Alyson E. Fournier
Canada Research Chair in Regenerative Neuroscience
Tier 2 - 2003-06-01
Coming to Canada from
Yale University, USA
Development of a better understanding of the cell biology of inhibition and the application of this knowledge to strategies to promote regenerative growth of neurons.
Research aims to develop strategies for the treatment of spinal cord injury and neurological damage related to Alzheimer's, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease.
Hope for Treatment of Neurological Damage
The personal, social and economic toll on Canadians and their families of spinal cord injury and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease cannot be underestimated.
Dr. Alyson Fournier is a biologist who conducts research into the mechanisms that inhibit neuron regeneration following disease or injury. Although scientists understand more today than they did five years ago about the role played by myelin-associated proteins in inhibiting neuron regeneration, the actual mechanisms by which these proteins inhibit growth are still largely unknown. Understanding the mechanisms that govern these proteins is critical to developing strategies to promote regenerative growth.
A major focus of Dr. Fournier's research as Canada Research Chair in Regenerative Neuroscience is to identify and target signalling pathways taken by inhibitors as they converge and form blockages to neuron re-growth. Dr. Fournier is also studying the effects of myelin inhibitors on gene expression as a means of identifying the genes involved in neuronal pathways.
The work of Dr. Fournier and the students trained in her lab at McGill's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) will contribute to the development of drugs for treating various neurological conditions, leading to improvements in the quality of life experienced by sufferers of neurological diseases and injuries. The economic benefits arising from the potential commercialization opportunities of this research are undeniable.