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Research unit director

Research Associates

Patricia Yam

My interest in cell biology began during my doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Theriot at Stanford University. As a PhD student, I tackled the problem of understanding how stationary cells polarize and begin to move, looking at the large-scale spatial regulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics in these cells. After receiving my PhD in 2006, I moved to Montreal to do my first post-doc here in the Charron lab, where I developed a novel in vitro assay for axon guidance and used it to identify a non-canonical Shh signaling pathway for axon guidance. I then joined the lab of Dr. David Colman at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 2008, where I was part of the Neuroengineering group. I used super-resolution microscopy to investigate the distribution of N-cadherin at neuronal synapses. In 2012, I finished my post-doc with Dr. Colman and returned to the Charron lab. I am currently a Research Associate and am pursuing my interest in projects at the interface of neuroscience, quantitative cell biology, and engineering, with a specific focus on axon guidance and Sonic hedgehog signaling.



Amandine Bemmo

Quotation forthcoming 


Research Assistants

Jean-Francois Michaud


Quotation forthcoming 

Francois Depault


Quotation forthcoming 

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Tiphaine Dolique


After completing a classic university course of first cycle, I joined the "Ecole Normale Supérieure-Ulm" of Paris, where I completed a Master degree in Neuroscience co-accredited Paris VI University-UPMC. Since the beginning of my research activity, the field of spinal cord neuronal networks is highly appealing to me as evidenced by my master internship in the laboratory of Dr. Y. De Koninck at Quebec on ​​the study of the synaptic organization of the sensory spinal cord. I continued in the same research field for my Ph.D (MENRT fellowship) in Dr. F. Nagy's lab at Bordeaux where I devoted myself to the study of the plasticity of synaptic connections between dorsal horn neurons, in condition of spinal sensitization to pain. Always in the context of the study of the organization of sensory networks, I chose to realize my postdoc in Dr. F. Charron's lab by selecting a project on the visual system development that fits into an area of ​​research that is both new (developmental biology) and complementary to my previous works on the cellular mechanisms controlling the development of sensory neural networks and the establishment of connections needed to become functional.


Julien Ferent

After completing my PhD at the CNRS in France and studied the roles of the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway (Shh) in the adult rodent brain, I joined the laboratory of Dr. F. Charron in May 2013. For my postdoctoral training, I am interested in the axon guidance processes during the nervous system development. Understanding how neurons manage to establish long-distance connections so precisely is an exciting goal. Currently my projects include the analysis of the mechanisms underlying the detection of Shh gradient by the growth cones of commissural neurons axons. For this research, I am being introduced to a wide variety of in vitro and in vivo technics, ranging from the study of proteins dynamics in cultured neurons to the analysis of axonal projections in the neural tube. I received a postdoctoral fellowship from the French Foundation for Medical Research.

Chia-Lun Wu

Quotation forthcoming 

Sabrina Schlienger

Quotation forthcoming 

Cornelia Zorca

Quotation forthcoming


PhD Students

Jimmy Peng


I completed my BScH at Queen's University in 2010 before starting my PhD in the Charron lab as part of the Developmental Biology program at McGill. Prior to my graduate studies, I worked in the lab of Ian Chin-Sang at Queen's University studying the role of the Eph receptor in PTEN regulation in C. elegans, and briefly in the lab of Joe Culotti at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Using mouse models, I am currently studying mechanisms of axon guidance in the visual system and spinal cord using in vivo and in vitro approaches. I am particularly fascinated by how guidance defects in specific populations of axons during development can lead to specific behavioural phenotypes. I received the NSERC Julie Payette Scholarship in 2010 and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2011.


Lukas Tamayo


I obtained my medical degree two years ago in Colombia; after that, I worked as an assistant professor of neuroanatomy. I also have some experience in clinical neurophysiology and histology of the nervous system. Currently, I am starting my PhD studies at the McGill University Integrated Program in Neuroscience. One of my intellectual passions is the study of evolution and development; I also spend some time reading philosophy books—I am a declared admirer of Karl Popper. For my thesis work in the Charron Lab, I am studying the role of sonic hedgehog signaling in the progression of medulloblastomas. These tumors are a unique example of how the deregulation of a developmental process leads to cancer.


Shirin Makihara

In 2013, I newly joined Dr. Charron's lab. Before coming to Montreal, I was researching the development of nervous system, especially the function of Eph and Ephrin in axon and dendrite targeting, by using the Drosophila olfactory system in the University of Tokyo. 
In the Charron lab, I am interested in the diverse functions of Shh: not only as morphogen, but also as an axon guidance cue. I am really impressed with the intelligence of organisms to maximize their limited number of genes. I received a scholarship from Keidanren memorial Foundation in Japan.

Shannon Swikert

Quotation forthcoming

Nursen Balekoglu

Quotation forthcoming


MSc Students


Heather Anderson-Keightly

Quotation forthcoming


Support Staff

Julie Cardin


I completed my BSc in Biochemistry  in 1998 and my MSc in Endocrinology at the Université de Montréal in 2000. I worked as a research assistant, at the Montreal Heart Institute from 2000 to 2005, where I was doing fundamental and pre-clinical studies in hemodynamy. Since 2005, I split my time as research assistant between the Charron and Kania labs. In the Charron lab, mice say that I am the one who investigates which mouse is having an affair with whom: call this genotyping the mouse colony!

Jessica Barthe


Animal Technician

Marie-Andrée Marcotte


Animal Technician

Daniela Baggio
, B.A. 

Administrative Assistant

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