Naguib Mechawar

Human Neuroscience

Naguib Mechawar, PhD

F-2101.1, Frank B. Common Pavilion

6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

(514) 761-6131 x3365

Research area: 
Basic Neuroscience / Animal Research

Research Theme: 
Stress, mood and impulsivity disorders

Researcher and Leader, Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Theme-based group
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Director, Douglas – Bell Canada Brain Bank
Graduate Program Director, Dept of Psychiatry, McGill University

Co-DirectorRéseau québécois sur le suicide, les troubles de l’humeur et les troubles associés – RQSHA

Neuroanatomy of mood disorders and suicide

Expertise: Glia, neuroplasticity, and neuroinflammation in the human brain

Naguib Mechawar, PhD, joined the Douglas Institute and the McGill Group for Suicide Studies in 2007. He investigates the molecular neuroanatomy of major depression and suicide, with a particular focus on the lasting consequences of childhood adversity.

Different research themes are explored in his laboratory, namely:

  • Neuroinflammation in depression and suicide;
  • Neuroplasticity in the human brain;
  • Astrocytic abnormalities in depression and suicide;
  • The lasting impact of child abuse on cerebral oligodendrocytes and myelination.

Dr Mechawar’s research is currently (2020) funded by CIHR, ERA-NET Neuron (FRQ-S), NSERC, and HBHL (CFREF).

  • Tanti A, Lutz P-E, Kim J, O’Leary L, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2019) Evidence of decreased gap junction between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the anterior cingulate cortex of depressed suicides. Neuropsychopharmacology 44:2099-2111.
  • Tanti A, Kim JJ, Wakid M, Davoli MA, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2018) Child abuse associates with an imbalance of oligodendrocyte-lineage cells in ventromedial prefrontal white matter. Mol Psychiatry 23:2018-2028.
  • Lutz PE, Tanti A, Gasecka A, Barnett-Burns S, Kim JJ, Zhou Y, Chen GG, Wakid M, Shaw M, Almeida D, Chay MA, Yang J, Larivière V, M’Boutchou MN, van Kempen LC, Yerko V, Prud’homme J, Davoli MA, Vaillancourt K, Théroux JF, Bramoullé A, Zhang TY, Meaney MJ, Ernst C, Côté D, Mechawar N*, Turecki G* (2017) Association of a History of Child Abuse With Impaired Myelination in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Convergent Epigenetic, Transcriptional, and Morphological Evidence. Am J Psychiatry 174:1185-1194.
  • Mahar I, Labonte B, Yogendran S, Isingrini E, Perret L, Davoli MA, Rachalski A, Giros B, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2017) Disrupted hippocampal neuregulin-1/ErbB3 signaling and dentate gyrus granule cell alterations in suicide. Transl Psychiatry 7:e1161.
  • Mechawar N, Savitz J (2016) Neuropathology of mood disorders: do we see the stigmata of inflammation? Transl Psychiatry 6:e946.
  • Torres-Platas SG, Nagy C, Wakid M, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2016) Glial fibrillary acidic protein is differentially expressed across cortical and subcortical regions in healthy brains and downregulated in the thalamus and caudate nucleus of depressed suicides. Mol Psychiatry 21:509-515.
  • Torres-Platas SG, Cruceanu C, Chen GG, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2014) Evidence for increased microglial priming and macrophage recruitment in the dorsal anterior cingulate white matter of depressed suicides. Brain Behav Immun 42:50-59.
  • Maheu M, Davoli MA, Turecki G, Mechawar N (2013) Amygdalar expression of proteins associated with neuroplasticity in major depression and suicide. J Psych Res 47:384-390.

CIHR New Investigator (2012-17)
Bell Senior Fellow in Mental Health (2012-14)

Lab members:

  • Maria Antonietta Davoli (research assistant)
  • George Perlman (research technician)
  • Arnaud Tanti (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Reza Rahimian (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Liam O’Leary (PhD student)
  • Marina Wakid (PhD student)
  • Claudia Belliveau (MSc student)
  • Kelly Perlman (MSc student)
  • Refilwe Mpai (undergraduate research student)
  • Frank Chen (undergraduate research student)


  • Candice Canonne (undergraduate research student)
  • Emily Clark (undergraduate research student)
  • Ashley McFarquhar (undergraduate research student)
  • Cynthia McMahan (undergraduate research student)
  • Christopher Ma (undergraduate research student)
  • Kimiya Adjedani (undergraduate research student)
  • Katharine Birkness (undergraduate research student)
  • Fanny Denux (undergraduate research student)
  • Katie Vandeloo (undergraduate research student)
  • John Kim (MSc student)
  • Qiyuan Huang (visiting PhD student)
  • Madelyn Barton (undergraduate research student)
  • Marilyn Cyr (PhD student, co-supervised by M-A Bédard)
  • Julia Devorak (MSc student)
  • Haseeb Khan (undergraduate research student)
  • Alexander Freibauer (undergraduate research student)
  • Sandra Yogendran (undergraduate research student)
  • Archchun Ariyarajah (undergraduate research student)
  • Samuel Comeau (undergraduate research student)
  • Diana Elwell (undergraduate research student)
  • Erika Freemantle (PhD student, co-supervised by G. Turecki)
  • Christa Hercher (MSc student, co-supervised by G. Turecki)
  • Alexandra Hoehne (undergraduate research student)
  • Masanobu Ito (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Donald MacIsaac (undergraduate research student)
  • Calvin Qiang (undergraduate research student)
  • Adeline Rachalski (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Stephanie Tan (undergraduate research student)
  • Ian Mahar (PhD student)
  • Marissa Maheu (PhD student)
  • Susana Gabriela Torres-Platas (PhD student)
  • Dominique Mirault (research technician)

Recent news

Congratulations to the recipents of the Dr. Holly Carsley Memorial Awards and the Rémi Quirion Excellence Award
Meet Dr. Naguib Mechawar, director of the Douglas-Bell Canada Brian Bank
Des cerveaux pour mieux comprendre la dépression et le suicide
Naguib Mechawar, PhD 2019-12-12
Naguib Mechawar and the Douglas Bell Canada Brain Bank Featured on Canal Savoir's "Histoires inflammatoires"
Dr. Gustavo Turecki and Dr. Naguib Mechawar 2019-11-05
Congratulations to Drs. Naguib Mechawar and Gustavo Turecki
A new molecular target identified in depression
Naguib Mechawar à la banque de cerveaux 2018-03-26
Radio-Canada interview with the Douglas Bell Canada Brain Bank Director Naguib Mechawar
Congratulations to Arnaud Tanti, Guido Powell & Lauren Reynolds winners of the 2017 Hendlisz awards
McGill Group for Suicide Studies 2017-10-23
Research shows how child abuse affects brain wiring
Naguib Mechawar discusses the link between inflammation and depression on Télé-Québec
Lien entre dépression et inflammation avec Naguib Mechawar (Les électrons libres, Télé-Québec)
La banque de cerveaux de l'Institut Douglas sera plus sélective avec Naguib Mechawar (Le Devoir)
Pénurie de cerveaux dans le monde? avec Naguib Mechawar (Radio Canada Première, Le 15-18)
Naguib Mechawar 2016-11-04
Naguib Mechawar receives a research grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Les ministres Jacques Daoust, Gaétan Barette et le chercheur Naguib Mechawar 2015-08-26
Official inauguration of the Centre for translational research on Mood Disorders and Suicide
Naguib Mechawar 2015-06-05
Gaining a bettter understanding of depression and suicide through the study of cerebral astrocytes

Recent publications