News and events

Linking Parkinson’s, COVID-19, and microglia

Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Ifeoluwa (Hiphy) Awogbindin (Tremblay Lab) has received a Michael Smith Health Research British Columbia Research Trainee Award. Jointly funded by the Parkinson’s Society British Columbia, the award will support Hiphy’s investigation of the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection / COVID-19, microglia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Building connections between nerve cells

Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne received a Project Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study how nerve cell connections are stabilized. This important work will help us understand the molecular processes involved in wiring the brain. Since impaired nerve connection stability is common to several neurological conditions, ranging from chronic stress and depression to schizophrenia, the outcomes of this research could also shed light on how these conditions arise and how they might be treated.

Women’s health–focused microglial research

Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Adriano Chaves (they/them; Tremblay Lab) received a 2023 Graduate and Fellowship Research Award in Women’s Health at the Postdoctoral Level from the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI). They will investigate the role of microglia in remodelling the extracellular matrix, with a specific focus on how this could affect synaptic plasticity and emotional and cognitive behaviour in female models.

Knowledge synthesis on microglial transcriptional signatures

In an invited article published in the Annual Review of Genetics, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Haley Vecchiarelli (Tremblay Lab) and Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay highlight the current state of the field and describe advancements from recent studies. This is one of several review activities undertaken by the Tremblay Lab this year.

Role of sex and interferon in microglia migration

By tracking the movements of individual microglia in mature brains, Dr. Craig Brown, former post-doctoral fellow and first author Roobina Boghozian, and other members of the Brown Lab (Sorabh Sharma, Kamal Narayan, and Manjinder Cheema) have discovered that these movements and their molecular regulation show striking differences depending on the sex of the subject. They describe their findings in a paper recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Neurotracker program at VBIS

Following two years of successful patient-focused research by PhD candidate Taylor Snowden-Richardson and other members of the Christie Lab, the Victoria Brain Injury Society instituted a permanent Neurotracker program for its clients. Undergraduate student Jamie Morrison will use a BranchOut Neurological Foundation grant to study the program implementation.