Scientific program

CAN2023 Meeting – Hotel Bonaventure Montréal

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Saturday, May 27, 2023

CAN public lectures – Diet, Obesity and the Brain
Date: May 27, 2023, 2PM-3:30PM
Location: Auditorium – Grande Bibliothèque, 475 Boul. de Maisonneuve E, Montréal, QC H2L 5C4

  • Patricia Pelufo-Silveira, MD, MSc, PhD: Early environment, food preferences and life-long health 
  • Stephanie Fulton, PhD: Dietary and metabolic threats to anxiety and depression prevalence
  • Alain Dagher, MD: Obesity and  the Brain  (presentation in French, but speaker will answer questions in French and English)

Satellite meeting: Canadian Cerebellar Research Network
Date: May 27, 2023, 9AM – 5PM
Location: McGill Arts building

Day 1: Sunday, May 28

9:00 AM – 4:00 PMCAN Satellite symposia


5:00 – 5:15 PMWelcome and Opening Remarks by

Keith Murai, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

5:15 – 6:15Presidential Lecture

Modeling human brain development with stem cells and organoids: past, present, and future

Flora Vaccarino, Yale School of Medicine

6:15 – 8:00Opening Reception

Day 2: Monday, May 29

8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 1

Gut feelings: Peripheral and central regulation of motivational and affective states by gut signals

Chair: Alfonso Abizaid | Carleton University


  • Keith Sharkey | University of Calgary
    How the gut changes behaviour in intestinal inflammation
  • Jane Foster | McMaster University
    Microbes and Mental Health: Translating preclinical findings to the clinic
  • Alfonso Abizaid | Carleton University
    Ghrelin-endocannabinoid system interactions in the VTA in the regulation of food reward
10:15 – 10:30CIHR-INMHA Update

Sam Weiss

10:30 – 10:45Coffee break


10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker

Dana Small | Yale University

The wisdom of the body

11:45 – 12:00Brain Star Award winner Sébastien Tremblay
12:00 – 1:30Advocacy lunch, organized by the CAN Advocacy committee

Stronger together – building capacity for a Brain Moonshot in Canada

1:30 – 3:00Parallel Symposium 1:

White Matter matters: the role of myelin in cognition

Chair: Meira Machado | Western University


  • Jérémie Lefebvre | University of Ottawa
    Learning to be on time: How white matter plasticity shapes brain dynamics and function
  • Kendra Furber | University of Northern British Columbia
    Myelination in the aging mouse brain
  • Olamide Adebiyi | Robarts Research Institute
    Remyelinating potentials of stigmasterol in vanadium-induced neurotoxicity and cognitive impairments
  • Elizabeth Dao | University of British Columbia
    Myelin in aging and cognitive impairment

Parallel Symposium 2:

Neural mechanisms of skilled motor control across species, circuits, and behaviors

Chair: J. Andrew Pruszynski | Western University


  • Ariel Levine | National Institutes of Health
    Cell Types and Networks for Spinal Motor Control
  • Andrew Pruszynski | Western University
    Somatosensory predictions are directly embedded in neural activity that controls movement
  • Chethan Pandarinath | Emory University and Georgia Tech
    Dynamical mechanisms of flexible pattern generation in spinal neural populations
  • Alice Mosberger | Columbia University
    Learning and refining skilled actions in the basal ganglia forelimb circuitry


Parallel Symposium 3:

New approaches for human stem cell models of neurological disorders reveal mechanisms and therapeutic strategies

Chair: Gary Bassell | Emory University

  • Karun Singh | University of Toronto
    Investigating neural circuitry abnormalities at cellular resolution in human 3D organoid models of brain development disorders
  • Nisha Raj | Emory University
    Altered proteostasis in fragile X syndrome and other neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Ryan Purcell | Emory University
    Identifying the neurodevelopmental impact of the 3q29 deletion through single-cell sequencing
  • Anne Bang | Sanford Burnham, CA
    Drug Screens of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hiPSC) Derived Neuronal Networks On Multi-Electrode Arrays


Parallel symposium 4:

Form dictates function: crosstalk between channels, scaffolds, and the cytoskeleton with implications for nervous system development and disease

Leigh Anne Swayne | University of Victoria & R Anne McKinney | McGill University


  • Kota Mizumoto | The University of British Columbia
    UNC-9/Innexin locally inhibits chemical synapse formation independent of its channel activity in C. elegans
  • Andrew K. J. Boyce | University of Calgary
    Cytoskeletal rearrangement promotes neuroprotection following excitotoxicity at peripheral dendrites
  • R Anne McKinney | McGill University
    Synaptopodin, an actin-associated protein, is required for long-term depression
  • Leigh Anne Swayne | University of Victoria
    Pannexin 1 regulates spine stabilization by sequestering spine cytoskeletal regulators
3:00 – 5:00PMCoffee break (3:00 – 3:30PM)

Poster session 1 / exhibits

5:00 – 5:30New investigator award lecture 1
5:30 – 6:00New investigator award lecture 2
6:00 – 7:00Brain Prize lecture:

Ole Kiehn, University of Copenhagen

Brainstem circuits for locomotion in the healthy and diseased brain

7:30 – 9:30CAN Student Social

Day 3: Tuesday, May 30


8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 2

Neuroimmune interactions: when the immune system shapes the Central Nervous System

Chair: Nathalie Arbour | Université de Montréal


  • Nader Ghasemlou | Queen’s University
    Rhythms of neuroinflammation and chronic pain in EAE: what’s time got to do with it?
  • Catherine Larochelle | Université de Montréal
    Molecular mechanisms underlying T cell-oligodendrocytes direct interactions
  • Veronique Miron | University of Toronto
    Glial interactions regulating myelin health
10:15 – 10:25Towards a Canadian Brain Initiative

Jennie Young | Canadian Brain Research Strategy

10:25 – 10:45Coffee break


10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker 2

Maja Jagodic | Karolinska Institutet
Deciphering mechanisms of Multiple Sclerosis development and progression

11:45 – 12:00Brain Star Award winner Lauren Seabrook
12:00 – 1:00Lunch on own
1:00 – 2:30Parallel Symposium 5

Interactions between diet and cognition

Chair: Léa Décarie-Spain | University of Southern California

Co-sponsored the Société des Neurosciences and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience


  • Léa Décarie-Spain | University of Southern California
    Trapping a meal engram in the hippocampus
  • Guillaume Ferreira | Université de Bordeaux
    Obesogenic diet induces circuit-specific memory deficits
  • Vivien Chevaleyre | Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Paris
    How an obesogenic high-fat diet disrupts oxytocinergic signaling in hippocampal area CA2 and social memory formation
  • Stephanie Borgland | University of Calgary
    Time dependent changes in the orbitofrontal cortex with exposure to an obesogenic diet.


Parallel Symposium 6

Synaptic, molecular and ultrastructural dynamics during learning

Co-Chairs : Flavie Lavoie-Cardinal | Université Laval
Jean-Claude Béïque | University of Ottawa

Speakers :

  • Flavie Lavoie-Cardinal | Université Laval
    Machine learning-assisted super-resolution microscopy at synapses
  • Jean-Claude Béïque | University of Ottawa
    Nature and dynamics of synaptic eligibility traces in cortex
  • Aparna Suvrathan| McGill University
    Heterogeneity in information processing by cerebellar synapses
  • Shernaz Bamji | University of British Columbia
    Role of posttranslational palmitoylation in synaptic plasticity


Parallel Symposium 7

Adolescent Stress Sensitivity and Modulation of Behaviour Across the Lifespan

Chair:  Maithe Arruda Carvalho | University of Toronto Scarborough


  • Maithe Arruda-Carvalho | University of Toronto Scarborough
    Synaptic maturation of affective learning circuits
  • Deena Walker | Oregon Health and Science University
    Adolescent social isolation disrupts sex-specific developmental profiles of GABA- and glutamatergic gene expression throughout the reward circuitry
  • Tamara Franklin | Dalhousie University
    The long-term and intergenerational effects of adolescent stress
  • Heidi Meyer | Boston University
    Developmental age and sex interact to scale the effects of stress on fear regulation


Parallel Symposium 8

Protein Synthesis in Brain Health and Disease

Chair: Jesper Sjöström | McGill University


  • Hovy Ho-Wai Wong | McGill University
    Local protein synthesis in axons sustains synapse-specific neurotransmission
  • Cyril Hanus | University of Paris
    Impact of dendritic processing on synaptic receptor glycosylation and function
  • Ning Cheng | University of Calgary
    Targeting ERK signaling to treat Fragile X Syndrome and autism
  • Barbara Bardoni | Université Côte d’Azur
    RNA metabolism and pathophysiology of brain developmental disorders: Fragile X Messenger Ribonucleoprotein (FMRP) as a paradigmatic factor
2:30 – 4:302:30 – 3:00 Coffee break in Poster Hall

2:30 – 4:30 Poster session 2 & Exhibits

4:30 – 4:45CAN Honor of Karim Nader, introduced by Wayne Sossin
Presented by Shernaz Bamji, Keith Murai and Adriana Di Polo and
4:45– 5:45Keynote Lecture

Sheena Josselyn, SickKids Hospital

Making memories in mice

5:45 – 6:45Life and Neuroscience

Panel discussion with Sheena Josselyn, Ole Kiehn, Flora Vaccarino, Maja Jagodic, Hugo Bellen, Dana Small

Day 4: Wednesday, May 31

8:30 – 10:15 A.M.Plenary symposium 3

Emerging molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration

Chair: Maria Ioannou


  • Heidi McBride | McGill University
    Immune signaling in Parkinson’s Disease: perspectives of a mitochondria
  • Karl Fernandes | Université de Sherbrooke
    Fatty acid desaturation: an unexpected role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Maria Ioannou | University of Alberta
    Protecting neurons from degeneration by autolysosomal exocytosis
10:15 – 10:30Overview of BrightFocus Foundation opportunities

Diane Bovenkamp, PhD
Vice President, Scientific Affairs, BrightFocus Foundation

10:30 – 10:45Posters/exhibits

Coffee break

10:45 – 11:45Featured Plenary speaker

Hugo Bellen – Baylor College of Medicine
Lipid droplets in Alzheimer’s Disease

11:45 – 12:00 PMBrain Star Award winner Shannon Tansley
12:00 – 1:30 PM
  • CAN-ACN Annual General Meeting of members
  • Career Networking event
  • Lunch on own
1:30 – 3:30Poster session 3 & Exhibits
3:30 – 5:00Parallel Symposium 9

Cross-disciplinary neuroscience perspectives on autism spectrum disorder

Chair: Argel Aguilar Valles | Carleton University


  • Emma Duerden | Western University
    Amygdala subnuclei maturation and the association with anxiety in children and youth with autism spectrum disorder
  • Melissa Perreault | University of Guelph
    Sex considerations in translational ASD research
  • Tabrez Siddiqui | University of Manitoba
    Molecular logic of circuit organization by autism-associated synaptic adhesion proteins
  • Eric Klann | New York University
    Autism-related mutations in EEF1A2 alter translation and actin bundling


Parallel Symposium 10

Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Microglia

Chairs: Haley Vecchiarelli | University of Victoria & Marie-Ève Tremblay | University of Victoria


  • Mallar Chakravarty | McGill University
    The impact of prenatal delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the brain and behaviour development across the lifespan
  • Haley Vecchiarelli | University of Victoria
    Effect of acute vapourized cannabis on microglia
  • Tuan Trang | University of Calgary
    Central actions of cannabis in neuropathic pain
  • Cecilia Hillard | Medical College of Wisconsin
    Role of microglial CB2 receptors in the locomotor effects of cocaine


Parallel Symposium 11

Cerebellar wiring and vulnerability in health and disease

Chair: Julie Lefebvre | The Hospital for Sick Children


  • Julie L Lefebvre | The Hospital for Sick Children
    Regulation of inhibitory interneuron wiring in the cerebellum by an atypical Cadherin
  • James P Fawcett | Dalhousie University
    Fundamental mechanism in interneuron synaptic organization and function
  • Sophie Tremblay | Université de Montréal
    Modulation of microglia responses to prevent cerebellar injury and function
  • Jeehye Park | The Hospital for Sick Children
    Investigation of cerebellar pathology in MATR3 S85C knock-in mouse model of ALS


Parallel Symposia 12

Brain wide network mapping in mice and its applications

Chair: Anne Wheeler | The Hospital for Sick Children


  • Timothy Murphy | University of British Columbia
    Wide field single photon cortical imaging in combination with sub-cortical or cerebellar neuropixel or fiber photometry
  • Sophie Pezet | ESPCI Paris
    Identification of specific cerebral networks functionally altered during neuropathic pain in awake mice, using ultrafast ultrasound imaging
  • Gisella Vetere | École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris
    Memory networks in mice
  • Anne Wheeler | The Hospital for Sick Children
    Disruption of white matter maturation and its impact on brain-wide networks and behaviour