Christian Casanova, Ph.D. is interested in neuronal mechanisms underlying normal and physiopathological vision. His work primarily focuses on the role of the pulvinar and on corticothalamocortical pathways in visual processing, with a particular interest in motion analysis.

His team is trying to understand the functional consequences of retinal neuromodulators deprivation in contrast sensitivity, such as in the case of certain neurodegenerative diseases (ex: Parkinson's disease) and other diseases affecting more the visual function (ex: retinopathy of prematurity).

Dr. Casanova is National Researcher of Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec.

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Current members

  • Geneviève Cyr

    After her training in the medical laboratory technical program at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy, she joined Dr. Casanova’s lab in 2001 as a lab technician. She works with the students and helps them on their research project, primarily on the histology section and the development of new protocols.

  • Olivia Bibollet-Bahena, Ph.D.

    Olivia is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Casanova’s laboratory. She is interested in thalamocortical connectivity of the visual system, more specifically in the role of the pulvinar in corticothalamocortical pathways.

    More info

    To study this network, she uses optical imaging of intrinsic signals as well as optical imaging through voltage sensitive dyes (VSD) while presenting specific visual stimuli. Prior to joining the lab, Olivia did her PhD at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, in the department of genetics where her main interest was the role of axon guidance molecules during the development of the thalamocortical system.

  • Nelson Cortes, Ph.D.

    Nelson has been studying the visual system of vertebrates since doing a Masters in Neuroscience at the Universidad de Chile. Afterwards, Nelson moved to Paris, France, to do a Masters in Cognitive Science (École des hautes études en sciences sociales) and then a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience (Université Pierre Marie et Curie).

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    During his studies in France, he created a mathematical model that reproduces the interactions between the cortical visual hierarchy and the pulvinar. He stayed in France to do a first postdoctoral fellowship that mixed psychophysics experiments in depth visual perception (École Normale Supérieure) with retinal recordings of rat cells (Institute de la Vision, Paris). In the current lab, Nelson is testing whether his theoretical model predicts the functional interactions of the transthalamic pathway by the pulvinar.

  • Visou Ady, Ph.D.

    Visou is interested in exploring and bridging the different levels of brain function. During his master’s degree he was trained in both single-channel patch-clamp techniques on cell cultures mutagenesis.

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    The focus of his Ph.D studies (Université Paris Descartes, France) was to demonstrate using acute slice electrophysiology and pharmacology techniques, that the activation of a metabotropic glutamate receptor could open the channel of the ionotropic GluD2 receptor in cerebellar Purkinje cells. He later combined electrophysiology techniques with two-photon microscopy and optogenetics to study cerebellar circuit development and cerebellar pathophysiology in a hereditary cerebellar ataxia mouse model. He has now joined our team to further characterize, in vivo, the modulation exerted by neurons from the pulvinar on those from primary and higher cortical visual areas, during visual processing.

  • Hugo Ladret

    Hugo obtained a BSc in Cell Biology and an MSc in Neuroscience from Aix-Marseille University, France. For his Master thesis, he studied the primary visual cortex and its computational modeling.

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    After working with us for part of his MSc, Hugo integrated the laboratory as a PhD student in October 2019. His thesis, fundamentally multidisciplinary, is co-directed by Prof. Christian Casanova (UdeM, CA) and Dr. Laurent Perrinet (AMU, FR). Hugo is interested in understanding the activity of the primary visual cortex (V1) in response to 'natural' images, which form our daily visual experience. More specifically, his project consists in recordings of V1 neurons with multi-electrodes and create computational models from these recordings. With these techniques, he seeks to understand how complex sensory environments drive complex V1 behaviour which still eludes our understanding.

  • Reza Abbas Farishta, M.Sc.

    Reza is a PhD student in vision science/neuroscience at the Université de Montréal. Before moving to Montreal, he studied optometry (BSc and MSc) at the Paris XI University in France. He joined the laboratory of Dr Casanova in 2010 during which he completed a Master's degree in clinical optometry and neuroscience.

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    His doctoral research focuses on the role of the pulvinar in visual function. Some of the techniques he uses in my projects include single cell electrophysiology, optical imaging of intrinsic signals, neuronal tracing, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy.

  • Bruno Oliveira Ferreira de Souza, M.Sc.

    Bruno graduated in veterinary medicine at the Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco in Brazil. Over the years, he grew a particular interest in vision and the pathologies associated with it in animals. During his master’s degree, he was interested on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids on the morphology and physiology of the retina in animal model of the degeneration of photoreceptors.

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    Since September 2012, he is a PhD student in vision science with Drs. Christian Casanova and Frédéric Lesage codirecting his work. He is currently studying the role of the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus in the processing of visual information in the animal model. His research project is more fundamentally based on the contribution of extrastriated cortical areas towards the neuronal properties of the pulvinar. His work progresses through the use of classical techniques such as electrophysiology.

  • Bruno Cécyre, M.Sc.

    Bruno graduated with a B.Sc. in pharmacology at Université de Sherbrooke and with an MSc in vision science at the School of Optometry at Université de Montréal. His master thesis focused on the protein expression of several components of the endocannabinoid system in the rodent retina during postnatal development until adulthood.

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    He also studied the impact of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 on the retinal function. He is currently studying the impact of the endocannabinoid system on the survival and retinal function following an injury or a disease affecting the visual system.

  • Umit Keysan, B.Sc.

    Umit graduated from McGill University with a BSc in biology. He is currently a master’s student in vision science at the School of Optometry of Université de Montréal. He is interested in the functional impact of the LP (lateral posterior) thalamic nucleus on the primary visual cortex (V1) of the mouse.

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    His work primarily involves the use of electrophysiological techniques and optogenetics.



Past members

  • Personnel technique et assistants de recherche

    Martin Villeneuve
    Paul Khayat
    Matthieu Vanni
    Karine Minville
    Marilyse Piché
    Barbara Lindsay
    Annie-Hélène Samson
    Bénédicte Plaziac
    Hélène Comeau
    Patricia Fortier
    Manon Tremblay
  • Résidents (Stages de recherche)

    Daniel Cormier, Ophtalmologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1995
    Richard Léger, Ophtalmologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1995
    Hans McLelland, Neurochirurgie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1994
    Daniel Bélliveau, Ophtalmologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1993
    Khalil Sultanem, Ophtalmologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1992

     

  • Stagiaires
    post-doctoraux

    Zsolt Baldauf, 2004-2005
    Elena Akhmetova, 2002
    Mohammed Filali, 1998-2000
  • Étudiants de troisième cycle
    (PhD)

    Mohammadali Almasieh, 2005-2012
    Matthieu Vanni, 2004-2010
    Nawal Zabouri, 2004-2011
    Martin Villeneuve, 2002-2008
    Brian Ouellette, 2002-2008
    Éliane Chevrier, 2001-2008
    Fréderic Huppé-Gourgues, 2002-2006
    Odile Brosseau-Lachaîne, 2000-2008
    Gino Coudé, 1998-2004
    Lotfi Merabet, 1996-1999
  • Étudiants de deuxième cycle (MSc)

    Mathieu François, 2014
    Anaïs Braverman, 2014
    Duy-Luc Pham, 2012
    Aurélie Brûlé, 2011-2012
    Duy-Luc Pham, 2012-2013
    Laurent Bussières, 2011-2014
    Bruno Cécyre, 2010-2013
    Alexandre Castonguay, 2010-2013
    Reza Abbas, 2010-2011
    Marianne Groleau, 2009-2012
    Céline Robert, 2009-2010
    Samuel Bélanger, 2008-2010
    Melissa Savard, 2006-2009
    Marouane Nassim, 2005-2008
    Jonathan Roy, 2005-2007
    Mannisha Patel, 2002-2005
    Nawal Zabouri, 2002-2004
    Martin Villeneuve, 1999-2002
    Brian Ouellette, 1999-2002
    Fréderic Huppé-Gourgues, 1999-2001
    Julie Brûlé, 2000-2002
    Daniela Dumbrava, 1999-2001
    Odile Brosseau-Lachaîne, 1997-2000
    Alex Desautels, 1996-1998
    Jean-François Giguère, 1996-1998
    Annecy Marois, 1995-1997
    Lynda Boumghar
    Karine Minville, 1994-1996
    Lotfi Merabet, 1993-1995
    Tony Savard, 1993-1995

  • Étudiants de premier cycle (stages de recherche)

    Perrine Latrille, Génie, France, 2017
    Alexie Byrns, Sciences neurologiques, Université de Montréal, 2017
    Marc Demers, Génie mécanique, École polytechnique, 2017
    Win Yen Chow, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2017
    Monica Zaki, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2017
    Gaspard Nahmias, Sciences cognitives, McGill, 2017
    Asma Bouikni, Sciences neurologiques, Université de Montréal, 2016
    Charlotte Talvat, Génie, France, 2016
    Mikaël Bulot, Génie, France, 2016
    Sophie Nguyen, France, chimie et sciences de la vie, 2016
    Xavier Héral-Hébert, Sciences biomédiales, Université de Montréal, 2016
    Brent Fortin-Boily, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2016
    Élise Gayet, Génie, France, 2015
    Mohamed Lotfi Amara, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2015
    Philippe Régnier, Sciences biomédicales, UQTR, 2015
    Rosalie Martel, Génie biomédical, École polytechnique, 2015
    Isabelle Bouchard, Génie biomédical, École polytechnique, 2014
    Zeinab el-Jarmaki, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2014
    Sara Genest, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2014
    Ariane Labonté, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2014
    Catherine Monfette, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2013
    Thierry Kalombo, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2013
    Olivier Lebfevre, Génie biomédical, Polytechnique Montréal, 2013
    Mira Abou Rjeili, Biochimie, Université Concordia, 2013
    Jean-François Pelletier-Paquette, Génie biomédical, Polytechnique Montréal, 2012
    Olivier Turcot, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2012
    Karina Gilbert, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2012
    Marc-André Legault, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2011
    Lisa Beudjekian, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2011
    Annie Andrews, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2011
    Alexandre Borowczyk, Polytechnique Montréal, 2011 & 2012
    Alexandra Thibeault-Eybalin, Génie biomédical, Polytechnique, 2010
    Firdaous Safir, Génie logiciel, Polytechnique, 2010
    Genevieve Labreche, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2009
    Laurent Bussières, Sciences biomédicales, Université de Montréal, 2009 et 2010
    Alexandra Gagné, Psychologie, Université de Montréal, 2009
    Jimmy Lai, Psychologie, University of Western Ontario, 2008 à 2012
    David Laporte, Génie informatique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2009
    Olivia Ptito-Taras, Microbiologie, Université McGill, 2007
    Russel Simco, Microbiologie & Immunologie, Dalhousie University, 2007
    Gabrielle Marcoux-Houde, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2007
    Nicolas Rousseau-Dupuis, Génie informatique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2007
    Leaticia Njia, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 2007
    Léa Gagnon, Biologie, Université de Montréal, 2007
    Bertrand Guay-Paquet, Génie informatique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2005-2006
    Annie Charpentier, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2005 & 2006
    Jonathan Roy, Génie informatique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2004-2005
    Gabriel Durany, Génie électrique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2004
    Marie-Lou Garon, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2003 & 2004
    Mélanie Trudel, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2003
    Marie-Claude Ferland, Génie électrique, Polytechnique Montréal, 2003
    Julie Chamard, Psychologie, UQAM, 2002
    Bénédicte Plaziac, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2001
    Ève Boisvenue, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 2000
    Catherine Plaziac, Biologie, UQAM, 2000-2001
    Julie Boivin, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1999 & 2000
    Guylaine Foulem, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1999
    Fabienne Bellesort, Biochimie, Université de Montréal, 1999
    Julie Brulé, École d'optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1998
    Olivier Patry, École d'optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1997
    Dam Tam N'Guyen, École d'optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1996
    Darkise Richard, École d'optométrie, Université de Montréal, 1996
    Simon Darveau, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1995, 1996
    Alex Desautels, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1995
    Audrey Bergeron, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1994
    Annecy Marois, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1994
    Ninon Lyrette, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1993
    Yann Rioux, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1993
    Guylaine Picard, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1992
    Daniel Arseneault, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1992
    Tony Savard, Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 1991-1992
    Louis Cloutier, Pharmacie, Université de Montréal, 1991