The 2022 Gairdner Lecture- Dr. Guy Rouleau- ‘Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis’

MDCL 1102

28/10/2022, 10:00 am - TO 28/10/2022 - 11:00 am

Organizer: Office of VDR, FHS

My Calendar

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award 2020 for identifying and elucidating the genetic architecture of neurological and psychiatric diseases, including ALS, autism and schizophrenia, and his leadership in the field of Open Science.

Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro); Professor & Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University; Director of the Department of Neuroscience, McGill University Health Center

The Work:
Dr. Rouleau has identified over 20 genetic risk factors predisposing to a range of brain disorders, both neurological and psychiatric, involving either neurodevelopmental processes or degenerative events. He has defined a novel disease mechanism for diseases related to repeat expansions that are involved in some of the most severe neurodegenerative conditions. He has significantly contributed to the understanding of the role of de novo variants in autism and schizophrenia. Further, he has made important advances for various neuropathies, in particular for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) where he was involved in the identification of the most prevalent genetic risk factors -which are now the core of innumerable ALS studies worldwide.

Dr. Rouleau has also played a pioneering role in the practice of Open Science (OS), transforming the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro) into the first OS institution in the world. The Neuro now uses OS principles to transform research and care and accelerate the development of new treatments for patients through Open Access, Open Data, Open Biobanking, Open Early Drug Discovery and non-restrictive intellectual property.

The Impact:
The identification of genetic risk factors has several significant consequences. First, allowing for more accurate genetic counselling, which reduces the burden of disease to affected individuals, parents and society. Second, identifying the causative gene allows the development of treatments. For instance, his earlier work on a form of ALS linked to the superoxide dismutase-1 gene (SOD1) opened studies which are now the focal point of phase 2 clinical studies showing great promise.

By acting as a living lab for the last couple of years, The Neuro is spearheading the practice of Open Science (OS). Dr. Rouleau’s work in OS contributes fundamentally to the transformation of the ecosystem of science by stimulating new thinking, and fostering communities of sharing.