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Pierre Drapeau, Ph.D.

Pierre Drapeau, Ph.D.Pierre Drapeau is a professor and Director of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.









Department of Pathology and Cell Biology
Université de Montréal
Roger-Gaudry Building,
Room N-535
Montreal, Quebec


Phone: 514-343-6294
Email :p.drapeau@umontreal.ca


Research in Pierre Drapeau’s laboratory focuses on development of the motor nervous system in the zebra fish by combining cellular neurophysiology and molecular genetics. The work lead to the discovery of a new mechanism of so-called rapid synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction and made it possible to show what role synaptic activity plays in determining the identity of neurons during development. The long-term objective of this research is to elucidate the molecular movements involved in formation and development of motor networks. Since 2006, Dr. Drapeau has been contributing to a vast genomics project aimed at identifying the mutations in synaptic genes that cause autism and schizophrenia, by validating the effect of the mutations in the zebra fish.


Neurodevelopmental diseases including autism and schizophrenia


Kibar Z, Torban E, McDearmid JR, Reynolds A, Berghout J, Mathieu M, Kirillova I, De Marco P, Merello E, Hayes JM, Wallingford, JB, Drapeau P, Capra V and Gros P. Mutations in VANGL1 associated with neural-tube defects. New Engl. J. Med. 2007. 356:1432-1437.

Valdmanis PN, Meijer IA, Reynolds A, Lei A, MacLeod P, Schlesinger D, Zatz M, Reid E, Dion P, Drapeau P, Rouleau GA. Mutations in the KIAA0196 gene at the SPG8 locus cause Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Am. J. Human Gen. 2007. 80: 152-161.

McDearmid, J.R. Liao, M. and Drapeau, P. (2006) Glycine receptors signal interneuron differentiation in the developing spinal cord. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:9679-9684.

Brustein, E. and Drapeau, P. (2005) Serotoninergic modulation of chloride homeostasis during maturation of the locomotor network in zebrafish. J. Neurosci. 25:10607-10616.

Brustein, E., Marandi, N., Kovalchuk, Y., Drapeau, P. and Konnerth, A. (2003) In vivo monitoring of neuronal network activity in zebrafish by two-photon Ca2+ imaging. Pflügers Archiv Eur. J. Physiol. 446:766-773.

Saint-Amant, L. and Drapeau, P. (2001) Synchronization of an embryonic network of identified spinal interneurons solely by electrical coupling. Neuron 31: 1035-1046.

Legendre, P., Ali, D.W., and Drapeau, P. (2000) Recovery from open channel block by acetylcholine during neuromuscular transmission in larval zebrafish. J. Neurosci. 20:140-148.

Catarsi, S. and Drapeau, P. 1993. Tyrosine kinase-dependent selection of transmitter responses induced by neuronal contact. Nature 363: 353-355.

Catarsi, S. and Drapeau, P. 1992. Loss of extrasynaptic channel modulation by protein kinase C underlies the selection of serotonin responses in an identified leech neuron. Neuron 8: 275-281.

Drapeau, P. 1990. Loss of channel modulation by transmitter and protein kinase C during innervation of an identified leech neuron. Neuron 4: 875-882.


Département de pathologie et biologie cellulaire

Groupe de recherche sur le système nerveux central (GRSNC)

Synapse to Disease Project


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