Naguib Mechawar

  • Theme-Based Group: 
    Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide
  • Division: 
    Human Neuroscience
Naguib Mechawar, PhD

F-2101.1, Frank B. Common Pavilion

6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

(514) 761-6131 x3365

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)
  • Reza Rahimian (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Raphaël Chouinard-Watkins (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Liam O’Leary (PhD student)
  • Marina Wakid (PhD student)
  • Claudia Belliveau (PhD student)
  • Christa Hercher (PhD student)
  • Kelly Perlman (PhD student)
  • Refilwe Mpai (MSc student)
  • Candice Canonne (MSc student)
  • Sophie Simard (MSc student)


  • Arnaud Tanti (postdoctoral fellow)
  • George Perlman (research technician)
  • 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

À la tête d'une banque de cerveaux
Naguib Mechawar featured on Y'a du monde à messe
Refilwe Mpai awarded an HBHL MSc Fellowship
Dr. Naguib Mechawar invited to Y'a du monde à messe
Neurobiologiste préoccupé par l'impact de la pandémie sur la santé mentale
CH bon pour le moral
Announcement of the Dr. Holly Carsley and Dr. Rémi Quirion prizes
L’une des plus importantes banques de cerveaux à l’Institut Douglas
Brain Canada awards the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank a nearly $2.14 M Platform Support Grant
Brain Canada Logo
Brain Cells Called Astrocytes Linked to Depression
Les hommes décédés par suicide auraient un point commun, une composition du cerveau différente
Les personnes décédées par suicide auraient un point commun
Post mortems reveal clear differences in the brain cells of people with depression
People With Depression Have A Loss Of Star-Shaped Brain Cells, New Study Suggests
Study Links Brain Cells to Depression – Brings Hope for Targeted Treatment Options
Study links brain cells to depression
Prévenir le suicide pendant la pandémie de la COVID-19
Incursion dans l'univers de la banque de cerveaux Douglas-Bell Canada
Congratulations to our CIHR Grant recipients!
Le directeur de la banque de cerveaux de Montréal m’a fait pleurer
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
Histoires inflammatoires
Naguib Mechawar and the Douglas Bell Canada Brain Bank Featured on Canal Savoir's "Histoires inflammatoires"
Naguib Mechawar, PhD
Congratulations to Drs. Naguib Mechawar and Gustavo Turecki
Dr. Gustavo Turecki and Dr. Naguib Mechawar
A new molecular target identified in depression
Radio-Canada interview with the Douglas Bell Canada Brain Bank Director Naguib Mechawar
Naguib Mechawar à la banque de cerveaux
Congratulations to Arnaud Tanti, Guido Powell & Lauren Reynolds winners of the 2017 Hendlisz awards
Research shows how child abuse affects brain wiring
McGill Group for Suicide Studies
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 receives a research grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Naguib Mechawar
Official inauguration of the Centre for translational research on Mood Disorders and Suicide
Les ministres Jacques Daoust, Gaétan Barette et le chercheur Naguib Mechawar
Gaining a bettter understanding of depression and suicide through the study of cerebral astrocytes
Naguib Mechawar

Recent publications