Program 2022

This is a preliminary program, subject to change and updates.

Wednesday, May 11


CAN public lectures:

Starting at 5 PM

Focused ultrasound to transiently open the blood brain barrier for therapeutics


  • Isabelle Aubert, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Kullervo Hynynen, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Nir Lipsman, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Virtual event – get your ticket here

Day 1 : Thursday, May 12

In person at the Sheraton Toronto Centre

9:00 AM – 4:00 PMCAN Satellite symposia

5:00 – 5:15 PMWelcome and Opening Remarks by
Shernaz Bamji, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience
5:15 – 6:15Presidential Lecture

Making up your mind: the intimate dependence and remarkable precision of cortical interneurons

Gordon Fishell, Harvard Medical School

6:15 – 8:00Opening Reception

Day 2: Friday, May 13

In person at the Sheraton Toronto Centre

8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 1

Mitochondrial function and dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease: insights from native and model cells

Chair: Louis-Eric Trudeau, Université de Montréal
Speakers :

  • Mechanisms of metabolic dysfunction in synucleinopathies
    Scott Ryan, University of Guelph
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, what can patient-derived induced neurons tell us?
    Janelle Drouin-Ouellet, Université de Montréal
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction in dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease: at the interface of cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms
    Louis-Eric Trudeau, Université de Montréal
10:15 – 10:30


Sam Weiss

10:30 – 10:45Coffee break
10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker 1

Decoding Parkinson’s disease

Valina Dawson, Johns Hopkins

11:45 – 12:00Brain Star Award presentation 1

Xuming Yin | University of Ottawa
Delayed motor learning in a 16p11.2 deletion mouse model of autism is rescued by locus coeruleus activation

12:00 – 1:30Advocacy lunch (pre-registration required)

Science Advocacy – Why it matters, and how you can participate

1:30 – 3:00Parallel symposia

PS1 Novel Sources of neurogenesis in vivo and in response to neurological injury

Chair: Jing Wang | Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


  • Direct neuronal reprogramming by temporal identity factors
    Michel Cayouette | Montreal Clinical Research Institute
  • Recruiting quiescent neural stem cells in the injured spinal cord
    Karl Fernandes | University of Sherbrooke
  • Direct lineage reprogramming strategies for CNS repair
    Maryam Faiz | University of Toronto
  • Ischemic injury induces reprogramming and local neural regeneration in the adult brain
    Jing Wang | Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


PS2 The amygdala and the response to reward cues
Sponsored by CERVO Brain Research Centre

Chair: Anna Samaha | Université de Montréal


  • Acetylcholine Dynamics in the BLA During Reward Learning
    Marina Picciotto | Yale School of Medicine
  • Approach behaviours and instrumental pursuit triggered by appetitive cues: role of the basolateral amygdala
    Anne-Noel Samaha | Université de Montréal
  • Optogenetic excitation of central amygdala amplifies ‘wanting’ but not ‘liking’ for sucrose reward
    Shelley Warlow | University of California San Diego
  • Amygdala mechanisms distinguishing addiction vulnerability phenotypes
    Donna Calu | University of Maryland School of Medicine


PS3 The diverse roles of glia in stress and metabolic disorders

Sponsored by the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program (BRaIN) Program at the RI-MUHC

Chair: Thierry Alquier | University of Montreal


  • Astroglial endozepines in the hypothalamic control of energy homeostasis
    Thierry Alquier | University of Montreal
  • The role of astrocytes in stress-induced cognitive dysfunction
    Ciaran Murphy-Royal | University of Montreal
  • Role of the leptin receptor expressing pericyte in energy balance and beyond
    Maia Kokoeva | McGill University
  • Glia-Neuronal interaction in Health and Salt-induced Hypertension
    Masha Prager-Khoutorsky | McGill University


PS4 Neuronal dynamics underlying memory in the input and output structures of the hippocampus.

Chair: Adrien Peyrache | McGill University


  • Not just a compass: the role of the head-direction system in learning and memory during sleep.
    Adrien Peyrache | McGill University
  • Network-level contribution of adult-born neurons to hippocampal population dynamics
    David Dupret | University of Oxford
  • Prefrontal neuronal dynamics supporting memory integration and transformation.
    Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi | University of Toronto
3:00 – 3:30Coffee break
3:30 – 5:30PMPoster session 1 & Exhibits
5:30 – 7:00Brain PrizePresentation:

Martin Meyer – Scientific Programme Director – The Brain Prize

Brain Prize lecture:

From CADASIL to other cerebral small vessel diseases. How genetics can inform pathophysiological pathways

Elisabeth Tournier-Lasserve, Université Paris Diderot

7:30 – 9:30Hotchkiss Brain InstituteCAN Student Social

Sponsored by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute

The Pint Public House – 277 Front St. West, Toronto, On, M5V 2X4 –  wear your meeting badge to get in

Day 3: Saturday, May 14

In person at the Sheraton Toronto Centre

8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 2

Neurovascular coupling in health and disease: what we know and what we need to know

Chair: Adriana Di Polo, Université de Montréal

  • Optical dissection of brain pericytes and capillary function during aging
    Andy Shih, Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Neurovascular coupling and functional connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease mice: Effects of pharmacotherapy.
    Edith Hamel, McGill University
  • Inter-pericyte tunneling nanotubes: at the heart of neurovascular dysfunction in optic neuropathies
    Adriana Di Polo, Université de Montréal
10:15 – 10:20Brief update
Viviane Poupon, President and CEO, Brain Canada
10:20 – 10:45Coffee break
10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker 2

Rescuing cerebral blood flow deficits in small vessel disease

Mark Nelson, University of Vermont

11:45 – 12:00Brain Star Award presentation 2

Yash Patel | University of Toronto, NIH
Virtual Histology of Cortical Thickness and Shared Neurobiology in 6 Psychiatric Disorders

12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:30

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee event: Picture A Scientist Panel Discussion

1:30 – 3:00Parallel symposia

PS5 Alternative splicing in the health and disease of the mammalian brain

Chair: Derek Bowie | McGill University


  • Cell-specific epigenetic control of calcium ion channel splicing and function
    E. Javier Lopez Soto | North Carolina State University
  • Gain control of LTP and learning by alternative splicing of the GluN1 subunit of NMDA receptors
    Ameet Sengar | Hospital for Sick Children
  • Alternative splicing of AMPA receptor signalling complexes
    Amanda Perozzo | McGill University
  • A splicing code reveals an expanded landscape of brain microexons with direct genetic links to autism
    Benjamin Blencowe | University of Toronto


PS6 Understanding dynamic neural circuit activity during defensive behavior with optical recording methods

Sponsored by CERVO Brain Research Centre

Chair: Robert Rozeske | University of Toronto


  • Serotonergic modulation of ventral hippocampus underlies sex-related differences in anxiety
    Bénédicte Amilhon | Université de Montréal
  • Sex differences in neural representation of threat in ventral hippocampal and prefrontal cortical projections to nucleus accumbens
    Jessie Muir | McGill University
  • Synaptic transmission at the lateral habenula neural outputs in normal and pathological conditions
    Christophe Proulx | Université Laval
  • Dorsal hippocampus neuronal activity during context fear discrimination
    Robert Rozeske | University of Toronto


PS7 Cueing Factors in Addiction

Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain HealthSponsored by the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Chair: Jennifer Murray | University of Guelph


  • Morphine learned as an interoceptive stimulus causes sex- and task-dependent alterations in subsequent morphine reinforcement and reward in rats.
    Jennifer Murray | University of Guelph
  • Interoceptive correlates of acute alcohol administration and future clinical avenues
    Mateo Leganes-Fonteneau | Rutgers University
  • Differences in alcohol cue reactivity based on the social context
    Samuel Acuff | The University of Memphis
  • Contribution of Cues to Concurrent Decision-Making
    Justin Strickland | Johns Hopkins University


PS8 Balancing Tensions between Proprietary Research, Open Neuroscience, and Human Rights

VISTA - York University logoSponsored by Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) York University

Chair: Judy Illes | University of British Columbia


  • Primer on patenting of neurotechnologies from the Canadian perspective
    Zelma Kiss | University of Calgary
  • Insights from the DMCBH Open Science Initiative: an open science buy-in project in action
    Jeffrey LeDue | University of British Columbia
  • Neuromodulation Patents: a landscape analysis from 2016 through 2020
    Ari Rotenberg | University of British Columbia
  • Perspectives on Intellectual Property Protections and Open Neuroscience
    Ashley Lawson | University of British Columbia
3:00 – 3:30Coffee break
3:30 – 5:30Posters session 2 and Exhibits
5:30 – 6:00Neuroscience and Mental Health InstituteNew investigator award lecture

Sponsored by Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute

Boris Bernhardt, McGill University

6:00 – 7:00Garry Hurvitz Centre for Brain & Mental HealthKeynote Lecture

Sponsored by SickKids Neurosciences & Mental Health Research Program AND the SickKids Garry Hurvitz Centre for Brain & Mental HealthSickKids Neuroscience and mental health research program

Mechanisms of Axon Growth and Regeneration

Frank Bradke, German Center for neurodegenerative diseases


Day 4: Sunday, May 15

8:30 – 10:15 A.M.Plenary symposium 3

Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in the context of neurological and psychiatric disorders

Chair: Matthew Hill, University of Calgary

  • Synaptic dysfunction and altered plasticity in Huntington disease: Role of endocannabinoids 
    Lynn Raymond, University of British Columbia
  • Endocannabinoids, Astrocytes and the Social Transmission of Stress
    Jaideep Bains, University of Calgary
  • Endocannabinoids, the Amygdala and the Regulation of Stress and Anxiety
    Matthew Hill, University of Calgary
10:15 – 10:20Brief update
Jennie Young, Executive Director, Canadian Brain Research Strategy
10:20 – 10:45Posters/exhibits
Coffee break
10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker 3

Surprising Origins of Sex Differences in the Brain

Margaret (Peg) McCarthy, University of Maryland Baltimore

11:45 – 12:00 PMBrain Star Award presentation 3

Archana Gengatharan | Université Laval – Marlene Reimer Brain Star of the year award winner
Adult neural stem cell activation in mice is regulated by the day/night cycle and intracellular calcium dynamics

12:00 – 1:30 PM
1:30 – 3:30Poster session 3 & Exhibits
3:30 – 5:00Parallel symposia

PS9 Systemic Inflammation and the Brain: Interactions with Glia and Neurons

Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain HealthSponsored by the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Chairs: Alexander Lohman | University of Calgary & Jo Anne Stratton | Montreal Neurological Institute


  • The danger of brain infections: Microglia cell death is required for optimal immunity to Toxoplasma gondii in the CNS
    Tajie Harris | University of Virginia
  • The potential contribution of systemic inflammation in neuropathic pain
    Ji Zhang | McGill University
  • The role of ependymal cells in regulating CNS inflammation
    Jo Anne Stratton | Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI)
  • Versican as a potential inhibitor of remyelination: proposed mechanisms through impeding oligodendrocytes and promoting Th17 cytotoxic neuroinflammation
    Samira Ghorbanigazar | University of Calgary


PS10 Sleep perturbations in Alzheimer’s disease patients and animal models

Co-Chairs : Valérie Mongrain | Université de Montréal & Jonathan Brouillette | Université de Montréal


  • Cognitive, Histological, and Transcriptional Correlates of Sleep Fragmentation in Older Adults
    Andrew Lim | University of Toronto
  • Ambulatory EEG sleep monitoring in Alzheimer disease: A Pilot Study
    Brianne Kent | Simon Fraser University
  • Potential Role of Orexin Receptor Antagonists in the Treatment of Sleep Disorders Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
    Margaret Moline | Eisai
  • Alterations in wakefulness and sleep quality in animal models of amyloid-beta derived neurodegeneration
    Jonathan Brouillette | Université de Montréal


PS11 Canadian Cannabis and Psychosis Research Team (CCPRT): Multi-disciplinary investigations of the underlying neurobiology of the link between cannabis and psychosis

Chair: Jeremy Watts | CHU Sainte-Justine/Universite de Montreal


  • Impact of cannabis use on brain maturation in a Canadian longitudinal cohort
    Jeremy Watts | CHU Sainte-Justine/Universite de Montreal
  • Sexually dimorphic effects of THC in adolescence: from dysregulation of dopamine guidance cues to changes in cognitive control
    Giovanni Hernandez | Mcgill University
  • Anxiety Mediates the Relationship Between Cannabis Use Frequency and Psychotic-Like Experiences in Emerging Adult Females
    Haley Bernusky & Phil Tibbo | Dalhousie University


PS12 Arousal related brain circuits and their role in sensory processing and behaviour.

Sponsored by CERVO Brain Research Centre

Chair: Jesse Jackson | University of Alberta


  • Spatiotemporal dynamics and targeted functions of locus coeruleus norepinephrine
    Vincent Breton-Provencher | University of Laval
  • The role of hypocretin/orexin neurons in social behaviour
    Derya Sargin | University of Calgary
  • Interneuron contributions to state-dependent sensory processing
    Katie Ferguson | Yale University
  • Investigating the role of the claustrum in the control of behavioral state
    Jesse Jackson | University of Alberta