Patients with mood, anxiety disorders share abnormalities in brain’s control circuit

Dr. Sophia Frangou. Credit: Paul Joseph/UBC
Sophia Frangou

Dr. Sophia Frangou was recently appointed UBC President’s Excellence Chair in Brain Health.

New research published recently in JAMA Psychiatry shows for the first time that patients with mood and anxiety disorders share the same abnormalities in regions of the brain involved in emotional and cognitive control.

The findings hold promise for the development of new treatments targeting these regions of the brain in patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. Continue reading

The brain’s regions work together when it comes to skilled motor sequences

Jörn Diedrichsen
Jörn Diedrichsen

Many skills, such as typing, playing an instrument or tying a knot, rely on complex sequences of movements. Despite being common activities, researchers are still discovering how the brain is able to plan and execute all the movements required to complete these, and other motor tasks. 

To better understand how motor sequences are represented in the brain, Atsushi Yokoi, a researcher at CiNet, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and Jörn Diedrichsen, Western University Computational Neuroscience Professor, worked together to map finger movement sequences. Continue reading

Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Neuroscience – Lefebvre lab at UOttawa

The Lefebvre lab at uOttawa is recruiting two postdoctoral fellows for the Winter 2020. Candidates interested in computational neuroscience, brain imaging and applied mathematics are encouraged to apply.

Selected candidates will be involved in the following projects:

  1. In collaboration with the Griffiths Lab at the CAMH Krembil Center for Neuroinformatics (KCNI) and University of Toronto, the goal of the project is to develop, analyse and explore computational models of non-invasive brain stimulation (e.g. TMS, TES) and their impact on multi-scale neural activity. Specifically, we seek to better understand network-based mechanisms of neural control, oscillatory entrainment and/or stimulation-induced brain plasticity. This project involves a combination of computational and mathematical modelling, has strong potential for knowledge translation, and aims to help inspire new non-invasive treatments for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
  2. In collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, the goal of this project is to better understand mechanisms of white matter plasticity, neuron-glia interactions, myelination and its impact on brain function. Using a combination of modelling and simulations, interfacing rodent and human data, the role of the fellow will be to examine the influence of white matter plasticity on neural synchrony and memory. This project involves a combination of computational and mathematical modelling, and strong interactions with experimentalists.

The research will take place in the Department of Biology, the Brain and Mind Institute and the Center for Neural Dynamics of the University of Ottawa, a vivid interdisciplinary research cluster set in the bilingual capital of Canada. Both projects are deployed in the Ottawa-Toronto axis, through close collaborations between uOttawa, uToronto, CAMH KCNI, The University Health Network and The Krembil Research Institute. Based on the research needs and resources, candidates will be required to travel between both cities often. Throughout, candidates will interact closely with clinicians, experimentalists and scholars in neuroimaging.


Candidates should have completed their PhD in physics, mathematics, neuroscience or related disciplines, and have an excellent publication track record. Expertise in programming is a necessity, as well as independence in research. Experience in brain imaging, signal processing and dynamical systems are considered strong assets. Contracts are for one year, with possibility of extension subject to sufficient progress. of one additional year. While the positions are fully funded, candidates are nonetheless expected to apply for external/competitive funding throughout their training.

To apply, please send 1) a letter of interest, 2) a full CV and 3) two(2) letters of reference to jeremie.lefebvre at hotmail dot com before Dec 1st , 2019. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview in December!

Computational Neuroscience Research Scientist Faculty Position – Krembil Research Institute

Position: Computational Neuroscience Research Scientist
Site: Krembil Research Institute/Toronto Western Hospital
Department: Research
Reports to: Institute Director
Status: Permanent Full-time

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in a relevant field, research expertise and experience in mathematical and computational modeling, and research interests that complement those of the Institute in neurobiology and neurodegeneration. Candidates whose research interests encompass cellular, micro/macro circuits and/or large scale brain models, and who have collaborative experimental experience are especially encouraged. The successful candidate will have the ability to establish an independent, well-funded program and will be eligible for appointment at the appropriate level within the University of Toronto.

Qualified applicants are invited to submit their online application (letter of interest, research plan, curriculum vitae), in PDF format as well as complete some initial screening questions. The search committee will begin to review applications in January with a potential start date in Spring/Summer 2020.

Contact: Frances Skinner

Learning mechanisms of pain – PhD or post-doctoral position, Martin lab, University of Toronto

The ability to predict pain or other unpleasant events by learning from prior experience is an important adaptive behavior in healthy organisms and can cause disabling fear and avoidance in patients with chronic pain. While there is no single ‘pain processing area of the brain’, our recent efforts have focused on the role of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), due to its capacity to modulate pain and emotion based on prior experience.

The Martin Lab ( at the University of Toronto is currently seeking an independent, highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to study the molecular and synaptic basis of pain memory. Specifically, the candidate will be tasked with developing novel behavioural models of pain memory and should have a strong interest in neural circuits, in vivo imaging and electrophysiology.

Qualified postdoctoral candidates should have extensive experience with in vitro (patch-clamp) electrophysiological techniques, in vivo optogenetics or fiber photometry. Experience with molecular biology and/or immunohistochemistry are strong assets for both positions.

The postdoctoral position is available to start July 2020 (or later) and the deadline for graduate student applications is December 1, 2019 (Department of Psychology) or February 15, 2020 (Cell, Systems & Biology).

To apply, please send a brief statement of research interests, CV, and contact information for 3 references to

Contact information

Loren J. Martin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Mississauga
Tier II Canada Research Chair in Translational Pain Research
Department of Psychology, CCT Building, Room 4061
3359 Mississauga Rd, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6

CAN Parliament Hill Day – March 31st, 2020 – Call for participants

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is planning a day on Parliament Hill to advocate for increased federal funding for scientific research, through increased investments in the three main granting councils of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience wants to bring a diverse group of neuroscientists to Parliament Hill to share their stories with Members of Parliament, Senators and Parliament Hill staff members. Continue reading

Science was not an Election 2019 issue – but it should be a priority for the next Government

By Tarik Möröy and Katalin Tóth — published in National Newswatch — Oct 25 2019

During Election 2019, the issue of poorly funded scientific research in Canada was not addressed by the major Parties and their leaders. Now, scientists across the country are concerned that they will not have the needed Federal support to make groundbreaking discoveries that move Canada and the world forward.

Investing in scientific research isn’t just important for scientists, it impacts the daily lives of all Canadians. From innovative treatments to cure diseases that affect millions of Canadians, to new technologies that can help us address the global climate crisis, scientific research is essential to confronting the issues that we face today and that our children will meet in the future. These investments are not simply expenses; they contribute significantly to the prosperity of our country, which gains from the work of highly-trained scientists, and the knowledge they generate, to drive today’s innovation-based economy. Continue reading

Research Associate – University of Guelph – Khokhar laboratory

The Khokhar Lab ( researches the interactions between substance use and serious mental illness, with an eye toward treatment of these disorders using a variety of behavioural and circuit-interrogation methods.

The Research Associate will conduct behavioural experiments assessing the effects of cannabinoids in a variety of animal models of addiction (e.g., drug withdrawal and self-administration/free-access intake) and serious mental illness (e.g., prepulse inhibition, latent inhibition). Previous experience with these behavioural paradigms is an asset. In addition, previous experience with in vivo electrophysiology (local field potential recordings or single unit) will be beneficial.

The research associate will also provide input with respect to appropriate methodology, procedures, equipment and standards to produce required research data and apply specialized knowledge and principles to review, appraise and interpret published literature, summarize research findings, and draft scientific/technical reports, manuscripts, grant proposals while establishing and maintaining effective relationships with trainees, staff and external partners, which may include coordinating of project plans, presenting research findings (may include presenting findings at conferences).

Minimum Qualifications: Master’s degree in relevant discipline, with some related research experience (behavioural methods outlined above) or equivalent combination of education and experience (some roles may require more extensive experience or training in a particular area of research).

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

How to apply


Contact information
50 Stone Rd. E
Guelph ON

Posting end date: 2020/02/29

Post-doctoral position – Dr. Junchul Kim lab in Psychology/Cell and Systems Biology Department in the University of Toronto

A funded postdoctoral fellow position is available (start date is negotiable) at Dr. Junchul Kim lab in Psychology/Cell and Systems Biology Department in the University of Toronto, Canada. The lab uses optogenetics, chemogenetics, intersectional viral tools, and calcium imaging to understand neural circuits underlying memory in mice. The selected candidate will also participate in collaborative projects for investigating working memory, anxiety, and escape behaviours. A strong understanding of behavioral neuroscience is desired.

Specific skills and qualifications for the position include:

  • PhD in Neuroscience, Physiology, Psychology, or a related field.
  • Experience with stereotaxic surgery.
  • Experience with mouse behavioral tests.
  • Experience with in vivo calcium imaging is desirable.
  • Experience with molecular biology is encouraged but not a requirement.

Salaries will be in line with University of Toronto postdoctoral stipend levels. To apply, please send curriculum vitae, a brief statement of research experience and interests, and letters of reference to Dr. Junchul Kim ( Please also visit our website to learn more about the lab:

Contact information

Junchul Kim
100 St.George st, Room 4028.
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto,

Phone 1-416-578-8319



Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology of Depression and Aging – Toronto – Sibille laboratory

Position Summary:

It is estimated that Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 700,000 Canadians with an economic burden of over 33 billion every year in both direct and indirect costs. In light of the heavy socio economic burden, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, is leading the path to investigate the underlying mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease and develop novel therapeutic avenues. Dr. Etienne Sibille, Chair and Deputy Director of the Campbell Institute at CAMH and head of the Neurobiology of Depression and Aging program, focusing on investigating molecular mechanism for depression and age-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Resources include animal care facilities, behavioural testing areas, molecular biology and genetics infrastructure, tissue culture, electrophysiology, confocal microscope, and a wide array of basic and clinical expertise.

The program is currently seeking an outstanding post-doctoral fellow to characterize cognitive deficits in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), perform quantitative analyses of AD and aging markers in mouse brain tissue, and work in close collaboration with the Drug Development Program to test new molecules for their potential effects and reversing cognitive decline in AD pathology.

The candidate will be required to have extensive knowledge in preclinical models of aging and AD, pharmacology, immunohistochemistry and imaging. The ideal candidate should have a PhD in Neuroscience or Neuropharmacology with expertise in age-related disorders, and significant experience working with rodent models. This will require a strong background in method development and validation in area of animal behavior, and translational research. The candidate should also have in-depth scientific expertise with mechanisms of aging and neurodegenerative disorders cognitive processes, anxiety-like and depressive-like behavioral testing, and administration of pharmacological agents.

The ideal candidate should have an excellent record of scientific accomplishments, complemented by strong interpersonal, organizational and communication skills. The successful applicant will be expected to work independently, but in close complement with other scientists in the Neurobiology of Depression and Aging group, within CAMH and outside of CAMH. The applicant will demonstrate a commitment to conducting and fostering research and enthusiasm regarding participating in multidisciplinary research and training activities. The applicant will also be required to supervise students and technicians as part of the training and leadership objectives of the department.

You will support a healthy workplace that embraces diversity, encourages teamwork and complies with all applicable regulatory and legislative requirements. This position is located at 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is located within the vibrant Toronto biomedical research community. The successful candidate will be eligible for cross-appointment to a faculty position at the University of Toronto.


The successful candidate should have a PhD in Neuroscience or Neuropharmacology with expertise in age-related diseases (AD and others). The candidate should have significant experience working rodent models, with knowledge in cognitive processes, and in-depth scientific expertise with mechanisms of brain aging. Extensive experience with behavioural, anatomical, histological and molecular characterizations of rodent models is a must. The successful candidate will have a track record that demonstrates competence in publishing in high impact peer reviewed journals, disseminating research at formal scientific meetings, writing grant proposals and participation in the education of students and trainees. Consistent with the expectation that all Scientists seek to apply their research findings into practice, the successful candidate will be required to work towards this end. The ability to interact with populations of diverse ethnoracial and cultural backgrounds is also required. Bilingualism (English/French) and/or proficiency in a second language is considered an asset.

Please note: This full-time position is NOT part of any bargaining unit.
Salary Range: Competitive Salary and Benefits

CAMH is a Tobacco-Free Organization.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a teaching hospital and research institute. As a CAMH employee you will be expected to actively support CAMH’s teaching and research activities, in addition to supporting the clinical work of the hospital.

As an employment equity employer CAMH actively seeks Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities,
women, people with disabilities, (including people who have experienced mental health and
substance use challenges), and additional diverse identities for our workforce.
We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
If contacted for an interview, please inform us should accommodation be required.

All applicants are welcome to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Contact information