Neurobiology of Disease

Understanding the molecular basis of neurological disease represents an ongoing and major challenge for neuroscience in the coming decades. Most disorders are tackled by treating symptoms rather than the underlying cause of the disease. In cases where treatment is available, sufferers of the condition often complain of unwanted and debilitating side effects of drugs that diminish patient compliance. Our lab has been working in collaboration with a number of basic and clinical research labs to understand the molecular basis of several neurological diseases that include Fragile-X syndrome, idiopathic generalized epilepsy and glaucoma. The aim is to better understand the underlying defect(s) to help identify novel pharmacological targets for the development of clinically relevant compounds. To date, this work has uncovered a novel role for calcium-permeable iGluRs in the onset of visual impairment in glaucoma. We have also identified a number of French Canadian families that have genetic mutations in GABARs that explains their epilepsy and accounts for the occurrence in their progeny.

Relevant Publications

Vargas et al., 2015, Journal of Neuroscience (PDF)
Lachance-Touchette, Brown et al., 2011, European Journal of Neuroscience (PDF, Editorial)
Lebrun-Julien et al., 2009, Journal of Neuroscience (PDF, Commentary)
Bowie, 2008, CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (PDF)