Michael Meaney, Ph.D., FRSC, C.Q., C.M.




6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Office:E-4139, Pavillon Perry

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x3938

 Fax: (514) 762-3034

Co-Scientific Director, Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health, Douglas Research Centre
Director, Sackler Program for Epigenetics & Psychobiology, Douglas Research Centre
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
James McGill Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University
James McGill Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Lab name: Biological basis of vulnerability for psychopathology

Theme-Based Group: Environmental Adversity, Neurodevelopment, and Mental Health
Division: Basic Neuroscience


Biological basis of vulnerability for psychopathology
Biology of gene x environment Interactions
Epigenetic regulation of gene expression
Social influences on gene expression and brain development.

Environmental conditions during early development shape brain development. The Meaney lab idenfitied phenotypic variations in rodent models that derive from variations in maternal care. Maternal care stably modifies the epigenetic state and expression of genes implicated in behavioural and endocrine responses to stress and learning. These studies were the first to describe the influence of the social environment on genomic structure and function.

The Meaney lab is currently pursuing several lines of research, including:
• The molecular mechanisms by which environmental signals alter epigenetic mechanisms and gene expression in rodent models using a range of genome-wide analyses, including next generation sequencing.
• The effects of gene x environment interactions on epigenetic mechanisms in humans using longitudinal cohort studies.
• Epigenetic programming as a mechanism for the transgenerational transmission of traits in human and rodent models.
• The influence of extreme forms for childhood experience, such as abuse/neglect, on epigentic signals and genome function in relation to vulnerability for affective disorders.

Michael J Meaney is a James McGill Professor of Medicine at Douglas Mental health University Institute of McGill University. He is the Director of the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Project. Meaney also joined the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences in 2008 as a Senior Investigator and leads the Integrative Neuroscience Program. Meaney was educated at Loyola College of Montreal and received his PhD from Concordia University (Montreal) with post-doctoral training in Cell and Molecular Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University. Meaney’s primary research interest is that of the stable effects of early experience on gene expression and development, focusing on the influence of variations in maternal care. These studies have led to the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms for the influence of early experience. Meaney’s research is multidisciplinary and includes studies of behaviour and physiology, to molecular biology and genetics. He has authored over 375 journal articles. Graduates from Meaney’s lab holds faculty appointments across North America, Asia and Europe, including Columbia University, Queen’s University, University of California at Berkley, University of British Columbia, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toronto, INSERM (France) and the RIKEN Institute of Japan.

Margolese Brain Disorder Prize

Wilder-Penfield Award
This is the highest award for biomedical research, given by the Government of Quebec, which “goes to scientists whose research aims fall within the field of biomedicine. These fields include the medical sciences, the natural sciences, and engineering”.
2014 Klaus J. Jacob Research Prize Laureate
The 2014 Klaus J. Jacob Research Prize Laureate has been awarded to Micheal Meany in recognition of his pioneering, cutting edge research on the biological mechanisms by which parental behaviour affects brain development and lifelong function. The Klaus J. Jacobs Awards is one of two international prizes presented to honour scientific achievements that are of exceptional social relevance in promoting the development of children and youth.The Jacobs Foundation attaches great importance to the practical application of scientific findings achieved through interdisciplinary research. The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize also includes an award of one million Swiss francs, (1M USD).

Member of the Order of Canada
The Member of the Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity
Fondation IPSEN International Prize in Neuronal Plasticity
It is awarded to researchers in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of neuronal plasticity: development, synaptogenesis, aging, regeneration, grafts, growth factors.

Scientist of the year
The team from the radio show Les années lumière awarded the title of Radio-Canada Scientist of the Year 2009 to Michael Meaney and Gustavo Turecki for their discovery of the epigenetic effects of child abuse on the human brain.

Most Highly Cited Scientist in the area of neuroscience
He is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a “Most Highly Cited Scientist” in the area of neuroscience.
Member of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC)
The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists. It is Canada’s national academy. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences.
Knight of the National Order of Quebec
The National Order of Quebec is the highest recognition given by the government of Quebec.

Klerman Award
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Awards Prestigious Klerman Prize to Innovators in Mental Health Research
Presidential Scholar by the University of California
He is honoured as the Presidential Scholar by the University of California at San Francisco.

NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award
He is awarded this prestigious award in recognition of his contributions to stress research.

James McGill Chair
The James McGill Chair is awarded by McGill to advance and support the scholarship and research of exceptional academic staff in priority areas of intellectual interest.

Patricia R. Barchas Award
He is presented the Patricia R. Barchas Award in Sociophysiology in recognition of the importance and sophistication of his research, from the American Psychosomatic Society. The Patricia R. Barchas Award in Sociophysiology, established in 1999, is to memorialize Patricia Barchas by furthering the field of sociophysiology, the study of the reciprocal relationships that could lead to long-term change both in social behavior and in physiology.

CIHR Senior Scientist Career Award
This award is presented by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for research on stress

Josie Diorio
Anita Thambirajah
Carine Parent
Dara Shahrokh
Huy-Binh Nguyen
Joseph W. Foley
Kieran O’Donnell
Naghmeh Rastegar
Rachel Massicotte
Tie Yuan Zhang
Sabine Dhir
Eva Unternaehrer
Shantala Hari Dass
Thi Thu Thao Nguyen
Richard Ryan
Lawrence Chen
Xianglan Wen
Philippe Jolivet
Nicolas Brossard
Nicholas O’Toole
Hélène Gaudreau
Étienne Léger
Valérie Aubut
Érika Piercy
Camille Gagnon-Trudeau
Camille Carpentier-Laberge

Yehuda R, Daskalakis NP, Lehrner A, Desarnaud F, Bader HN, Makotkine J, Flory JD, Bierer LM, Meaney MJ. (2014) Influences of maternal and paternal PTSD on epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene in Holocaust survivor offspring. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Bagot RC, Zhang TY, Wen XL, Nguyen TTT, Nguyen BH, Diorio J, Wong TP, Meaney, MJ. (2012) Variations in postnatal maternal care and the epigenetic regulation of Grm1 expression and hippocampal function in the rat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 Suppl. 2:17200-17207.

Meaney MJ, Ferguson-Smith A. (2010) Epigenomic regulation of the neural transcriptome: The meaning of the marks. Nature Neuroscience 13:1313-1318.