Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide

Leader: Naguib Mechawar, PhD

For decades, research on stress and stress-related disorders has been one of the core strengths of the Douglas Research Centre. We  bring together a group of investigators who are exploring the nature and consequences of stress exposure during different stages of life. These investigators, who are spread across the Centre’s four divisions, use a wide range of approaches including (but not limited to) basic research with animal models and human tissue samples, and clinical and psychosocial research. By studying various dimensions of stress, resilience to stress and stress-related psychopathologies, their main objective is, ultimately, to improve prevention and treatment.

Primary Researchers

Serge Beaulieu Bipolar disorders 
Marcelo Berlim Neuromodulation Research
Alain Brunet Impact of traumatic stress on mental health
Eduardo Chachamovich Social and clinical determinants of mental health in Aboriginal populations
Salah El Mestikawy Glutamatergic systems in normal and pathological brains
Marie-Claude Geoffroy Epidemiology of suicide and related mental disorders accross the lifespan
Bruno Giros Pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders
Alain Gratton Neurobiology of stress
Naguib Mechawar Molecular neuroanatomy of depression and suicide
Johanne Renaud Youth suicide and suicidal behaviours
Stéphane Richard-Devantoy Cognitive control in elderly suicide 
Joseph Rochford Animal models, behavioral pharmacology, behavioural phenotyping
Gustavo Turecki Suicide studies
Tak Pan Wong Glutamate synapses and psychiatric disorders


Associated Researchers


Cecilia Flores Adolescent brain development and susceptibility to psychopathology
Suzanne King Role of prenatal maternal stress in the development of psychopathology
Mimi Israel Eating disorders
Howard Steiger Eating disorders 
Dominique Walker Early stress, maternal regulation and neuroendocrine development
Tie Yuan Zhang Optoneuroepigenetics


Research Program

The overarching goals of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide​ are the following.

  1. Better understand the functional consequences of chronic stress and the nature of resilience at the cellular, molecular and behavioral levels.
  2. Identify the environmental and biological factors associated with vulnerability or resilience to chronic stress.
  3. Develop better evidence-based interventions and policies aimed at preventing and treating stress-related mental illnesses.