Lab director
Dr Ayman ElAli

Dr ElAli holds a Tier 2 CIHR Canada Research Chair in molecular and cellular neurovascular interactions, and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, and Principal Investigator at the Research Center of CHUQ-Université Laval in Canada. He earned a PhD (Dr rer nat) in cellular and molecular neuroscience from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, jointly with the University of Zurich in Switzerland. He performed a first postdoctoral training in vascular neurology in cerebrovascular diseases and vascular dementia at the Research Center of University Hospital of Essen in Germany, followed by a second postdoctoral training in neuroimmunology in neurodegenerative disorders at the Research Center of CHU de Québec-Université Laval in Canada. He is the recipient of several awards and prizes including Tier 2 CIHR Canada Research Chair, Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS) research scholar junior 1 career award, Louise Rousselle-Trottier excellence award from the Heart and Stroke Fondation of Quebec for his research in the field of stroke, a postdoctoral fellowship of excellence from the German Research Foundation ‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)’, and the young investigator career award from ‘Dr Werner Jackstaedt-Stiftung’ in Germany for his research in the field of vascular dementia.

Postdoctoral fellows
Dr Rayan Khaddaj-Mallat

Rayan has joined the lab in 2019 to perform a second postdoctoral training at Université Laval. She earned a PhD in physiology (biophysics) from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke in Canada. Rayan has performed a first postdoctoral training at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary in Canada. She acquired during these years a specific research expertise in vascular physiology and pathology. Rayan is the recipient of several awards and prizes including a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Rayan is developing new tools to reprogram pericytes for therapeutic purposes and will be investigating the mechanisms regulating brain perivascular cell contribution to fibrotic scar formation after stroke.

Dr Daniel Manrique Castano

Daniel will join the lab in 2020 to perform a postdoctoral training. He studied psychology at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia. He worked as a neuropsychologist at Valle. He received a scholarship from the International Graduate School of Neuroscience (IGSN) to conduct doctoral studies in neuroscience at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. Daniel will receive a PhD (Dr rer nat) in neuroscience from the Ruhr University Bochum jointly with Duisburg-Essen University in Germany. His research expertise revolves around glial response and extracellular matrix after brain injury. Daniel will be developing new automated image analysis tools to investigate astroglial scar dynamics after stroke and will be investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the interactions between astrocytes and pericytes during the scarring process after stroke.

Graduate students
Romain Menet

Romain has joined the lab in 2018 to perform a PhD in neuroscience at Université Laval. He earned a MSc degree in health, human physiology, functional exploration and imaging from the Université d’Amiens in France. He performed an advanced research training at l’INSERM U1190 of Université de Lille in France. Romain is developing a project that aims to investigate the role of the canonical Wnt pathway in regulating blood-brain barrier structural and functional integrity as well as neurovascular niche expansion in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Maxime Bernard

Maxime has joined the lab in 2018 to perform a PhD in neuroscience at Université Laval. He earned a MSc degree in developmental biology, cellular differentiation and oncogenesis, neurovascular pathophysiology, ageing and neurodegenerative disorders, neuroimaging and neuropsychopharmacology from the Université de Rouen in France. He performed an advanced research training at the glia-glia and glia-neuron interaction lab of the CNRS FR3636 at the Université Paris Descartes in France. Maxime is developing a project that aims to investigate the pro-angiogenic role pericytes in stroke.

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Sarah Lecordier

Sarah has joined the lab in 2019 to perform a PhD in neuroscience at Université Laval. She studied physiology and neuroscience at the Université of Aix-Marseille in France. She earned a MSc degree in neuroscience and neuropsychopharmacology from the Université de Bordeaux in France. She performed an advanced research training in neurobehavioural screening in rodents with emphasis on the impact of stress on memory ontogenesis. Sarah is developing a mouse model of micro-infarcts to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms implicated in vascular dementia associated to microangiopathies. She is deciphering the role of Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1) in modulating neurovascular niche turnover and neuroinflammation in vascular dementia pathobiology and therapy in a sex-dependent manner.

Natija Aldib

Natija has joined the lab in 2020 to perform a PhD in neuroscience at Université Laval (co-supervisor Dr Armen Saghatelyan, CERVO research Center, Quebec, Canada). She earned a MSc degree in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience from the Lebanese University in Lebanon. She performed an advanced research training to investigate dopaminergic pathways at the experimental and clinic neuroscience lab (LNEC) at the Université Poitiers in France. Natija is developing a project that aims at elucidating the potential of novel adult stem cells in neurovascular restoration after stroke.

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Yara El Moghrabi

Yara will join the lab in 2020 to perform a PhD in neuroscience at Université Laval. She has pursued studies in health and environment at the Lebanese University in Lebanon. She earned a MSc degree in expertise and treatment of the environment at the Lebanese University. She performed a research training in neurovascular biology at the Duisburg-Essen University in Germany. Yara will be developing a project that aims to investigate the impact of systemic inflammation associated to environmental risk factors on neurovascular pathobiology after stroke in a sex-dependent manner.     

Alumni

1- Noëmie Jean LeBlanc: Graduated in 2018 with a MSc degree in neuroscience, Université Laval

2- Sandrine Leblanc-Savignac: Medical doctor student, Université Laval

3- Vincent Coulombe: Undergraduate trainee in Biomedical Sciences, Université Laval

4- Elise Girard-Tremblay: Undergraduate trainee in Biomedical Sciences, Université Laval

5- Samuel Morneau-Gamache: Undergraduate trainee in Biomedical Sciences, Université Laval

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