Besides serving as Programme Director for Translational Neurosciences at SICS, Professor Michael Meaney is also a James McGill Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, and Neurosurgery at McGill University. Renowned for his research on stress, maternal care and gene expression, his research focuses on epigenetics and the mechanisms by which adversity in early life might alter neural development and render certain individuals at risk of mental illnesses and/or learning disabilities later in life.
He also oversees the Core Molecular Laboratory and Bioinformatics programmes at SICS. The main focus of the Core Molecular Laboratory is to facilitate clinical research by providing specialised expertise and protocols in tissue and cell culture, biochemistry and molecular biology, while the Bioinformatics Core integrates expertise in computer science with biology and mathematics to support analytics with large and/or multi-dimensional data.
One of the world’s most cited scientists, he has been invited to present his findings at research institutes, government health agencies, and scientific meetings globally. Through his work, he hopes to holistically depict what vulnerability to mental illnesses looks like, what constitutes resilience or risk, and what interventions can help stop these debilitating conditions before they take root in adolescence and early adulthood.
In 2014, Professor Meaney was awarded the prestigious Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for his work on how parental behaviour affects children’s brain development and lifelong function. He was also elected to the Royal Society of Canada, named a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and awarded the Order of Canada.
Professor Meaney graduated from Loyola College (Montreal), and received his PhD from Concordia University (Montreal) with post-doctoral training at The Rockefeller University in New York.