My research focus is on applying patient-derived stem cells towards the development of phenotypic discovery assays and 3D mini-brain models for both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. As associate director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU) at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), I oversee a team of over 35 research staff and students, committed to applying novel stem cell technology, combined with CRISPR genome editing, mini-brain models and new microfluidic technologies towards elucidating the underlying causes of these complex disorders.
Differentiating pathological from physiological angiogenesis is crucial to specifically target abnormal vessel growth associated with proliferative diseases and fostering physiological regenerative angiogenesis. This degree of selectivity is currently out of reach from anti-angiogenic therapies, requiring a better understanding of the cell-specific identities of healthy and diseased vessels.
Neural circuits display complex spatiotemporal patterns of activity on the millisecond timescale during behavior. Understanding how these activity patterns drive behavior is a fundamental problem in neuroscience, and remains a major challenge due to the complexity of their spatiotemporal dynamics. The ability to manipulate activity in genetically defined sets of neurons on the millisecond timescale using optogenetics has provided a powerful new tool for making causal links between neuronal activity and behavior.
Several functions, motor or sensory, rely on the ability of neurons to modify their discharge pattern to faithfully encode the characteristics of a sensory stimulus or to reflect a rhythmic motor control for example. Changes in firing pattern often involve particular ion channels and are intimately related to the function of the circuit.
Do you ever wonder what is in the air you breathe? You should- given that you take around 20,000 breaths per day. Did you also know that cigarette smoke contributes to the toxicity of common air contaminants and remains the largest cause of preventable death worldwide? Despite knowledge about the deleterious effects of tobacco, we are seeing a surge in the use of emerging tobacco-based products such as e-cigarettes. With legalization of cannabis in Canada now a reality, this is even more complex, and we must also consider exposure to cannabis and cannabis-derived products.
In the developing nervous system, an enormous number and diversity of neurons are precisely organized into neural circuits. How can such a vast set of neural connections be wired using limited cues encoded in our genomes? To tackle this problem, we are studying a family of neuronal receptors with an extraordinary potential for conferring cell-surface diversity and wiring specificity. The clustered Protocadherin genes (Pcdhs) are tandemly arrayed on a single genomic locus and encode ~60 cadherin-related transmembrane proteins that are combinatorially expressed among single neurons.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruit and honey, but it is also used as sweeteners via added sugars, syrups, or high fructose corn syrup in processed foods or beverages. This is a concern because excessive fructose intake is linked to obesity and its comorbid diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We show that mice consuming a high fructose diet eat more and gain more weight and body fat than mice consuming chow or a high glucose diet.
The normal heartbeat is conditioned by transient increases in the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration. Ca2+ influx in cardiomyocytes is regulated by the activity of the heteromeric L-type voltage-activated CaV1.2 channel. A complex network of interactions between the different proteins forming the ion channel determines the total Ca2+ influx. Alterations in the biophysical and biochemical properties or in the biogenesis in any of these proteins can lead to serious disturbances in the cardiac rhythm.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the myeloid lineage of the blood system. Prior work has shown that a rare subset of leukemic stem cells (LSCs) is able to propagate the disease. LSCs are presently only defined functionally as able to engraft by xenotransplantation in immunocompromised mice. No universal markers for LSCs are currently known, therefore previous efforts to study LSCs have relied on enriching for them by cell sorting with non-specific markers.
This event is part of the Department of Physiology Friday Seminar Series and is co-sponsored by the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain (AECRP)
Under the mentorship of Dr Rejean Couture, Dr Talbot obtained is PhD in Physiology from the Université de Montreal (2012). His thesis focused on the role of CNS immune cells in priming diabetic pain neuropathy. Next, he joined Dr. Clifford Woolf’s lab at the Neurobiology center of Harvard Medical School to study the crosstalk between pain neurons and adaptive immune cells in the context of allergic inflammation. Since 2017, Dr Talbot joined the UdeM pharmacology and physiology dept. to start is independent work.