Our labs are located at Université de Montréal (UdeM) and Centre de Recherche de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal (CR-HSCM), in the city of Montréal, Québec, Canada.
We are members of the Department of Neurosciences (Faculty of Medicine at UdeM) and Groupe de Recherche sur le Système Nerveux Central, two centres of excellence in Neurosciences Research. Our research falls under the Traumatology theme, one of the three research priority guiding the CR-HSCM towards its goal of making ground-breaking discoveries and apply this new knowledge towards improvements in health.
The primary focus of our research is the neural basis of recovery after lesions to the central nervous system, in particular spinal cord injuries. We use rodent models and a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural and anatomical techniques to study the link between neuroplasticity mechanisms and functional recovery after spinal cord lesions.
How cortical and spinal plasticity contributes to the recovery sensory and motor function after spinal cord injury
How recovery-related mechanisms can be promoted after spinal cord injury
How these animal studies can be translated to novel therapies
Promoting recovery of function after spinal cord injury is a challenge for scientists and health-care system. In Canada, about 86,000 people live with a spinal cord injury, and more than 4,300 new cases arise every year. For spinal cord injured individuals, limitations in sensory-motor activities such as walking and posture severely affect their quality of life. The management of these patients is a major public health issue and is associated with enormous economic costs, with tens of billions of dollars spent annually within Canada alone.
Currently there are few effective therapies available for these patients and appropriate approaches can only be developed if a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms sustaining recovery is obtained. In our lab we are studying the fundamentals of recovery with the ultimate goal of providing clinicians with new therapeutic tools to improve the treatment of SCI patients.
We are currently interested in individuals with a strong background in motor control and skills in electrophysiology (acute fictive preparations, chronic neuronal and electromyographic recordings), behaviour (locomotor tests in rodents), anatomy (tract tracing techniques) and/or pharmacogenetic approaches.
Several scholarships are available through the CR-HSCM, UdeM and other granting agencies: