Dr. Cuello's Research Laboratory


Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University


International Collaborations

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Current collaborations:

The Cuello lab entertains a number of collaborations with McGill colleagues and also with colleagues abroad, mainly in the USA and Europe. These collaborations have resulted in a number of well noted publications. The lab philosophy and culture is one of open exchanges and interactions in order to enhance the value of ongoing studies. These collaborations are largely based on sharing information and harnessing complementary expertise. Our trainees are occasionally sent abroad to acquire methodologies needed for their thesis projects or postdoctoral studies. In recent years graduate students were sent to the ICGB ,Trieste, Italy; the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University, England and the Cajal Institute and the Severo Ochoa Institute for molecular Biology, both in Madrid, Spain .

At McGill University the lab has kept longstanding collaborations with the Laboratories of Dr Szyf (Pharmacology, Epigenetics Molecular Biology) and with Dr Alfredo Ribeiro Da Silva (Dept. of Pharmacology, Pain research, quantitative Immunocytochemistry). More recently we have carried out collaborative studies with the Labs of Dr Karim Nader (Dept. of Psychology, Memory mechanisms), Dr Nahum Sonnenberg ( Dept. of Biochemistry, Regulation of Transcription), Dr Guillermina Almazan (Dept. of Pharmacology, Cellular Neuropharmacology) and Dr Walter Mushinsky (Dept. Biochemistry, Cell Biology).

The Lab maintains strong interactions with colleagues abroad, currently with Dr David Bennett, Director of the Alzheimer’s Center at the Rush Medical Center and Dr Elliott Mufson also from the Rush Medical Center, Chicago (USA). Together, we have published studies on synaptic markers and growth factors in human brain material of Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment cases from the Brain Bank of the Religious Order Studies. The lab has also initiated collaboration with Dr Fiona Crawford (Roskamp Institute, Florida, USA) for an in-depth pathology-dependent proteomic analysis of protein networks altered in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of the newly characterized transgenic rat mimicking the human Alzheimer’s-like amyloid pathology.

The lab has generated several transgenic rat models in close collaboration with Dr Leena Alhonen of the Virtanen Institute. Most notably we have generated a new transgenic rat model of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-like amyloid pathology ( model coded McGill-R-Thy1-APP). This model is currently being utilized by some research laboratories and industry in the USA, Norway, Germany and Austria.
The lab has started a joint research agreement with the Lab of Dr George Koob at the Scripps Research Institute with the objective of defining possible alterations in emotional traits in the McGill-R-Thy1-APP rat transgenic model, taking advantage of the richer behavioral display of rats as compared with mice, the most common species used for transgenesis.

We have completed a collaborative project estimating the total number of CA1-CA3 neurons in our transgenic mouse model of the AD-like amyloid pathology at different ages applying a stereological approach with Dr. Wilma van de Berg, Dept. of Anatomy and Neurosciences, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We are also continuing a collaboration with Dr Jesus Avila at the Severo Ochoa Institute for Molecular Biology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) on the status of phosphorylation of tau proteins at diverse pathology phases of our AD-like transgenic rat.

Past Collaborations

The Cuello Lab while at Oxford and later at McGill has maintained a number of collaborations. The most notable has been the long standing collaboration with the late Cesar Milstein (1984 Nobel laureate, the discovery of monoclonal antibodies). This interaction started while Claudio Cuello was a member of the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit at Cambridge (England). In collaboration with Cesar Milstein, the Oxford Cuello lab reported the first monoclonal antibody for Neuroscience application ( anti-substance P) , engineered the first “bi-specific” monoclonal antibodies and described “internally radio-labeled monoclonal antibodies”. Dr Cuello and one trainee spent time in the laboratory of Dr Francisco Baralle at the ICGB (International center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), Trieste , Italy, for a sabbatical stint to practice recombinant DNA techniques and to generate mutations in new cDNA constructs intended for transgenesis.

In past years our lab collaborated closely with the lab of Karen Duff, when she was at the Nathan Kline Institute, in the study of the transmitter-specific alterations occurring in the cerebral cortex as consequence of the progressive AD-like amyloid pathology; using transgenic mice models developed by Dr Duff or bred in her facility. These studies resulted in a number of well cited papers.