Two U of G CBS Faculty Awarded SRCF Research Grants

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Written by College of Biological Science

Two U of G CBS Faculty Awarded SRCF Research Grants

Two assistant professors in the College of Biological Science have been awarded research grants from the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada (SCRF).

Prof. Melissa Perreault and Prof. Jasmin Lalonde, both neuroscientists in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, were notified early last month that they would receive these coveted grants.

Both recipients’ research aims to improve life by studying disorders and disease of the brain. 

Perreault received funding to explore how sex differences in brain wave patterns and behaviour in autism spectrum disorders may be linked to the GSK-3 cell signaling pathway. 

“We are very pleased to receive funding support from the SRCF for our research examining sex differences in cellular signaling and brain wave patterns linked to cognitive alterations in model systems of autism spectrum disorder” said Perreault. “We hope this work will provide critical information on the mechanisms that underlie the known sex imbalance in ASD susceptibility and identify potential novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.”

Lalonde’s project will use cerebral “organoids” – three-dimensional miniature brains that are grown in the lab from human stem cells – to understand how the protein composition of synapses differs between healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia, and how these differences might be reversed by new treatment strategies.

"My lab is very excited to have the support from the SRCF to perform high-throughput proteomics with schizophrenia patient-derived cerebral organoid models and search for flaws in the molecular architecture of synapses at early stages of brain development,” said Lalonde. “We hope that our collaborative efforts with Prof. Jennifer Geddes-McAlister, a co-applicant on this grant and colleague in our department, will shed new light on the progression of this brain disorder, and hint at new strategies for therapeutic interventions.” 

The SRCF is a private charitable foundation funded by donations and bequests from members and friends of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada. The Foundation annually awards over $440,000 in major research grants to support studies relating to Puzzles of the Mind.

Each SRCF award is a three-year grant worth $120,000 each.

Congratulations!

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