sharif-Naeini R, Vogt D, Kriegstein A, Alvarez-Buylla A, Rubenstein JL, Basbaum AI. Forebrain GABAergic neuron precursors integrate into adult spinal cord and reduce injury-induced neuropathic pain. Neuron (2012) 74: 663-75.

Bohlen CJ, Chesler AT, Sharif-Naeini R, Medzihradszky KF, Zhou S, King D, Sánchez EE, Burlingame AL, Basbaum AI, Julius D. A heteromeric Texas coral snake toxin targets acid-sensing ion channels to produce pain. Nature (2011) 479: 410-4

Sharif-Naeini R, Basbaum AI. Targeting pain where it resides ... In the brain. Science Transl. Med. (2011) 3: 65ps1.

Sharif-Naeini R, Folgering JH, Bichet D, Duprat F, Delmas P, Patel A, Honoré E. Sensing pressure in the cardiovascular system: Gq-coupled mechanoreceptors and TRP channels. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. (2010) 48: 83-9.

Sharif-Naeini R, Folgering JH, Bichet D, Duprat F, Lauritzen I, Arhatte M, Jodar M, Dedman A, Chatelain FC, Schulte U, Retailleau K, Loufrani L, Patel A, Sachs F, Delmas P, Peters DJ, Honoré E. Polycystin-1 and -2 dosage regulates pressure sensing. Cell (2009) 139: 587-96.

Sharif-Naeini R, Ciura S, Bourque CW. TRPV1 gene required for thermosensory transduction and anticipatory secretion from vasopressin neurons during hyperthermia. Neuron (2008) 58: 179-85.

Sharif-Naeini R, Dedman A, Folgering JH, Duprat F, Patel A, Nilius B, Honoré E. TRP channels and mechanosensory transduction: insights into the arterial myogenic response. Pflugers Arch. 2008 456: 529-40.

Sharif Naeini R, Witty MF, Séguéla P, Bourque CW. An N-terminal variant of Trpv1 channel is required for osmosensory transduction. Nat. Neurosci. (2006) 9: 93-8.

Link to Dr. Sharif-Naeini's publications

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