Dr. Brian Christie

Dr. Brian Christie
Position
Professor
Division of Medical Sciences
Credentials

BSc (Calgary), MSc (Calgary), PhD (Otago)

Contact
Office: Medical Sciences Building, room 218

Neuroplasticity in the Developing and Aging Brain

Dr. Christie is a neuroscientist studying how the brains natural capacity for synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis can be harnessed to help alleviate neuropathologies associated with trauma, substance abuse, genetic disorders and the aging process. Donations to support this vital work can be made by clicking the following link and specifying you would like to support Dr. Christie.

Support Dr. Brian Christie's research.

Dr. Christie’s profile on Google Scholar

Dr. Christie’s laboratory use a number of sophisticated research techniques (electrophysiology, imaging, molecular, behavioural analysis) in a convergent fashion to identify basic mechanisms involved in learning and memory processes, and how they have been altered by different neuropathologies. His team has made several seminal discoveries, and helped to show that exercise can enhance the production of functional new neurons in the hippocampus, a structure known to be critical for learning and memory processes.

Dr. Christie’s research truly spans from the cell to society, involving both pre-clinical basic research studies, as well as clinical investigations.  He believes that by focusing on how a phenomenon (i.e. neurogenesis) can impact a behavior (i.e. learning) that we will be better able to understand normal brain function, and how intrinsic repair processes can be harnessed to ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with a variety of pathological conditions. This may sound grandiose at first, but really we have to look no further than our own skin to see how effective self regenerative mechanisms can be when they respond appropriately.

Dr. Christie’s laboratory has received funding primarily from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and thee National Institutes for Health (NIH), but we have also been recipients of research support from private foundations that include: Fragile-X Research Foundations in Canada and the US (FXRFC, FRAXA), The Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals, Roche Parmaceuticals, The Brown Family Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, and a number of private donors. Thanks to this funding many of our former lab trainees hold academic positions across Canada, and around the world. In addition, over 30 laboratory trainees are now practicing physicians in Canada, and we are proud to have averaged 2 trainees being accepted into medical schools each year for the past 15 years. This shows the high caliber of the trainees involved in our work.

Because of the quality of our trainees, and our technical capacity, we also have extensive research collaborations across Canada and around the world. Some of our international collaborations include:

Dr. Jennifer Thomas (San Diego State University) – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Dr. Pedro Grandes (Spain) – Role of cannibinoids in traumatic brain injury and prenatal ethanol exposure.

Dr. Sandy Shultz (Monash University, Australia) – Biomarkers in Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. Christiane Wrann (Harvard University) and Dr. Henriette van Praag (Florida Atlantic University) – Exercise, myokines and synaptic plasticity.

Dr. Sonata Yau (Hong Kong Polytechnic); Dr. Kwok-Fai So (University of Hong Kong) Adipokines and synaptic plasticity.

Dr.’s Patricia Brocardo, Ana Lucia Rodrigues, Marcelo Farina (Florianopolis, Brazil) – Lipids, anxiety, depression and neuronal plasticity

Dr. Manuella Kastor (Federal University of Santa Catarina) - anxiety, depression and neuronal plasticity

Dr. Leigh Leasure (University of Houston) – exercise, stress and neurogenesis

Dr. Tatiana Rosenstock (Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences)

Dr. Katerina Akassoglou (University of San Francisco) – microglia

Recent Publications

View all of Dr. Christie's publications

2020                                                                

Could Neurotracker be used as a clinical marker of recovery following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury? An exploratory study. (2020) LA Corbin-Berrigan, K Kowalski, J Faubert, BR Christie, I Gagnon Brain Injury, 1-5

Multiple object tracking scores predict post-concussion status years after mild traumatic brain injury. (2020) M Lysenko-Martin, C Hutton, T Sparks, T Snowden, BR Christie. Journal of Neurotrauma

Intermittent ethanol exposure during adolescence impairs cannabinoid type 1 receptor-dependent long-term depression and recognition memory in adult mice. (2020) S Peñasco, I Rico-Barrio, N Puente, CJ Fontaine, A Ramos, L Reguero, I Gerrikagoitia, F Rodríguez de Fonseca, J Suarez, S Barrondo, X Aretxabala, G García del Caño, J Sallés, I Elezgarai, PC Nahirney, BR Christie, P Grandes Neuropsychopharmacology 45 (2), 309-318

2019

A pilot study of diffusion tensor imaging metrics and cognitive performance pre and post repetitive, intentional sub-concussive heading in soccer practice. (2019) RA Kenny, CD Mayo, S Kennedy, AA Varga, L Stuart-Hill, MA Garcia-Barrera, A McQuarrie, BR Christie, JR Gawryluk. Journal of Concussion 3, 205970021988550

Impaired bidirectional synaptic plasticity in juvenile offspring following prenatal ethanol exposure. (2019). CJ Fontaine, C Pinar, W Yang, AF Pang, KE Suesser, JSJ Choi, BR Christie. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 43 (10), 2153-2166
 
A Rapid Neurological Assessment Protocol for Repeated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Awake Rats. (2019) BR Christie, J Trivino‐Paredes, C Pinar, KJ Neale, A Meconi, H Reid, CP Hutton. Current protocols in neuroscience 89 (1), e80
 
Acute slice preparation for electrophysiology increases spine numbers equivalently in the male and female juvenile hippocampus: a DiI labeling study. (2019) JS Trivino-Paredes, PC Nahirney, C Pinar, P Grandes, BR Christie. Journal of neurophysiology 122 (3), 958-969
 
Endocannabinoid long-term depression revealed at medial perforant path excitatory synapses in the dentate gyrus (2019) S Peñasco, I Rico-Barrio, N Puente, SM Gómez-Urquijo, CJ Fontaine, J Egaña-Huguet, S Achicallende, A Ramos, L Reguero, I Elezgarai, PC Nahirney, BR Christie, Pedro Grandes. Neuropharmacology 153, 32-40
 
Mild closed-head injury in conscious rats causes transient neurobehavioral and glial disturbances: a novel experimental model of concussion. (2019) L Pham, SR Shultz, HA Kim, RD Brady, RC Wortman, SG Genders, MW Hale, RD O'Shea, E Djouma, M van den Buuse, JE Church, BR Christie, GR Drummond, CG Sobey, SJ McDonald. Journal of neurotrauma 36 (14), 2260-2271
 
EFFECTS OF REPEATED AWAKE CLOSED HEAD INJURY ON CELL PROLIFERATION AND NEUROGENESIS IN JUVENILE RATS. (2019) K Neale, H Reid, B Sousa, BR Christie JOURNAL OF NEUROTRAUMA 36 (13), A107-A107
 
SEX-SPECIFIC ALTERATIONS IN THE DYNAMIC RANGE FOR BIDIRECTIONAL SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY IN THE JUVENILE HIPPOCAMPUS FOLLOWING PRENATAL ETHANOL EXPOSURE. (2019) CJ Fontaine, C Pinar, E Grafe, J Thomas, BR Christie. ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH 43, 104A-104A
 
ACUTE CHOLINE APPLICATION ENHANCES LONG-TERM POTENTIATION OF SYNAPTIC EFFICACY FOLLOWING PRENATAL ETHANOL EXPOSURE (PNEE). (2019). EL Grafe, CJ Fontaine, C Pinar, JD Thomas, BR Christie. ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH 43, 104A-104A
 
Three-Dimensional Multiple Object Tracking as A Marker of Normal Cerebral Functioning after Paediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Pilot Study. (2019) LA Corbin-Berrigan, K Kowalski, J Faubert, BR Christie, I Gagnon. BRAIN INJURY 33, 137-138
 
Comparison of hippocampal neuron spine densities in acute and perfusion-fixed slices using the lipophilic dye DiI (2019) JST Paredes, BR Christie, P Nahirney. The FASEB Journal 33 (1_supplement), 448.4-448.4
 
Repeated mild traumatic brain injury in the juvenile brain: Investigations on synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus (2019) C Pinar, CJ Fontaine, BR Christie, PC Nahirney. The FASEB Journal 33 (1_supplement), 448.5-448.5
 
Adolescent ethanol intake alters cannabinoid type‐1 receptor localization in astrocytes of the adult mouse hippocampus. (2019) I Bonilla‐Del Rίo, N Puente, S Peñasco, I Rico, A Gutiérrez‐Rodrίguez, I Elezgarai, A Ramos, L Reguero, I Gerrikagoitia, BR Christie, P Nahirney, P Grandes Addiction biology 24 (2), 182-192
 
Fragile-X Syndrome Is Associated With NMDA Receptor Hypofunction and Reduced Dendritic Complexity in Mature Dentate Granule Cells. (2019) SY Yau, L Bettio, J Chiu, C Chiu, BR Christie. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience 11, 495
Modulation of synaptic plasticity by exercise. (2019) L Bettio, JS Thacker, C Hutton, BR Christie. International review of neurobiology 147, 295-322
 
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) affects the hippocampal levels of histone variant H2A. Z-2. (2019) TL Gretzinger, M Tyagi, CJ Fontaine, MS Cheema, M González-Perez, ME Freeman, BR Christie, J Ausió. Biochemistry and Cell Biology 97 (4), 431-436
 
 

Current Christie Laboratory Trainees Include:

Dr. Luis Bettio, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Christine Fontaine, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Jonathan Thacker, Postdoctoral Fellow

Juan Trivino-Paredes, Ph.D. Student
Alicia Meconi, Ph.D. Student
Erin Grafe, Ph.D. Candidate
Katie Neale, M.Sc. Student
Hannah Reid, M.Sc. Student
Taylor Snowden-Richardson, M.Sc. Student

Undergraduate Research Assistants

    Basic Science
        Natalia Zieniewicz
        Stanley Liang
        Sarah Winger
        Mira Wade
        Jonny Fitterer (Hon)
        Mathias Burns
        Joshua Benjamin
        Marina Parvanova 

        Allister Helton

    Clinical Laboratory
        Taya Sparks
        Ryan Stein (Hon)

        Katherine Hogan 

 Undergraduate Volunteers, the Concussion Lab
        Kaylie Hogg
        Arianna Katsabanis
        Jordyn Sjerven
        Alyssa Hoenmans
        Emma Skaug
        Chantal Kwan
        Rebecca Sanders
        Marlo Wilson
        Carleigh Wentworth
        Mikaela Schell
        Katyana Szabo

        Aidan Sura

 

CIHR Canada Research Society Operating Grant
Term: 2012-09-01 to 2020-04-31
Annual Amount: $165,258
Grant supports research costs for project on learning and memory processes.

NSERC Discovery Grant
Term: 2013-07-01 to 2019-06-31
Annual Amount: $40,000
Grant supports research into mechanisms of learning and memory processes.

NIH R01 Grant
Subcontract (PI Jennifer Thomas, SDSU)
Term: 2018-04-01 to 2028-03-31
Annual Amount: $93,000
Grant supports research on the effects of choline as a therapeutic agent following early developmental challenges.

FXRFC/FRAXA
Term: 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-31
Annual Amount: $55,000
Grant supports research into potential therapeutic role for adipokines in Fragile-X syndrome.