Lena Palaniyappan, MD, PhD

Lena Palaniyappan




6875 Boulevard LaSalle Montréal, QC H4H 1R3

 Twitter: Lena K. Palaniyappan

Chair, Monique H. Bourgeois
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Inaugural Director, Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Associate Member, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science
Psychiatrist, CIUSSS Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Theme-Based Group: Youth Mental Health and Early Intervention
Division: Clinical Research


Our research program has a broad focus on exploiting neuroscience to inform early interventions for youth in need. Most of our group’s work to date has been on severe mental illnesses such as psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder and depression. To this end, we take a pragmatic approach: we use all accessible tools that are promising (without loyalty to any specific technology) and collaborate with all reasonable people that are appreciative of the urgency of early intervention in psychiatry.

I received training in psychology (BA) and medicine (MBBS) in India and in psychiatry (residency) and neuroimaging (PhD) in the UK.  My interest in psychiatry emerged from a brief but intense experience of restlessness (akathisia) and loss of pleasure (anhedonia) after taking haloperidol as a medical student. I continue to be restless in the quest for better treatments in psychiatric care, but have no anhedonia in doing so. In fact, I derive immense pleasure from the small amount of clinical work that I am able to do with people who learnt about psychosis and depression from their experience.
I welcome residents who want to balance clinical care and research pursuits and trainees who want their research pursuits to benefit clinical care. I will be more than happy to share the interesting bits of a clinical academic career that people never put in their CVs. PS: Palaniyappan is pronounced as PALA – NEE – APEN [Tamil].