Développement et protection des circuits neuronaux

 

Claire Bénard

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme  Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2016-2017

During the development of the brain, neurons migrate through complex environments to connect to their targets, ensuring that the brain is properly wired to function. After the initial assembly of the brain, the nervous system needs to persist an entire lifespan. As such, the brain formed in the embryo will continue to grow, mature, integrate new neurons, and will endure mechanical stress from the movements of the body, injury and aging. Our research aims to understand how the brain gets wired and how it is protected from the chalenges of living and aging, so that it remains functional throughout life. To get at these questions, we use a simple and powerful model organism, the nematode C. elegans.

This model has significantly contributed to our understanding of fundamental and evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of brain development and function that are shared by all animals, including humans. We expect that our research will contribute to our understanding of the processes that go awry during neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, and will have important implications for the development of strategies to ameliorate the consequences of these conditions.