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Research unit director

Michel Cayouette, PhD
(514) 987-5757
Dr. Michel Cayouette is Director of the Cellular Neurobiology research unit and IRCM Research Professor. He is also Associate Research Professor in the Department of Medicine (Université de Montréal), an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) as well as in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (McGill University).

Christine Jolicoeur, M.Sc.
(514) 987-5772
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Experimental medecine from Université Laval, Québec, Canada. I have been working as a Life Science Research Assistant since 1997. My career in neurobiology started in 2000 when I joined Dr. Martin Raff’s lab at University College London (United Kingdom) to study the maturation and differentiation of oligodendrocytes produced from lineage-selectable mouse embryonic stem cells. Two years later I joined Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s lab at Stanford University (California, USA) to work on a high throughput Genetrap project where I was generating and characterizing  knock out mice for axon guidance phenotypes. I joined the Cayouette lab to work on neural cell fate determination in 2004.

Marie-Claude Bélanger
(514) 987-5772
I’ve obtained a B.Sc in Biochemistry and a M.Sc in Biomedical Sciences from Université de Montréal. I have worked at the CHU Sainte-Justine under the supervision of Dr Louise Simard, where we have developed a preclinical test to quantify SMN mRNA transcript levels in patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Then, under the supervision of Dr Graziella DiCristo, I investigated the role of polysialic acid (PSA) in the development of the GABAergic system in the mouse visual neocortex. I am currently enrolled in the Ph.D program in the division of Experimental Medicine at McGill University.  My research topics focus on adult mouse retinal stem cells neurogenesis and on the role of Müller glia in the maintenance of adult retinal tissue homeostasis.

Carine Monat
(514) 987-5772
During my undergraduate study in biology at Clermont-Ferrand, Université d’Auvergne (France), I did my first undergrad project in Dr. Gilles Bronchti’s lab at Trois-Rivières University (UQTR). I studied cerebral plasticity in early or late blind mice. To complete my undergraduate degree, I joined Dre. Kozyraki’s lab at the Vision Institute in Paris to study retinal development. I obtained a master degree from "l’École pratique des hautes études (EPHE)", in Dr. Olivier Goureau’s lab at the Vision Institute in collaboration with the Retinopathies team of Dre. Christelle Monville at the Institut for Stem Cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenic diseases (I-Stem). My aim was to differentiate human embryonic stem cells in photoreceptor cells. I joined Dr. Cayouette’s team in 2011 for my PhD in the molecular biology program at universite de Montreal. I study the mechanisms regulating asymmetric cell divisions during retinogenesis.

Adèle Tufford
(514) 987-5772
I grew up in Toronto, Canada and attended the University of Toronto for my undergraduate degree, with a major in Neuroscience. My first undergraduate research project was in the lab of Dr. Elise Stanley, where I studied single channel dynamics of various types of Calcium channels in the central and peripheral nervous system. I then moved to the lab of Dr. Cindi Morshead where I studied adult Neural Stem Cells in aging mice. In 2011 I moved to Montreal to start my PhD and joined the McGill Integrated Program in Neuroscience Rotation Program. After 4 different rotations I joined the Cayouette lab in 2012 because it was THE BEST! I study the development of cone photoreceptor circuitry in mice.

Camille Boudreau-Pinsonneault
(514) 987-5772
I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at McGill University. My undergraduate research project was in Dr. Carl Ernst and Dr. Naguib Mechawar’s laboratories at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. I worked on stem cells, neuronal morphologies and their association with autism. I started my Ph.D. by taking part of the rotation program of the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. In August 2014, after rotating in 3 different laboratories in different institutes, I chose the Cayouette laboratory where I am now working on adult retinal stem cells and regeneration.

Michel Fries
(514) 987-5772
I obtained my Bachelors and Masters degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich in Switzerland. During my bachelors and masters I did several rotations in labs focusing on all kinds of fields of biological sciences. My interest was quite awakened when I joined the lab of Dr. Olivier Raineteau at the Brain Research Institute of Zurich, where I did my master thesis on the influence of bHLH transcription factors in glioblastoma multiforme progression and survival. I joined Michel’s lab in September 2014 for my Ph.D. in the molecular biology program at Unviersité de Montréal. I study the mechanisms underlying photoreceptor degeneration. 

Awais Javed
(514) 987-5772
I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at University College London, U.K. During my time in UCL, I completed a summer project in Dr. Imelda McGonnell’s lab at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, where I investigated the role of FSTL-3 in cerebral morphology. My final year undergraduate project was in Dr. Chrisitina Ruhrberg’s lab at the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL, studying the potential role of VEGF-A in synaptogenesis. I joined Michel’s lab in May, 2014 for my master project in the molecular biology program at Université de Montréal, after meeting the fantastic and inspiring lab members. I am currently investigating the mechanisms underlying the regulation of early temporal competence in retinal progenitors.

Pierre Mattar, PhD
(514) 987-5772
I’ve been working in molecular biology for about 15 years. I first completed an Honor’s Bachelor’s degree in Genetics, followed by a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Western University in London Ontario. My supervisor for both degrees was Dr. Gregory A. Dekaban. Next, I moved on to the University of Calgary, where I joined the (brand new) laboratory of Dr. Carol Schuurmans. I met Michel at a meeting in 2008, and was really excited by his work on the Ikaros (Ikzf1) transcription factor and its role in retinal development. I joined the lab to continue this project in 2010.

Marine Lacomme, PhD
(514) 987-5772
At the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse (France), I followed a theoretical training of developmental biology and cell biology, and integrated the teams of Drs. Cathy Soula and Fabienne Pituello. I did my PhD from 2007 to 2011 in the team of Dr. Fabienne Pituello Biology Center develop (CBD) in Toulouse, France. For 4 years, I studied the function of NEUROG2 transcription factor in the developing spinal cord by performing a comprehensive analysis of its target genes. I joined the Cayouette lab in April 2012, where I study the importance of asymmetric cell divisions in the production of cellular diversity in the retina.

Michael Housset
(514) 987-5772
Between 2005 and 2007, I completed a degree in agronomy at "École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie" de Rennes (Rennes, France), and I did my first undergraduate internship in 2007 in Dr. John Chapman lab at "Université Pierre et Marie Curie" (Paris) studying the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In 2008, I obtained a master degree from Rennes 2 University after an internship in Dr. Michel Vignes lab (Montpellier 2 University), studying the effect of the oxydative-stress on hippocampal neuron survival. I started the same year a PhD on a genetically-triggered neurodegenerative model in Dr. Thomas Lamonerie lab at "Institut de recherche Valrose" (Nice) and obtained my PhD degree from Nice Sophia-Antipolis Unvisersity in 2013. I then did a short 2-year postdoc in Dr. Florian Sennlaub’s lab at the Vision Institut (Paris, France), studying the molecular determinants in Age-related Macular Degeneration pathogenesis.
I joined the Cayouette lab in July 2015 and I study the molecular determinants involved in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarity during development.

Jessica Barthe
(514) 987-3343

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