Our lab is part of McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry and the McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) BRaIN research program. Together, this provides an environment with state-of-the-art facilities and colleagues with diverse areas of expertise.
We are interested in how early life experiences, temperamental traits, and neurobiology intersect to influence the development of addictions and addiction-related disorders. Our working hypotheses embrace dimensional perspectives and test whether the studied risk factors are disease specific or transdiagnostic.
Influential work has included the development and validation of a new method to rapidly decrease dopamine synthesis, the first evidence that people at risk for addictions exhibit altered dopamine responses when they take drugs, and the demonstration of human neuroplasticity following drug use and stressful life events.
Most of these studies are conducted in people. They benefit from functional neuroimaging facilities at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and collaborations with colleagues at McGill, Université de Montréal and Université Laval who specialize in longitudinally followed cohorts. Together, this allows us to (i) conduct cross-sectional studies in volunteers from the general community and (ii) integrate prospectively acquired biopsychosocial information from youth who have been followed since birth.