Program 2018 Meeting

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

8:00AM – 6:30 PM   CAN Satellite Symposium 5: Neural Signal and Image Processing: Quantitative Analysis of Neural Activity  (at Center for Brain Health – University of British Columbia)
4:00 – 6:00PMCanadian Association for Neuroscience 2018 Public Lectures at Telus Science World

Speakers :

Catharine Winstanley, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Against the odds: insights into the nature of addiction from studying decision making in rats

Dr Luke Clark
Director, Centre for Gambling Research at UBC
Department of Psychology

Deconstructing the modern slot machine: gambling, game features and addiction

More information and tickets here

6:00 – 7:00 PM   Satellite 2 Keynote open lecture at Sheraton Wall Centre
Giovanni Marsicano, U Bordeaux
Cannabinoid CB1 receptor signalling in the brain: the where matters


Sunday, May 13, 2018

All events at Sheraton Wall Centre, unless specified.

9:00 AM – 4:30 PMCAN Satellite symposia

Satellite 1: Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet)

Satellite 2: 6th Annual Canadian Neurometabolic Meeting

Satellite 3: Canadian Neurophotonics Platform

Satellite 4: Neural stem cells in development and adulthood


4:45 – 5:00 PM   Welcome and Opening Remarks by

Lynn Raymond, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

5:00 – 5:15 PM   Plenary address

Sam Weiss, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health

5:15 – 6:15Presidential Lecture:

Rick Huganir | Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Receptors, Synapses and Memory

6:15 – 7:15Special Lecture:

Gordon M. Shepherd | Yale School of Medicine

From microcircuits to neuroenology: the revolutions in olfaction

7:15 – 8:15Opening Reception  


Monday, May 14, 2018

 8:30 – 10:15 AM


Plenary symposium 1: The role of cortico-striatal networks in cognition and action
Chair: Melvyn Goodale, Western University

  • Catharine Winstanley | UBC
    Deciphering decision making: exploring the neural systems underlying the evaluation versus employment of cognitive effort in rats
  • Julien Doyon | Université de Montréal
    Cortico-Striatal Contributions to Motor Sequence Learning and Consolidation
  • Jessica Grahn | Western University
    Striatal role in auditory sequence perception
10:15 – 10:45Coffee break


10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker:

Rui Costa | Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute

Starting new actions and learning from it

11:45 – 12:00 PMBrain Star talk

Lauran Cole | Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary
Clinical characteristics, risk factors, and outcomes associated with neonatal hemorrhagic stroke: a population-based case-control study

12:00 – 1:30

Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity in Neuroscience Workshop 

(limited attendance, must be pre-registered)

Lunch on own


1:30 – 3:00

Parallel symposium 1 | Tackling Proteinopathies: New Strategies to Identify and Test Drug Targets.

Chair: Maxime W. Rousseaux | Baylor College of Medicine


  • Maxime W. Rousseaux | Baylor College of Medicine
    Probing the druggable genome for new modulators of α-synuclein levels
  • Jinsoo Seo | Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology
    Modeling Alzheimer’s disease using hiPSC-derived brain cell types and cerebral organoids
  • Jeehye Park | Sick Kids Hospital
    Unraveling the role of MATR3 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Blair R. Leavitt | University of British Columbia
    Huntington disease therapies: from bench to bedside

Parallel symposium 2 | Novel insights in the neurobiology of depression

Chair: Naguib Mechawar | Douglas Institute (McGill University)


  • Caroline Ménard | CERVO Brain Research Centre (Université Laval)
    Social stress induces neurovascular pathology and immune response promoting depression
  • Benoit Labonté | CERVO Brain Research Centre (Université Laval)
    Sex-specific transcriptional signatures in human depression
  • Mounira Banasr | CAMH (University of Toronto)
    Linking GABAergic, astroglial and synaptic dysfunctions to stress-induced depressive-like endophenotype: importance of astroglial integrity
  • Naguib Mechawar | Douglas Institute (McGill University)
    The impact of child abuse on oligodendrocytes and myelination in the human brain

Parallel symposium 3 | Cannabinoid-metabolism interplay in the control of cognition and behaviour

Chair: Stephanie Fulton | Université de Montréal


  • Giovanni Marsicano | University of Bordeaux
    Hippocampal CB1 receptors control incidental associations
  • Matthew Hill | University of Calgary
    Genetic Variance in Endocannabinoid Signaling Modulates Hormonal and Dietary Influences on Feeding and Metabolism
  • Guillaume Ferreira | University of Bordeaux
    Obesogenic diet impairs memory through hippocampal endocannabinoid system
  • Stephanie Fulton | Université de Montréal
    ABHD6 in the nucleus accumbens as a unique modulator of endocannabinoid tone, energy metabolism and reward


Parallel symposium 4 | Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Understanding an invisible injury.

Chair: Anne Wheeler | SickKids Hospital


  • Brian Christie | University of Victoria
    Effects of Repeated Concussions in the Juvenile Brain.
  • Richelle Mychasiuk | University of Calgary
    The use of telomere length as a biomarker for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in preclinical and clinical populations
  • Cheryl Wellington | University of British Columbia
    Advances in the CHIMERA (Closed Head Injury Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration) platform of experimental traumatic brain injury
  • Sandy Shultz | Monash University
    Neurological abnormalities in collision sport athletes with a history of concussion
 3:00 – 3:30Coffee break
 3:30 – 5:30PMPoster session 1 & Exhibits
 5:30 – 7:00Parallel Sessions

Careers inside and outside academia

Organizer & Moderator: Stephanie Borgland


  • Euan Ramsey, PhD.  Co-Founder & COO of Precision Nanosystems
  • Orsha Magyar, M.Sc, CHN    CEO & Founder, NeuroTrition
  • Steven Wainwright, PhD.  Medical Science Liaison for Shire Pharma Canada


Science policy session

Organizer: Katalin Toth

Moderator: Jaideep Bains

Invited speakers:

  • Matt Jeneroux, MP, Conservative Shadow Minister of Science
  • Joyce Murray, Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra
  • Elizabeth May, MP, leader of the Green Party
  • Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West, Critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, NDP
 7:30 – 9:30CAN Student Social


Tuesday, May 15, 2018


 8:30 – 10:15 AM


Plenary symposium 2 | Shaping motivational drive: From synapses to circuits to mesoscale responses

Chair: Stephanie Borgland | Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Speakers :

  • Stephanie Borgland | Hotchkiss Brain Institute
    Synaptic alterations in the lateral OFC with diet induced obesity
  • Rosemary Bagot | McGill University
    Neural endophenotypes of stress susceptibility
  • Timothy Murphy | University of British Columbia
    High-throughput electrophysiological, behavioral, or social event triggered imaging of mouse mesoscale brain activity
10:15 – 10:45Coffee break


10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker:

Kay Tye | MIT Picower Institute for learning and memory

Neural Circuits Underlying Positive and Negative Valence

11:45 – 12:00 PMBrain Star talk

Andrew Kaplan | Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
Small-molecule modulation of 14-3-3 proteins for axon regeneration

12:00 – 12:30CAN-ACN Annual General Meeting of members
12:30 – 1:30Lunch on own
 1:30 – 3:00

Parallel symposium 5 | Synapse to nucleus: new insights into epigenomic, transcriptional, and translational programs underlying neural circuit plasticity

Chair: Stefano Brigidi | University of California San Diego


  • Iva Zovkic | University of Toronto Mississauga
    Histone variants regulate memory formation
  • Wayne Sossin | McGill University
    RNA granules consist of stalled polysomes: Exploring mechanisms for their formation
  • Tae-Kyung Kim | University of Texas Southwestern
    Activity-dependent gene expression program underlying brain plasticity
  • Stefano Brigidi | University of California San Diego
    Communication of pathway-specific circuit activity to the genome by the immediate early gene Npas4


Parallel symposium 6 | Bridging the gap between mesoscopic and microscopic brain imaging

Chair: Ravi Rungta | French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)


  • Ravi Menon | Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario
    Using fMRI to study laminar and columnar activity
  • Ravi Rungta | French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)
    Linking synaptic activation to hemodynamic signals for functional brain imaging
  • Bojana Stefanovic | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    Neurovascular imaging in health and in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Matthieu Vanni | University of British Columbia
    Neural circuits mapping using mesoscopic calcium imaging in mice


Parallel symposium 7 | Novel molecular targets of Alzheimer’s disease pathology

Chair:  Hideto Takahashi | Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
Chair:  Vania Ferreira Prado | University of Western Ontario


  • Hideto Takahashi | Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
    Role of synaptic organizer Neurexin on amyloid β-induced synaptic pathology
  • Vania Ferreira Prado | University of Western Ontario
    Role of cholinergic-induced RNA Metabolism change in Alzheimer’s-Like Pathology
  • Jack H. Jhamandas | University of Alberta
    Amylin Receptor: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Weihong Song | University of British Columbia
    Prenatal Vitamin A deficiency facilitates Alzheimer’s pathogenesis


Parallel symposium 8 | Predicting Fear and Safety in the Brain

Chair: Mihaela Iordanova | Concordia University


  • Gavan McNally | The University of New South Wales
    Parsing the amygdala mechanisms for learning
  • Susan Sangha | Purdue University
    Effect of safety cues on fear and reward seeking behaviors and its neuronal correlates
  • Michael McDannald | Boston College
    Beyond reward: ventral striatal/ventral pallidal contributions to rapid and accurate fear discrimination
  • Mihaela Iordanova | Concordia University
    Mesolimbic circuits of aversive prediction error
 3:00 – 3:30Coffee break
 3:30 – 5:30Posters session 2 and Exhibits
 5:30 – 6:00Young investigator lecture
Karun Singh | McMaster University

Investigating signaling mechanisms controlling neuronal growth and brain development disorders

 6:00 – 7:00 Keynote Lecture:

Freda Miller | University of Toronto

Stem cells and growth factors: building and repairing the mammalian nervous system



Wednesday, May 16, 2018


 8:30 – 10:15 A.M.

Plenary symposium 3 | Glia in brain health, disease and repair

Chair: Brian MacVicar | UBC

  • Brian MacVicar | UBC
    Roles for astrocytes and pericytes in the regeneration of cerebral blood vessels after stroke
  • Michael Salter | University of Toronto
    Sex, Pain and Microglia
  • Keith Murai | McGill University
    Optimizing Brain Circuit Microenvironments Through Neuron-Astrocyte Communication
 10:15 – 10:45Posters/exhibits

Coffee break

10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker:

Beth Stevens | Harvard Medical School

How the Immune System Sculpts Brain Circuitry

11:45 – 12:00 PMBrain Star talk

Nicole E. Burma | Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
A new use for an old drug: probenecid alleviates opioid withdrawal in rodents

12:00 – 12:15NSERC funding information session – Mark Shore, PhD, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Research Grant Program Officer
12:15 – 1:30Lunch on own
 1:30 – 3:30


Posters session 3 & Exhibits

3:30 – 5:00

Parallel symposium 9 | Time and memory

Chair:  Sheena Josselyn | The Hospital for Sick Children


  • Mary Cheng | University of Toronto Mississauga
    miR-132/212 mediates seasonal plasticity of the central circadian clock
  • Qi Yuan | Memorial University
    Pheromone communication of odor-specific fear in rats
  • Satoshi Kida | Tokyo University of Agriculture
    Time-dependent regulation of memory retrieval by hippocampal clock
  • Mauro Costa-Mattioli | Baylor College of Medicine
    New mechanisms underlying memory dysfunction

Parallel symposium 10 | Novel Approaches to Promoting Spinal Plasticity

Chair: Ian Winship | University of Alberta


  • Wolfram Tetzlaff | University of British Columbia
    Cortical Motor Map Plasticity and Functional Recovery via Spared Dorsolaterally Projecting Corticospinal Neurons after Spinal Cord Injury
  • Alyson Fournier | McGill University
    Small Molecule Stabilization of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions to Promote Axon Regeneration
  • Karim Fouad | University of Alberta
    Eliciting inflammation enables successful rehabilitative training in chronic spinal cord injury
  • Ian Winship | University of Alberta
    Enhancing Spinal Plasticity to Improve Recovery from Cortical Stroke


Parallel symposium 11 | Mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease

Chair: Doug Munoz | Queen’s University


  • Marco A.M. Prado | Western University
    Crossing the translational gap in Alzheimers disease research
  • Fernanda G. De Felice | Queen’s University
    Molecular connections between Alzheimers disease and Type 2 diabetes
  • Isabelle Aubert | University of Toronto
    Alzheimers Disease: Vascular and Neuronal Plasticity
  • Douglas P. Munoz | Queen’s University
    Biomarkers of disease progression in a non-human primate model of Alzheimers Disease


Parallel symposium 12 | Development and function of motor circuits: from hardwired patterning to functional maturation and sensory integration.

Chair: Artur Kania | IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal)


  • Douglas W. Allan | University of British Columbia
    Target-dependent gene activation in neurons is mediated by widespread deployment of a BMP-responsive cis-regulatory element.
  • Angelo Iulianella | Dalhousie University
    Taming the gradient: the intrinsic regulation of Sonic Hedgehog signaling in the specification of ventral cell identities in the developing spinal cord
  • Tuan Vu Bui | University of Ottawa
    A switch in the mode of operation of spinal locomotor networks in the developing zebrafish
  • Tomoko Ohyama | McGill University
    Circuit mechanism underlying a Drosophila larval escape sequence
End of Meeting