Bruno Giros, PhD




6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Office:E-3207, Perry Pavillion

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x3142

 Fax: (514) 762-3034

Distinguished James McGill Professor
Graham Boeckh Chair for Schizophrenia Research

Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Research Director,  French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Lab name: Pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders

Theme-Based Group: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide
Division: Basic Neuroscience


Our research group is genuinely interested in the Pathophysiology of Psychiatric Disorders, investigating the molecular and cellular processes that are involved in the appearance of the main symptoms of these disorders. We are more precisely focusing on two devastating disorders, Schizophrenia and Major Depression, which respectively account worldwide for 1.5% and 20% of the people in the general population. To reach our objectives, we combined molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches. For these studies, we are generating original animal models with genetic engineering, and we used “state of the art” techniques, as optogenetic stimulations in the awake animal or miRNA transcriptomic analysis for example.

• For schizophrenia, we are presently unraveling unsuspected effects of dopamine in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus, and starting to understand precisely, at the cellular and network levels, how they are put into play.

• For depression, our fundamental and preclinical projects are investigating mechanisms contributing to individual vulnerability or resistance (resiliency) to stress and the etiology of depression.

The combination of our approaches will not only enriches our hypotheses, but will also offers a strong potential to recognize common mechanisms occurring in these two major psychiatric disorders. All our studies aim, at the mid-term, to be translated into experimental medicine protocols in collaboration with psychiatrists.

Rocchetti et al., Presynaptic D2 Dopamine Receptors Control Long-Term Depression Expression and Memory Processes in the Temporal Hippocampus. 2015, Biol. Psychiatry, 77, 513-525.
Couroussé et al., Brain Organic Cation Transporter-2 controls response and vulnerability to stress and GSK3ß signaling.. 2014, Mol Psychiatry, in press.
DeGois S. et al., Ctr9, a protein of the transcription complex Paf1, regulates the Dopamine Transporter activity at the plasma membrane. J. Biol. Chem., in press.

Years Laboratory Director
1983-1984 U-109 INSERM, Paris, France Jean-Charles Schwartz
1984 Lab. Neuro. Exp., Rouen, France Jean Costentin
1984-1987 U-109 INSERM, Paris, France Jean-Charles Schwartz
1987 Genentech, San Francisco, USA Bernard Malfroy
1988-1991 U-109 INSERM, Paris, France Jean-Charles Schwartz
1991-1994 HHMI, Duke Univ., Durham, USA Marc G. Caron
1994-1998 U-288 INSERM, Paris, France Michel Hamon
1999-2008 U-513 INSERM, Créteil, France Bruno Giros
2009-2013 CNRS UMR7224 INSERM 952 Bruno Giros
2008- Douglas Hospital Research Center Bruno Giros



Bruno Giros authored over 170 publications (Hf=52), has been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a “Most Highly Cited Scientist” in the area of pharmacology, and has received numerous awards, including the very prestigious “Médaille d’Argent” from the CNRS.

Postdoctoral fellows:
Quentin RAINER

PhD students:

MS students:
Elisa GUMA
Kathleen XU

Lab Manager:

Animal technician:

Top publications (1989-2018)

from a total of  > 180 publications in peer-reviewed journals

(Web of Science : 18,000 citations; Hf=58   –   Google scholar : 24,000 citations ; Hf=69)

  1. Giros B, Sokoloff P, Martres MP, Riou JF, Emorine JL & Schwartz JC. Alternative splicing directs the expression of two D-2 dopamine receptor isoforms. Nature, 1989, 342, 923-926.
  2. Sokoloff P, Giros B, Martres MP, Bouthenet ML & Schwartz JC. Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel dopamine receptor (D3) as a target for neuroleptics. Nature, 1990, 347,146-151.
  3. Giros B, Jaber M, Jones SR, Wightman RM & Caron MG. Hyperlocomotion and indifference to cocaine and amphetamine in mice lacking the dopamine transporter. Nature, 1996, 379, 606-612.
  4. Jaber M, Koch WJ, Rockman H, Smith B, Bond RA, Sulik KK, Ross Jr. J, Lefkowitz RJ, Caron MG & Giros B.  Essential role of b-Adrenergic Receptor Kinase-1 in cardiac development and function. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1996, 93, 12974-12979.
  5. Sagné C, Agulhon C, Ravassard P, Darmon M, Hamon M, El Mestikawy S, Gasnier B & Giros B. Identification and characterisation of a lysosomal transporter for small neutral amino acids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2001, 98 :7206-7211.
  6. Tzavara ET, Li DL, Moutsimilli L, Bisogno T, Marzo VD, Phebus LA, Nomikos GG & Giros B. Endocannabinoids Activate Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Receptors to Reduce Hyperdopaminergia-Related Hyperactivity: Therapeutic Implications. Biological Psychiatry, 2006, 59, 508-515.
  7. Farley S, Dumas S, El Mestikawy S, Giros B. Increased expression of the Vesicular Glutamate Transporter-1 (VGLUT1) in the prefrontal cortex correlates with differential vulnerability to chronic stress in various mouse strains: Effects of fluoxetine and MK-801. Neuropharmacol., 2012, 62, 503-517.
  8. DeGois S, Slama P, Pietrancosta N, Bouvrais-Veret C, Louis F, Daviet L, Giros B. Ctr9, a protein of the transcription complex Paf1, regulates the Dopamine Transporter activity at the plasma membrane. J. Biol. Chem., 2015, 290, 17848-17862.
  9. Rocchetti J, Isingrini E, Dal Bo G, Sagheby S, Tronche F, Moquin L, Gratton A, Levesque D, Wong TP, Rubinstein M & Giros B. Presynaptic D2 Dopamine Receptors Control Long-Term Depression Expression and Memory Processes in the Temporal Hippocampus. Biological Psychiatry, 2015, 77, 513-525.
  10. Isingrini E, Perret L, Rainer Q, Amilhon B, Guma E, Tanti A, Martin G, Robinson J, Moquin L, Marti F, Mechawar N, Williams S, Gratton A & Giros B. Resilience against chronic stress is mediated by noradrenergic regulation of dopamine neurons. Nature Neurosci, 2016, 19, 560-563.
  11. Isingrini E, Guinaudie C, Perret LC, Rainer Q, Moquin L, Gratton A, Giros B. Genetic elimination of dopamine vesicular stocks in the nigrostriatal pathway replicates Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms without neuronal degeneration in adult mice. Scientific Reports, 2017, 7, 12432.
  12. Erdozain AM, De Gois S, Bernard V, Gorgievski V, Pietrancosta N, Dumas S, Macedo CE, Vanhoutte P, Ortega JE, Meana JJ, Tzavara ET, Vialou V, Giros B. Structural and functional characterization of the interaction of snapin with the Dopamine Transporter: differential modulation of psychostimulant actions. Neuropsychopharmacol., 2018, 43, 1041-1051.
  13. Apazoglou K, Farley S, Gorgievski V, Belzeaux R, Lopez JP., Grenier J, Ibrahim E, El Khoury M-A, Tse Y.C., Mongredien R, Barbé A, Antunes de Macedo CE, Jaworski W, Bochereau A, Orrico A, Isingrini E, Guinaudie C, Mikasova L, Louis F, Gautron S, Groc L, Massaad C, Yildirim F, Vialou V, Dumas S, Marti F, Mechawar N, Morice E, Wong TP, Caboche J, Turecki G, Giros B*, Tzavara ET*. Antidepressive effects of targeting Elk-1 signal transduction. Nature Medicine, 2018, 24, 591-597. (*: corresponding authors).
  14. Guma E, Rocchetti J, Devenyi GA, Tanti A, Mathieu A, Lerch J, Elgbeili G, Courcot B, Mechawar N, Chakravarty MM & Giros B. Regional brain volume changes following chronic antipsychotic administration are mediated by the dopamine D2 receptor. Neuroimage, 2018, 176, 226-238.