Slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis

Alexandre Prat  CREDIT: BONESSO-DUMAS
Alexandre Prat
CREDIT: BONESSO-DUMAS

By identifying a molecule that delays the progression of MS, CRCHUM researchers pave the way for new therapies for the nearly 77,000 Canadians living with the disease.

Over 77,000 Canadians are living with multiple sclerosis, a disease whose causes still remain unknown. Presently, they have no hope for a cure. In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) identify a molecule named ALCAM which, once blocked, delays the progression of the disease. Their results, obtained from in vitro human and in vivo mouse studies, could lead to the development of a new generation of therapies to treat this autoimmune disease. Continue reading

Cellular origins of pediatric brain tumors identified

Dr Claudia KleinmanSource: MUHC and Lady Davis Institute

A research team led by Dr. Claudia Kleinman, an investigator at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, together with  Dr. Nada Jabado, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), and Dr. Michael Taylor, of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), discovered that several types of highly aggressive and, ultimately, fatal pediatric brain tumors originate during brain development. The genetic event that triggers the disease happens in the very earliest phases of cellular development, most likely prenatal. The findings represent a significant advance in understanding these diseases, and are published in Nature Genetics. Continue reading

Activation of opioid receptor uncovered

Louis Gendron - Université de SherbrookeIn conjunction with Chinese, Belgian, German and American academic colleagues, the team of researchers from the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS), led by the Director of the Department of Pharmacology-Physiology, Professor Louis Gendron, participated in the discovery of the binding mechanism of an important opioid receptor. The results should facilitate the development of new active substances. Opioids used today to treat severe pain can be addictive and often have significant side effects, such as nausea. The results are published in the renowned journal Science Advances. Continue reading

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

Dr. Freda Miller wins the 2019 Till & McCulloch Award

Freda Miller
Freda Miller

Dr. Freda Miller has been named winner of the 2019 Till & McCulloch Award for a new research discovery in tissue repair and regeneration that holds potential for future therapies. The Award is presented annually to one researcher in Canada who has made an exceptional contribution to global stem cell research in that year. Dr. Miller will present the Award lecture on November 5 at the Till & McCulloch Meetings (TMM) taking place in Montréal, Québec, based on her Cell Stem Cell paper entitled, “Mesenchymal Precursor Cells in Adult Nerves Contribute to Mammalian Tissue Repair and Regeneration.”

Read more on Till & McCulloch meeting page

New Calgary school named for world-renowned scientist Dr. Freda Miller

Freda Miller
Dr. Freda Miller

The Calgary Board of Education has announced a new elementary school being built in the community of Evergreen wil be named the Dr. Freda Miller School.  The school is expected to open in September 2020. Dr. Freda Miller’s name was chosen as she is a world-renowned scientist, whose seminal scientific discoveries have led to new therapic avenue to repair injured brains and skin using stem cells.  Dr. Miller also maintains strong ties to Calgary, which is home to most of her family: she is an alumna of the Calgary public school system, of the University of Calgary, and lives part-time in Canmore. Continue reading