Alain Brunet, PhD

Alain Brunet



6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Office:E-4129, Perry Pavilion

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x4348

 Fax: (514) 762-3049

  Lab website:

Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Associate Editor, Journal of Traumatic Stress

Lab name: Impact of traumatic stress on mental health

Theme-Based Group: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide
Division: Clinical Research


Dr. Brunet studies the impact of traumatic stress on mental health. His main focus has been on characterizing the risk factors and developing effective treatments for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is also interested in the epidemiology, the neurobiology of PTSD, as well as in the uses of Internet for research/intervention purposes.

In 2001, Alain Brunet developed the first instrument designed to assess the recalled amount of distress experienced at the time of a traumatic event. This measure has been used by dozens of teams across the world and has been translated into twelve languages.

A major interest in Dr. Brunet’s research stems from a breakthrough that he and colleagues from McGill and Harvard University made when they used the common blood pressure drug, propranolol, to treat PTSD: when individuals recall their traumatic event under propranolol, the emotional strenght of the memory is subsequently and durably reduced, thereby leading to a PTSD symptom reduction.

-FRQ-S Investigator award (2002-2012)
-Finalist: 10 best discoveries of the year – Québéc Sciences (2008)
-Fondation de la Recherche Médicale, France: Young Investigator award (2006-8)
-Personnality of the week – La Presse (2006)
-Maclean’s top 39 Canadians that made the world a better place to live (2006)
-Heinz-Lehmann investigator award (2003)

Daniel Saumier, Ph.D. (psychologist)
Christophe Herbert, M.A. (psychologue)
Jacques Tremblay, M.D.
Dr. Brunet grateful to the students and volunteers who help run this lab.

-Katzman, M.A., et al. (2014). Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 14 Suppl., 1:S1doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-14-S1-S1.
-Labonté, B., Azoulay, N., Yerko, V., Turecki, G., & Brunet, A. (2014). Epigenetic modulation of glucocorticoid receptors in posttraumatic stress disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 4, 1-7. doi:10.1038/tp.2014.3.
-Lonergan MH, Olivera-Figueroa LA, Pitman RK, & Brunet A. (2013). Propranolol’s effects on the consolidation and reconsolidation of long-term emotional memory in healthy participants: a meta-analysis. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 38(4) PubMed ID: 23182304
-Bui E, Rodgers RF, Herbert C, Franko DL, Simon NM, Birmes P, Brunet A. (2012). The impact of internet coverage of the March 2011 Japan earthquake on sleep and posttraumatic stress symptoms: an international perspective. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(2) PubMed ID: 22318796
-LaGarde, G., Doyon, J., & BRUNET, A. (2010). Memory and executive dysfunctions associated with acute Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychiatry Research, 177, 144-149.