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October 24, 2022
Seminar Title: Sex and Circuits: A Systems Spproach for the Identification of Disease States and Novel Targets
Presenter: Dr. Melissa L. Perreault, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences & Adjunct Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph
Dr. Perreault is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph and is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in the Royal Society of Canada. She acquired her PhD in behavioural neuroscience from McMaster University followed by postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto and the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Perreault’s primary research focus is to understand sexual dimorphisms in the cellular mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders and, additionally, to identify sex-specific neurophysiological (brain wave) patterns that can be used as biomarkers to identify disorder states and function as an additional readout for the evaluation of novel therapeutics. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, descended from the historic Métis Community of the Mattawa/Ottawa River (Laronde-Sauvage family line).
Talk Summary:Neuronal oscillations, or brain waves, are highly coupled to behavioural states and are emerging as potential biomarkers of neuropsychiatric disorders and therapeutic drug efficacy. Sexual dimorphisms in brain wave patterns and their contribution to sex-specific behaviours in these disorders are poorly understood. In this talk, Dr. Perreault will discuss sex-specific brain wave patterns in rodent model systems of depression and autism spectrum disorders and will address some of the challenges and mistakes she made along the way, highlighting the need for inclusivity of both sexes in preclinical and translational systems research.