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Research unit director

Meirong Liang

     Meirong Liang, Lab Manager, 2005-present
Laboratory Management

Julie Cardin

Julie Cardin, Research Assistant, 2005-present

Nicolas Stifani

Nicolas Stifani, PhD, 2016-present
Projet: Effects of different sensory modalities on perception of pain

I obtained my PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University in 2012 during which I was studying the genetic diversity of motoneurons in the mouse spinal cord in the laboratory of Dr. Stefano Stifani (not related) at the Montreal Neurological Institute. Subsequently, I studied the invasive properties of a brain cancer (Glioblastoma Multiform) as a postdoctoral fellow in Neuro-Oncology. In 2013, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Rob Brownstone at Dalhousie University where I was focusing on the neuronal networks driving locomotion in the spinal cord. In 2016, I joined Dr. Artur Kania's lab where I am currently studying how sensory signals from different modalities are processed in the spinal cord with an emphasis on how pain circuits are modulated. I aim to open my research laboratory studying neuronal spinal networks and their function.
Publications sur Google Scholar

Daniel Morales

Daniel Morales, M.Sc., 2012- present
Project: Molecular mechanisms ephrin:Eph signaling in axon guidance

I am studying the principles of axonal growth and guidance during embryonic development, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms of ephrin:Eph signaling in growth cones, using lateral motor column motor neurons as a model.
Publications sur Google Scholar

Ronan Da Silva
Ronan Da Silva, MSc, 2012-present
Project: Somatotopic organization of pain circuits

The goal of my project is to describe molecular cues that act in establishing the somatotopic organization of pain circuits. Sensory circuits are connected in a way to create an accurate representation of each body part in the opposite side of the brain, which allows us to locate sensory stimuli in space.  Given that each body part is represented in the opposite side of the brain, we hypothesized that commissural axon guidance plays a critical role in establishing these maps. In particular, we are investigating how the axon guidance molecules DCC and Robo3 act in controlling the formation of contralateral body representations as well as the consequences of their loss to spatial perception of pain.
Publications sur PubMed

Farin Bourojeni

Farin Bourojeni, MSc, 2014-present
Project: Spinal and supraspinal analysis of somatosensation

I received a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc. Honors) in Biological Sciences. During my undergraduate years, I did rotations in a variety of labs to become exposed to multiple streams of biology. In my final year, I became very interested in spinal cord development and regeneration. I completed my projects in the role of electrical currents in axon regeneration and eventually spinal cord injury. I continued to obtain a Master’s degree (M.Sc. Neuroscience) from Queen’s University where I examined the distribution of specific proteins on motoneuron dendritic projections. In 2014, I joined the Dr Kania’s lab as a PhD student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. I am currently using a variety of genetics tools and behavioural assays to examine the development and the functional maintenance of neural circuits involved in somatosensation at spinal and supraspinal levels.

Brian Roome

Brian Roome, MSc, 2014-present
Project: Function of spinal projection neuron into pain transmission

I first began my studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland, obtaining a B.Sc in Biochemistry/Behavioral Neuroscience. During my undergraduate training, I worked with Dr. John Weber investigating the effects of alcohol consumption during adolescence on motor coordination in young rats. I did my M.Sc with Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit, and worked to construct a functional and anatomical map of the mouse forelimb motor cortex, as well as develop new behavioral tests for forelimb motor function. I am currently doing my doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Artur Kania, investigating how spinal projection neurons carry noxious information to the brain. Specifically, I am investigating how classes of developing spinal neurons, each identified by developmental gene expression, contributes to spinal projection neuron pools in adulthood. Using this approach, I can study the function of different projection neuron subtypes to understand how each type contributes to the transmission of pain to the brain.

Sylvie LaHaie

Sylvie LaHaie, BSc, 2016-present
Project: Molecular mechanisms underlying synergistic interactions of guidance molecules in motoneurons

I’ve obtained a B.Sc in Neuroscience and Mental Health minor in Biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. My first research project was in Dr. Natalina Salmaso laboratory, where I was working with a mouse model of depression and studying their astrocyte morphology. Next, I started my Masters in the Integrated Neuroscience Program at McGill University September 2016. I joined Dr. Artur Kania’s lab at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) where I began to work on axon guidance in motor neurons in both chick and mouse embryonic stem cells. I am currently investigating the molecular mechanism in ephrin B2 and netrin-1 synergy signaling in medial lateral column motor neurons (LMCm).

Wren Boehlen

Wren Boehlen, 2016-present
Project: Cellular responses to distinct nociceptive stimuli

I am currently an undergraduate student at McGill University, in the BSc. Neuroscience program. In the Dr Kania Lab, I am studying the neuronal networks transmitting pain from the periphery to the brain. More precisely I am continuing a project initiated by Alastair Garner, a PhD candidate, analyzing the differences between neuronal cells in the spinal cord that respond to different type of painful stimuli. I believe this experience to be a great training for my possible future medical career.

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