Lab News

Recent Lab News

September 2017 - Dr. Bowie recently hosted a delegation of researchers from Japan's National Institute of Physiological Sciences (NiPS) who spent two days visiting the McGill campus and participating in a research symposium at McGill's Faculty Club. The visit culminated in the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) (see photo below) in the presence of Mr. Hideaki Kuramitsu, the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal. The MOU permits the neuroscience communities of McGill and NiPS to begin the exchange of student and postdoctoral fellows as well as to establish joint research projects. The event was reported in the McGill Reporter (

August 2017 - Below is a photo of some of the attendees at the 2017 GEPROM Summer Student Symposium, including Amanda Perozzo, that was held at McGill on August 18th.

August 2017 - Some members of the Bowie lab travelled to Yale University for the 5th Annual iGluRetreat. The Retreat this year was particularly special as many of the speakers were brought from across the World to reflect upon and celebrate the career of Dr. James Howe, a Yale researcher who has made many seminal contributions to the study of inotropic glutamate receptors. The photo shows many of the attendees and speakers who attended the Retreat. Dr. Howe is 5th from the left on the front row.

Below is a photo of several of the attendees at the 2017 iGluRetreat at Yale including (left to right) Dr. Mark. Fleck and Jessica Nuwer (Albany Med College, NY), Dr. Mark Aurousseau, Amanda Perozzo and Ryan Alexander from the Bowie lab, Irene Riva (FMP Berlin) and Drs. David MacLean (URochester), Jim Howe (Yale), Stuart Cull-Candy (UCL, UK) and Derek Bowie.

August 2017 - Dr. Bowie recently visited Rio de Janeiro as an invited speaker at the 38th International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) conference. The photo speakers of symposium that includes (left to right, back row) Drs. Marc Gielen (Pasteur Institute, France), Filip Van Petegem (Univ British Columbia, Canada), Frank Bosmans (Johns Hopkins Univ) (front row) Dr. Yoshihiro Kubo (Natl Inst. Physiological Sciences, Japan), Cecilia Bouzat (Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina) and Dr. Derek Bowie

June 2017 - Check out this interview of Loïs Miraucourt with Charles Tisseyre, talking about night vision!

June 2017 - Dr. Bowie, Erik and Ryan attended the Gordon Research Conference on "Inhibition in the CNS" that was held in the picturesque French Swiss town of Les Diablerets. They took time out from the conference to visit an ice field, Glacier 3000 (see video:, located high up on the Swiss Alps. From left to right, the group photo shows Erik, Mariana Zaichuk (UZurich) and Ryan with Dr. Steven Brown (UZurich) and Dr. Beni Lüscher (UPenn) who is accompanied by his wife Pam.

June 2017 - Dr. Bowie was recently invited to speak at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex, UK where he met with Drs. Ruth Murrell-Lagnado and Andy Penn (see photo below). He then attended the "Ion-Channel Modulation" Symposium at St. Claire's College, University of Cambridge where he chaired a speaker's session.

June 2017 - Dr. Bowie recently presented the lab's new findings on the neurodevelopment disorder, Fragile X syndrome, at the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience that was held in Montreal. Photo shows the others speakers of the symposium that focused on the emerging roles of the developing cerebellum in neurological disease. From left to right: Drs. Derek Bowie, Alanna Watt (McGill), Dan Goldowitz (UBC), Lu-Yang Wang (SickKids) and Yi-Mei (Amy) Yang (U Minnesota).

May 2017 - Bowie lab members are involved in the organizing of the "Beautiful Minds" Pint of Science 2017 event, which will take place on May 15-17th, 2017 in Montreal. Register at

April 2017 - Dr. Bowie recently visited Northwestern University in downtown Chicago where he caught up with some old friends and colleagues from the neuroscience community. Photo shows Dr. Bowie with Drs. Anis Contractor, Gianmaria Maccaferri and Geoff Swanson.

April 2017 - MNG has been cancelled for this Wednesday. See link on the left.

April 2017 - Congratulations to Erik and Ryan for receiving a GREAT Travel Award from the IPN!

April 2017 - Congratulations to Ryan for receiving a Graduate Research Mobility Award from the Faculty of Medicine!

April 2017 - Photo of several members of the executive committee for the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) who got together to show support for the upcoming "March for Science" event that will be held in Montreal on the 22nd of April 2017. From left to right, Dr. Ed Ruthazer (CAN Secretary), Dr. Charles Bourque (CAN Board member), Dr. Derek Bowie (CAN Treasurer) and Dr. Alanna Watt (CAN Board member).

April 2017 - Congrats to graduate student, Adamo Mancino, and incoming graduate student, Amanda Perozzo from the University of Ottawa, who were each awarded the prestigious NSERC Masters student award. Adamo is currently working on voltage-gated sodium channels and Amanda will be working on ionotropic glutamate receptors.

April 2017 - Congrats to our undergraduate student, Yuhao (Edward) Yan, who won the prize for best oral presentation at the undergraduate student research day called PURE. Edward is shown in the middle of the photo with other prize winners.

March 2017 - The MNG schedule has been updated as of March 7th, 2017. Make sure to mark your calenders!

February 2017 - Dr. Bowie recently visited Japan's National Institute of Physiological Sciences (or NiPS) in Okazaki, Japan where he met with researchers and visited some historic sites. Dr. Keith Murai from the Montreal General Hospital also joined the trip with Dr. Yoshihiro Kubo as the host from NiPS.

Images show Drs. Bowie. Mura and Kubo visiting Nagoya Castle and Ichihatasan Yakushi-ji Temple and dining at a fugu restaurant.

January 2017 - Welcome to the newest members of the Bowie lab, Martina and Adamo!

November, December 2016 - Congratulations to Brent and Patricia for successfully defending their PhD Thesis!

August 2016 - Some of the students and PIs at the GEPROM Summer Student Symposium on August 10th, 2016.

April 2016 - Brent and Mark's most recent paper (see Publications) has been recommended as being of special significance by the F1000 Faculty!

March 2016 - Welcome to Jihane Nouny from Université de Lille, who is visiting the lab during the next 6 months.

March 2016 - Congratulations to Ryan for obtaining the NSERC Doctoral Award!

March 2016 - Contratulations to Kaitlin and Marika, who obtained a summer studentship and trainee award from GEPROM!

February 2016 - Bowie Lab members go to the Biophysics Meeting in Los Angeles!

Hugo McGuire, Maria Musgaard, Mark Aurousseau, Patricia Brown, Anthony Auerbach and Alvin Shrier at Biophysics in Los Angeles, February 2016.

February 2016 - Congratulations to Brent and Mark for their recent publication in Neuron! Click here to see the press release.

December 2015 - Congratulations to Patricia for the acceptance of her paper in the Journal of Physiology!

December 2015 - Bowie Lab members visit the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland for a symposium in honour of Dr. Mark L. Mayer. Follow this link to watch the talks.

Brent, Ryan, Erik, Mark and Patricia visit Washington, D.C., December 2015

November 2015 - Congratulations to Dr. Michael Accardi for a successful PhD Thesis Defense!

Mike and his family after his PhD Defense, Nov. 12th, 2015

November 2015 - Welcome to Dr. Rafael Koerich Varaschin who recently joined our lab as a post-doctoral fellow.

October 2015 - The Biophysical Society of Canada publishes a newsletter in both the fall and spring of each calendar year. Click here to see the Fall 2015 Newsletter.

October 2015 - Welcome to Mariana Zaichuk from the lab of Dr. Jean-Marc Fritschy at the University of Zurich who recently joined our lab for a 3-month sabbatical stay

October 2015 - Congrats to Erik Larson who won the prize for the best IPN (junior) graduate student at the 2015 Pharmacology Research Day!

September 2015 - Congrats to Dr. David MacLean, Bowie lab alumni, who was recently awarded a K99 research grant to initiate his research program as an independent investigator at the University of Texas (see link).

September 2015 - The 2015-2106 MNG schedule has been published (see link).

September 2015 - SAVE THE DATE!!!! Bowie lab to host the 2016 Glutamate Receptor Retreat in Montreal (August, 2nd-4th). See link.

August 2015 - The Bowie Lab attends the 3rd annual iGluRetreat! See photos below!

Attendees of the iGluRetreat 2015

The Bowie Lab and collaborators from Oxford University and Copenhagen University

July 2015 - Mike publishes a paper in J Neuroscience and here is the press release!

June 2015 - Mark successfully defends his PhD Thesis! Congratulations, Dr. Aurousseau!

Dr. Mark Aurousseau right after his Thesis Defense.

April 2015 - Dr. Bowie was recently invited to speak at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University (Link) and the Symposium on "Membrane Signalling & Transport" at Oxford University (Link). Dr. Bryan Daniels from the lab was also an invited speaker in Oxford.

Images below show sights passed along the way in London and Cambridge with a group photo in Oxford of Derek and Bryan with the labs of Drs. Ingo Gregor, Lucia Sivilotti, Phil Biggin, Mark Sansom, and Marc Baddan amongst others

April 2015 - Collaborative efforts lead to a publication in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters for Brent! Congratulations!

April 2015 - Collaborative efforts lead to a publication in ACS Chemical Neuroscience for Patricia! Congratulations!

March 2015 - The Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics celebrates Dr. Bowie's promotion to full Professor. Congratulations!

Top left: Profs Gerd Multhaup and John Orlowski. Top right: Profs Paul Clarke, Radan Čapek and Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva. Bottom pictures: Bowie lab members and Tina Tremblay.

February 2015 - Bowie lab makes the trip to Baltimore for the 59th Biophysical Society meeting.

Group photo of Bowie lab members and Maria Musgaard from the Biggin lab with members of the Jayaraman lab.

Maria Musgaard and Tanya Kalstrup from the Blunck lab.

January 2015 - Bowie lab publishes a review article in a special issue of the Journal of Physiology on Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors

Photo of Dr. Lucie Parent, former Director of GEPROM and Louise Lefort, GEPROM administrator

Photo of Drs. Remy Sauve and John Hanrahan

Photo of some GEPROM members, Holiday Party 2014

December 2014 - Dr. Bowie is promoted to Full Professor and Hugo McGuire successfully defends his PhD thesis. Congratulations!

December 2014 - Dr. Bowie publishes an editorial article on recent findings on ionotropic glutamate receptors. (see Publications)

November 2014 - Dr. Derek Bowie was an invited speaker at the recent 2014 NIPS symposium in Okazaki, Japan. Group photo shows many of the attendees and invited speakers (front row) of the symposium. The organizer of the meeting, Dr. Yoshihiro Kubo, is in the front row, far left

Photo of two of the NIPS speakers who are also Journal of Physiology editors. They are Dr. Jamie Vandenberg (Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney) and Dr. Ruth Murrell-Lagnado (University of Cambridge)

September 2014 - Mike receives the Sourkes award from the Pharmacology & Therapeutics department. Congratulations!

Mike receives his prize from Dr. Multhaup, Chair of the Pharmacology & Therapeutics department

August 2014 - Brent, Bryan and Mark publish a review in J Physiol. Congratulations! See publications

August 2014 - Patricia and Jean each receive an award! Congratulations!

August 2014 - Bowie Lab members go to Buffalo for the iGluRetreat!

Attendees of the 2nd Annual iGluRetreat in Buffalo, August 2014!

August 2014 - Collaborative efforts lead to a publication in J Neurosci for Patricia! Congratulations! See publications.

July 2014 - Bowie lab members go to London for the Physiological Society Meeting.

Photograph of the speakers at the symposium on cellular metabolism and neuronal communication at the 2014 Physiological Society meeting in London. Left to right are Dr. David Attwell, Dr. Margaret Rice, Dr. Irene Llorente-Foch, Nicholas Wellinger and Dr. Derek Bowie.

Dr. Bowie recently attended the editors' meeting for the Journal of Physiology in London which included two other Canadian editors, Drs Jaideep Bains (University of Calgary) and Katalin Toth (Universite Laval).

June 2014 - Brent and Mike are the recipients of MedStar Awards! Congratulations!

May 2014 - Photos from a "surprise Party" for Dr. Lucie Parent who stepped down as Director GEPROM

Dr. Lucie Parent and Dr. John Orlowski, May 2014

Dr. Lucie Parent and colleagues, May 2014

May 2014 - Brent gave a talk at the Canadian Neuroscience meeting (CAN).

Brent gives a talk at CAN, May 2014

May 2014 - Dr. Bowie was recently appointed the new Director of GEPROM, a FRSQ-funded research group with members from McGill University, Concordia University and the Universite de Montreal. Congratulations!

April 2014 - Congratulations to Michael for obtaining a GREAT award and Mark for obtaining a GEF award!

Bowie Lab members with collaborator Maria Musgaard in Copenhagen, April 2014

March 2014 - Congratulations to Michael for renewing his Savoy fellowship!

January 2014 - Congratulations to Michael, Bryan and Patricia for their recent publication in Nature Communications!

January 2014 - Happy New Year! The next MNG has been postponed.

August 2013 - Brent and Dr. Bowie attend the Benzon symposium in Copenhagen See pictures!

August 2013 - Brent Dawe et al publish in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology! Congratulations! Follow the link!

June 2013 - Bowie Lab members participate in the 27th GÉPROM Symposium. Mike (left) wins a prize for best poster! Congratulations!

Bowie Lab members

Dr. Bryan Daniels gives a talk

Dr. Brian Kobilka (Nobel prize laureate, Chemistry 2012, middle) with Drs. Audrey Claing and Terry Hebert

Photos courtesy of Derek Bowie

May 2013 - Bowie Lab members go to CAN meeting in Toronto!

Bowie Lab members and friends

April 2013 - Dr. Bowie was recently interviewed by the Italian science magazine, L'Oculista, who questioned about his research work and how it relates to vision disorders. The transcript of the interview, in English and Italian, can be found at the following link. Parli Italiano?

Journal Website


March 2013 - Michael renews his Gelder-Savoy Studentship, Brent receives a doctoral award from NSERC, and Bryan receives a postdoctoral fellowship from CIHR and the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada (FXRFC)! Congratulations!

March 2013 - Michael wins first place for oral presentation at the 9th Annual IGSR at McGill and receives a GREAT Fellowship Award! Congratulations!

February 2013 - Dr. Bowie and Michael go to the meeting on the plasticity of inhibitory transmission at Chexbres Switzerland. Photo taken on afternoon trip to Lausanne with Drs Wataru Inoue from the Bains lab and Tarek Deeb from the Steve Moss lab.

October 2012 - The Bowie Lab features in an article in the McGill Daily!

See Link!

October 2012 - Mark's most recent paper (see Publications) has been recommended as being of special significance by the F1000 Faculty!

McGuire H, Aurousseau MR, Bowie D, Blunck R Automating single subunit counting of membrane proteins in Mammalian cells J Biol Chem. 2012 Oct 19;287(43):35912-21

Elucidating the composition and stoichiometry of membrane-bound proteins has been a perennial problem that has plagued biology for a long time. The most recurring issue is that composition and subunit stoichiometry is commonly inferred from bulk biochemical assays that can only shed light on the "averaged" make-up of the protein complex. However in the recent study from the Bowie lab, in collaboration with the Blunck lab at Universite de Montreal, the authors develop a new technique that determines subunit composition and number by counting protein complexes one at a time. By using a custom-made software, the authors have automated the entire counting process so that it is no longer time consuming. An additional feature is that they have adapted all the experiments to allow measurements to be performed in mammalian cells opening up this general approach to a wide range of biological questions. Since publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry this work has been recommended by the Faculty1000 as a "must read" article.

See Link!

July 2012 - Brent receives an Internal Studentship from the Faculty of Medicine.

June 2012 - Patricia is the recipient of a MedStar Award for her work on the functional consequences of GABAA receptor mutations in families with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (See Publications)

May 2012 - A delegation of Swiss scientists and politicians recently visited our lab as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Universities of McGill and Zurich. The photo shows a snapshot of the tour with Dr. Bowie explaining to the group, including the Swiss Ambassador and Secretory of State, the experiments of Mike Accardi (at the back).

May 2012 - Dr. Derek Bowie has recently been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physiology and was reported in the Spring Edition of the Physiology News.


April 2012 - Michael receives the Gelder-Savoy Studentship and award (Savoy Foundation)! Congratulations!

January 2011 - Michael receives a Graduate Excellence Fellowship Award!

December 2011 - J Physiol publishes an editorial for David's paper: Stargazing from a new vantage – TARP modulation of AMPA receptor pharmacology

See Link

November 2011 - Dr. Bowie publishes a review in J Physiol. (see Publications) CONGRATULATIONS!

November 2011 - The Bowie Lab goes to the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting with 2 posters

November 2011 - The Bowie Lab MNG meeting has been moved to November 9th

October 2011 - Dave publishes another paper this year, this time in the Journal of Physiology! CONGRATULATIONS!

September 2001 - The new MNG schedule is up for 2011-2012

September 2011 - Bowie Lab members have 4 posters at IPN retreat!

August 2011 - Dr. Dave M. MacLean receives his PhD after an excellent thesis defense

July 2011 - Michael receives an Internal Studentship from the Faculty of Medicine

July 2011 - Bowie Lab members go to Oxford!

Photo courtesy of Patricia Brown

June 2011 - Patricia publishes a first-author paper on GABAAR epilepsy mutants in a collaboration with Dr. Patrick Cossette's lab

June 2011 - Bowie Lab goes to GEPROM Symposium!

Photos courtesy of Mark Aurousseau

June 2011 - GEPROM Symposium

GEPROM is organizing a 2-day symposium on "Ligand-Gated Ion-Channels" which will be held at the Université de Montreal on Tues 14th-Wed 15th June 2011. As well as the scientific content of the meeting (see attached schedule), it is also a great opportunity for students and postdocs to showcase the many interesting electrophysiology work going on in Montreal. On that note, there will be 3 prizes for student/postdoc presentations. As Chair of the Organizing Committee, I encourage you to participate in the success of the symposium by registering as soon as possible by going to the following link:

Here you can download the registration form. Registration for the meeting is free which opens access of the entire scientific program to everyone. Lunch will also be provided at a nominal fee of $15 / day. The registration form also permits you to participate in the banquet dinner on the evening of Tues 14th June. GEPROM will provide all registrants with a printed receipt to reclaim lunch and/or banquet expenses from individual PI operating grants.

***** Most importantly, the deadline for registration is this Friday, 3rd June 2011*****

Looking forward to seeing you at the Symposium.


May/June 2011 - Bowie Lab members go to the CAN meeting in Québec!

Photos courtesy of Patricia Brown

May 2011 - Patricia is awarded the FRSQ Doctoral Training Award for 3 years

May 2011 - Brent and Mike receive a McGill Internal Travel Award - this will allow them to attend a workshop in Oxford

April 2011 - Dr. Ingrid Osswald earns her PhD - the defense was very successful

April 2011 - Drs. Bowie and McKinney are awarded an operating grant as part of the McGill-Zurich Neuroscience Collaboration. See Link

April 2011 - Brent Dawe receives a NSERC Master's studentship for his thesis work on kainate receptors.

March 2011 - Patricia Brown receives a Transfer Award from the IPN for transferring from the MSc program to the PhD program.

February 2011 - Maclean et al. 2011 makes "Paper of the Month" in the department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. See Pharmacology Home Page for details.

February 2011 - Patricia Brown receives a GREAT Travel Award from the IPN

February 2011 - Published article in J. Neurosci by Maclean et al. (see Publications) CONGRATULATIONS!

The mechanism by which drugs or agonists excite neurotransmitter receptors has been hotly debated for more than half a century. At ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), studies in the late 1990s proposed that the degree of excitation is proportional to the degree by which iGluR ligands close the agonist-binding pocket. Despite the aesthetic appeal of this model, more recent work has failed to find evidence to support it-leaving the entire iGluR field in search of a different mechanism. In the article we published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the answer is found in the most unlikely of places-by looking at how external ions regulate the activation process. Since iGluRs represent the major excitatory neurotransmitter receptor in the mammalian brain, our findings have made us re-think the molecular basis of excitatory synaptic transmission.

Figure 1A from MacLean et al. 2011 J. Neurosci

December 2010 - Drs. Bowie and Dent are awarded a travel grant as part of the Oxford-McGill Neuroscience Collaboration with Drs. Phil Biggin and Tim Green in the UK

November 2010 - The Bowie Lab goes to SfN in San Diego!

Photos courtesy of Mark Aurousseau

October 2010 - Selin Neseliler receives a GREAT Travel Award from the IPN

October 2010 - Ingrid Osswald wins first prize at the annual Vision Network meeting

September 2010 - David MacLean receives the Standard Life Dissertation award