Albert Lab

Paul Albert profile picture

Contact Information

Paul Albert, PhD
613-562-5800 8307

OHRI (Neuroscience)
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON K1H-8M5

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Lab Members

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Over the years, I have been fortunate to have many outstanding students and post-doctoral fellows have contributed to our research efforts, and their names appear on many of our papers.  We are always looking for motivated individuals with a passion to have some fun doing cutting edge research, and who yearn to understand the molecular basis of mental illness and how to improve its treatment.

Current Members

Faranak Vahid-Ansari, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Francis Mathew Memorial Fellowship, Parkinson's Research Consortium
Min Zhang, M.Sc.
Ph.D. Candidate, Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery Studentship
Queen Elizabeth II graduate Scholar in Science and Technology (QEII-SST)
Mireille Daigle
Research Technician
UOttawa Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence 2008
current member
Sara Asgharzadeh, M.Sc.
Ph.D. Candidate
current member
Mylène Therrien
M.Sc. Candidate
NSERC MSc Scholar
current member
Alberto Fuentes
M.Sc. Candidate
current member
Doreen Nelson
Honours Student 2022-23
2023 Parkinson Research Consortium Summer Studentship
current member
Qiya Xu
Summer Student 2023
MSc Candidate

Past lab members

Graduate Students

Alain Charest-M.Sc., Pharmacol. Therap., McGill, 1991-92.
Thesis: Characterization of the 5'-flanking region of the rat 5- hydroxytryptamine 1A receptor gene.
Present position: Professor, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University

Ya Fang Liu-Ph.D. Pharmacol. Therap., McGill, MRC Scholar, 1989-93
Thesis: Molecular characterization of G protein coupled receptor signalling in GH4C1 pituitary and Ltk- fibroblast cells.
Present position: Prof., Pharmacology, Boston Univ., Boston, MA

Paola Lembo, Ph.D., Pharmacol. Therap., McGill, FCAR scholar, Dean's Honours List, 1991-96
Thesis: Modulation of serotonin receptor signalling by protein kinase activation
Present Position: Research Director, AstraZeneca, Montreal

Caroline Saucier, Ph.D., Pharmacol. Therap., McGill, 1991-97
Thesis: Identification, signaling, and agonist-induced down-regulation of endogenous serotonin-2 receptors in fibroblast cell lines: implications for cell growth.
Present position: Assistant Prof., Anatomie et biologie cellulaire, Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec

Mohammad H. Ghahremani, Ph.D., Pharmacol. Therap., McGill, 1993-2001
Thesis: G protein specificity of dopamine D2S receptor signaling in cell growth and proliferation.
Present position: Professor in Molecular Pharmacology, Dept of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran Univ. of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Behzad Banihashemi, M.Sc., Cell. Mol. Medicine, U. of Ottawa, 2000-02
Thesis: Distinct roles of Gi/o protein subunits in signaling by dopamine D2S receptors in rat pituitary cells.
Present position: MD

Amanda Cockburn, M.Sc., Cell. Mol. Medicine, U. of Ottawa (NSERC Scholar) 2002-04
Thesis: Estrogen regulation of the human 5-HT1A receptor gene.
Present position: Veterinarian, Anima, Montréal

Sylvie Lemonde, Ph.D. Cell. Mol. Medicine, U. of Ottawa (CIHR studentship), 1997-2004
Thesis: Transcriptional regulation of the human 5-HT1A receptor gene: implication in major depression and suicide.
Present position: M.D., Radiology, University of Ottawa

Ariel Burns, M.Sc. Neuroscience, U. of Ottawa (NSERC scholar; Award of Excellence), 2004-06
Thesis: 5-HT1A autoreceptor regulation and functional polymorphisms that modify the serotonin system and their association with depression and schizophrenia.
Present position: M.D., Dermatology, University of Ottawa

Federico Remes Lenicov, M.Sc. Neuroscience, U. of Ottawa (Award of Excellence), 2004-06
Thesis: Transcriptional regulation of tryptophan hydroxylase 2.
Present position: Ph.D. student, National Institute of Microbiology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ariel Wilson, M.Sc. Neuroscience, U. of Ottawa, 2004-07
Thesis: The effects of TNF-IP, a Gαi3-interacting protein, on dopamine D2S receptor signaling in Balb/c cells.
Present position: Ph.D. student, Adriana Di Polo (supervisor), U. de Montréal, Montreal, QC

Neena Kushwaha, Ph.D. CMM Program, U. of Ottawa, CIHR Scholar, 1999-07
Thesis: Characterization of the G-protein coupling domains of the 5-HT1A receptor.
Present Position: Section Head (Biotechnology) - Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

Anastasia Rogaeva, Ph.D. NSC Program, U. Ottawa. CIHR Scholar; OGS Scholar, 2001-07
Thesis: Freud-1, a Novel Regulator of the Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 1A Receptor Genes.
Present Position: Manager, Biosafety, Public Health Agency Canada, Ottawa

Houman Nafisi (M.D., Tehran), M.Sc., NSC Program, U. Ottawa. OGS Scholar, 2005-08
Thesis: RASA3: A novel effector of inhibitory G protein signaling
Present position: M.D., University of Toronto

Kirsten X. Jacobsen, Ph.D. CMM Program, U. Ottawa, NSERC, OMHF Scholar, 2004-08
Thesis: Developmental Regulation of the Monoamine Fear Circuitry
Present Position: Manager, Biosafety Risk Assessment, Pathogen Regulation Directorate, Public Health Agency Canada, Ottawa

Kimberly Galaraga, M.Sc. NSC Program, U. Ottawa, 2005-08
Thesis: Regulation of 5-HT1A Repressor Human Freud-1/CC2D1A by Calcium/Calmodulin Sensitive Phosphorylation
Present Position: Teaching

Mahmoud Hadjighassem (M.D., Tehran), Ph.D. NSC Program, U. Ottawa, Iranian Scholarship, 1999-08
Thesis: Freud-2/CC2D1B, a new member of the family of transcriptional repressors of the 5-HT1A receptor gene.
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Research Center (CMRC), Iran University of Medical Science (IUMS), Tehran-Iran

Ben Laliberté, M.Sc. NSC Program, U. Ottawa. NSERC Scholar, 2006-08
Thesis: Activation of Gαi3 and interacting protein, TNFAIP8, inhibits TNFα-induced death and promotes transformation in mouse fibroblast.
Present Position: Research Technician, Carleton University.

Jon Urben, M.Sc., NSC Program, OGSST Scholar, 2006-09
Thesis: Interaction of protein phosphatase 2A with the serotonin-1A receptor.
Present Position: Environmental Scientist, Stantec, Ottawa

Margaret Czesak, Ph.D., CMM Program, OGSST Scholar, CIHR Scholar, 2003-10
Thesis: Transcriptional Regulation of the 5-HT1A Receptor Gene by Deformed Autosomal Regulatory Factor 1
Present Position: Program Director, Aboriginal Affairs, Canada

Yi Yuan Zhou, M.Sc.. NSC Program, UOttawa, 2008-10
Thesis: Structural determinants of 5-HT1A receptor interaction with Galpha-i subunits
Present Position: MD

Xun (Carrie) Ma, M.Sc.. NSC Program, UOttawa, 2008-11
Thesis: RASA3, a key player in Dopamine-D2S receptor-mediated MAPK signaling
Present Position: Research Assistant, Cancer Centre, Univ. of Ottawa

Tatiana Souslova, Ph.D. NSC Program, (M.Sc., UQAM), OMHF Scholar, 2007-11
Thesis: Transcriptonal regulatory mechanisms of Freud-1, a novel mental retardation gene.
Present Position: Vice-President of Medical Policy, Avalon HealthCare Solutions, Tampa FL

Bianca Plouffe, Ph.D. NSC Program, (M.Sc., USherbrooke), CIHR Scholar, 2011
Co-Supervisor with Dr. Mario Tiberi
Thesis: Comprehensive Model of G Protein-coupled Receptor Regulation by Protein Kinase C: Insight from Dopamine D1 and D5 Receptor Studies
Present Position: Professor, Queen’s University, Belfast

Kim A. Mirédin, M.Sc. NSC Program, 2010-12
Thesis: The transcriptional repressor CC2D1A/Freud-1 interacts with the chromatin remodeling protein Brg1
Present Position: UX Researcher at

Chao Chang, M.Sc. NSC Program, Audrey Grant Fellowship, Parkinson's Research Consortium, 2012-14
Thesis: Functional Studies of Dopamine-D2S Receptor Signaling through the RASA3 Pathway
Present Position: Ph.D. candidate, McGill University

Christine Luckhart, M.Sc. NSC Program. 2012-14
Thesis: Functional Studies of the 5–HT1A Autoreceptor in Mice
Present Position: Account Manager, Canada, Noldus Information Technology Inc.

Irshaad Hashim, M.Sc. NSC Program. 2013-15
Thesis: The Effect of Freud-1/CC2D1A Knockout on EGF Receptor Activation.
Sales Associate, STEMCELL Technologies, Vancouver BC

Tristan Joshua Philippe, M.Sc. NSC Program. 2012-15
Thesis: Deaf1 and MeCP2 interact to coordinately regulate 5-HT1A receptor gene expression.
Ph.D. candidate, UBC

Valerie Cardin, M.Sc. NSC Program. 2014-17
Thesis: The Role of the 5-HTlA Autoreceptor in Response to Antidepressant Treatment
Ph.D. candidate, University of Ottawa

Faranak Vahid-Ansari, Ph.D. NSC Program. 2013-17
Thesis: Altered serotonin regulation in genetic and post-stroke models of anxiety and depression.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Carleton University.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Stephen J. Morris, Ph.D., 1993-97
Present position: Head of Cellular Screening, Aegera, Montreal

Xiaoming Ou, Ph.D., OMHF Fellow, 1997-02
Associate Professor, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS Deceased, 8/13

Hamed Jafar-Nejad, M.D., 1999-00
Present position: Assistant Professor, Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX.

Gele Liu, M.D., Ph.D., 2000-02
Present Position: Senior Research Associate, Carleton Univ., Ottawa

Helen Mao, M.D., Ph.D., 2000-03
Present position: Drug Evaluation Officer, TPD Oncology, Health Canada.

Christopher Bown, Ph.D., McMaster Univ., OMHF Fellow, 2002-04
Present position: Patent Law, Gowlings, Ottawa.

Mohammad Farajollahi, M.D., Ph.D., Iranian Fellowship. 2003-04
Present position: Professor, University of Tehran, Iran

Irit Itzhaki Van Ham, Ph.D. University of Tel Aviv 2004-06
Present position: Founder and CTO, ToeFX Inc., Toronto, Ontario

Jordanna Bermack, Ph.D. McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, 2004-05
Present position: Scientific Communications Specialist at Kataka Medical Communication, Montreal

Tera Mosher, Ph.D., University of Alberta, 2006-07
Present Position: Patents Evaluation, Government of Canada

Brice Le François, Ph.D. University of Ottawa, 2007-13
Present Position: Scientist, R & D Microbiome, DNA Genotek, Ottawa

Lina Almarestani, Ph.D. McGill University 2008-09
Present position: Assistant Professor, Rochester Inst. Technology, Dubai   

Mahmoud Hadjighassem, M.D., Ph.D. University of Ottawa, 2008-09
Present position: Assistant Professor, Pasteur Institute, Tehran, Iran

Laura M. Fiori, Ph.D. McGill University, 2011-13
Present position: NARSAD Young Investigator, McGill University

Mohammad H. Ghahremani, Ph.D., 2011-12
Present position: Professor, Iran

Mousa Sahebgharani, Ph.D., 2012-13
Present position: Professor, Iran

Bernadetta Szewczyk, Ph.D., 2014, 2015
Present position: Professor, Poland

Ania Serefko, Ph.D., 2015
Present position: Professor, Poland

Ginette Hupe, Ph.D. 2015-7
Post-doctoral fellow, University of Ottawa