We’re ringing the New Year with the publication of a protocol to use Silifish, developed by MSc candidate Emine Topcu, in STAR Protocols. We hope this protocol helps others in the community use our software to perform computational studies of neural circuits for movement, especially in swimming species. The protocol is Open Access.
Postdoctoral fellow Alex Laliberte has earned a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Craig H Neilsen Foundation. Their generous support will enable Alex to expand his current work investigating the mechanisms by which dI3 INs facilitate functional recovery after injury to the spinal cord. He will now be able to study the role of dI3 INs in the possible recovery of hand function following cervical myelopathy. Many thanks to the Craig H Neilsen Foundation for their continued support of research in our lab.
COMPUTATIONAL MODEL UPDATE: A new version of the software that we use to model zebrafish in our available at our github page. MSc candidate Emine Topcu has greatly revamped our code, including a switch to C# (note from Tuan: I am so old I have never even heard of C#), and the addition of a GUI to facilitate model construction of zebrafish spinal circuits. The new software, Silifish, is available at this link
Very exciting news for Ph.D. candidate Stephanie Gaudreau who received a well-deserved graduate scholarship from NSERC (PGS D) to pursue her research into the operation of spinal circuits for swimming in developing zebrafish. Congratulations!
On another NSERC-related news item, the lab received a Discovery Grant to continue our research program studying how spinal circuits mature during the development of spinal circuits for swimming. The insights from this work will continue to provide insights into the neural control of locomotion in fish but also across vertebrates. Many thanks to NSERC and the review committee as well as the external reviewer for your time.
We’re thrilled to announce that the lab has been awarded a CIHR project grant to study the role of dI3 interneurons in the recovery of locomotor function after spinal cord injury. This funding will allow us to continue investigating how dI3 interneurons facilitate recovery of locomotor function with an eye to provide insights for improving current treatments for locomotor loss due to injury to the spinal cord. Many thanks to CIHR and the Movement and Exercise panel for your time.
A new open-access paper from the lab has been published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits. This study describes an increase in presynaptic inhibitory boutons onto sensory inputs to dI3 interneurons during postnatal development. The rise in this gating of sensory inputs to dI3 interneurons coincides with the disappearance of the palmar grasp reflex, which Bui et al. (2013) suggested was mediated by dI3 interneurons. Alex Laliberte, Carl Farah, Kyra Steiner, and Omar Tariq authored this study.
We published a new open-access article in eLife describing how spinal circuits for swimming in developing zebrafish may change. Yann Roussel, Stephanie Gaudreau, and Emily Kacer were involved. The study also included contributions from Mohini Sengupta, postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Martha Bagnall. If you’re interested in how spinal circuits may change as animals learn new movements during development, please have a read.
Emine Topcu Can has been accepted to pursue a Master’s degree in the lab. She is completing her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Carleton University and is currently completing her honours project with our fellow spinal cord scientist, Michael Hildebrand
Nicolas Lalonde is the first author on a review article in Current Opinion in Physiology (special topic: Proprioception) discussing the possible role of presynaptic inhibition in the development of spasticity after spinal cord injury.
We’re incredibly grateful to the Craig H Neilsen Foundation for awarding us a two-year grant that will allow the lab to further investigate the role of dI3 interneurons in facilitating recovery of locomotor function following spinal cord injury. We have exciting experiments underway thanks to their generous support and look forward to sharing the findings.
A couple of NSERC-related wonderful bit of news. Firstly, Kyra Steiner received a NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award that will allow her to contribute to our study of circuit connectivity related to dI3 INs after spinal cord injury. Secondly, Stéphanie Gaudreau received a CGS-M from NSERC that will allow her to continue her study of the mechanisms of development of spinal circuits in larval zebrafish.
Even though the regular semester was cut short due to COVID19, Katherine Jones, Omar Tariq, and Phillip Pham were still able to complete their honours’ theses. They should be proud of their accomplishments despite the numeours complications of the pandemic.
Yann’s first manuscript has been published in eNeuro. In this paper, we describe how the role of glycinergic inhibition to the rhythm of tail beats of developing zebrafish changes around the same time that their swimming maneuvers change. We also show that the emerging contributions of glycinergic inhibition to rhythm of tail beats occurs first in caudal segments of the spinal cord. This work sheds further light on how spinal circuits develop to enable the maturation of motor control that is necessary in growing animals
Great news to start off for the lab. A manuscript describing work from Yann’s PhD thesis has been accepted for publication! More news on this later but thanks to the hard work of co-authors Melissa Paradis, Stéphanie Gaudreau and Ben Lindsay
Alex, Sara, Nic and I authored a review in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience describing the latest and most seminal work looking at the role of propriospinal neurons (spinal neurons that communicate between different segments of the spinal cord) in locomotion in the intact and injured spinal cord
Four awards were given to lab members so it’s been a great month. In alphabetical order:
- Anabelle Morissette and Kyra Steiner were awarded NSERC USRA to pursue research projects in the lab this summer.
- Nicolas Lalonde was awarded a Travel Award by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience to attend their annual meeting in Toronto at the end of May
- Stéphanie Gaudreau was awarded a STaR award (value $10,000) to start her Master’s degree in the lab. The award is provided by the Centre for Neuromuscular Disease of the Brain and Mind Research Institute and will allow her to pursue a collaboration with the lab of Dr. Hans Lochmuller to study congenital myasthenia syndromes
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to postdoctoral fellow Ben Lindsey, who has moved to the University of Manitoba to start his own lab, focusing on neural repair and regeneration using zebrafish. Ben is looking for undergraduate and graduate students to join his lab so please have a look at his website if you are interested.
At the same time, we are very excited to welcome Alex Laliberte who is joining the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Alex recently completed his PhD in the lab of Michael Fehlings, noted spinal cord injury researcher, at the University of Toronto. Alex will be pursuing projects looking at the role of dI3 interneurons in recovery of locomotor function after spinal cord injury
Congratulations to Yann Roussel successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled, DEVELOPMENT OF SPINAL CIRCUITS FOR SWIMMING IN ZEBRAFISH (DANIO RERIO) LARVAE. Yann is the first PhD graduate of the lab and he did a tremendous job in his thesis defense. In fact, it was nominated by his thesis committee for a thesis prize. Joe Fetcho from Cornell was the external member of Yann’s thesis committee
Tuan gave a talk as part of a Plenary Symposium on “CNS Regeneration and Plasticity” for the 3rd Joint Symposium of the International and National Neurotrauma Societies in Toronto
Tuan gave a talk at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in University College London, a top-notch neuroscience institute. The talk was entitled “Maturation of motor control by the development of spinal circuits” and featured our latest on the development of dI3 interneuron circuitry and on the maturation of spinal circuits for swimming in developing zebrafish. Follow this link to find a Q&A. Many thanks to Emily Reader-Harris, postdoc in Andy Murray’s lab for organizing, and to Andy Murray for hosting.
The lab is participating in the Lap the Gats fundraiser this Sunday to raise money for Parkinson’s Research. Every year when I am done biking 60-80 gruelling kilometres through the hills of Gatineau Park, I tell myself this year will be my last. But the cause keeps bringing me back, much to my out-of-shape body’s chagrin.
Please consider supporting the lab @CrowdRise
Congratulations to David, Eugene, Melissa, and Nicolas for earning their undergraduate degrees. It’s great to see your hard work pay off. Extra congratulations to Melissa for being named Valedictorian!
Postdoctoral fellow Ben Lindsey just published a review in Progress in Neurobiology about neuroepithelial stem cells and radial glial cells and their roles in development and recovery.
POSTDOC POSITION IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE The lab is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to spearhead a project studying the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop in the context of Parkinson’s disease using electrophysiology and optogenetics. Please visit this link for more details.
Tuan gave a talk on Yann and Melissa’s lastest work at a parallel symposium on the development of motor systems at the 12th annual meeting at the Canadian Association for Neurosciences. Ben, Melissa and Yann each gave well attended poster presentations!
Congratulations to post-doctoral fellow Ben Lindsey for receiving a prestigious CIHR fellowship award!
Congratulations to undergraduate honours students David Zheng, Eugene Wang, MaryAnn Wu, Melissa Paradis and Nicolas Lalonde for completing their honours theses. You put in a lot of work and you should be proud of the research you accomplished
We received word in late December that a 2-year team grant involving Drs. Brian Chow (UBC), Michael Hildebrand (Carleton), Vivial Mushahwar (University of Alberta), and Eve Tsai (OHRI) was being funded by the Ontario Neurotrauma fund. This funding will allow our team to further pursue the use of spinal cord cell cultures derived from pig and from live human spinal cord tissue to devise improved treatments of spinal cord injury. We thank the Ontario Neurotrauma Fund for this tremendous opportunity. Please see this link for further information.
We co-organized with Dr. Eve Tsai from the OHRI, the inaugural Ottawa Spinal Cord and Brain Regeneration meeting held at the uOttawa Skills and Simulations Centre at the Civic Hospital. About 60 researchers and trainees attended the day event, which consisted of many stimulating talks describing the latest and most innovative research done in Ottawa looking into treating and assessing spinal cord injury and neurotrauma.
This was followed in the evening by a public event as part of the Brain Health Awareness Week organized by the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute. Over 170 attendees heard from a panel consisting of Tuan, Dr. Mike Hildebrand, Dr. Andrew Pelling, Dr. Eve Tsai and Dr. Jing Wang about exciting research into treatment of spinal cord injury and neurotrauma.
Thanks to all of those who assisted and attended the events. Also, thanks to the generous support of the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute, the Ontario Neurotrauma Fund, the OHRI, and the Bhargava family. It was a milestone day for spinal cord and brain regeneration research in Ottawa.
Tuan received an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario. This $150,000 award will allow the lab to fund PhD students and to hire a postdoctoral fellow to study questions related to the recovery of movement following spinal cord injury.
It is thus with great pleasure that we welcome Ben Lindsey as a postdoctoral fellow to the lab. Ben completed his PhD in the lab of Vince Tropepe at the University of Toronto and followed this up with a short Postdoctoral fellow at Monash University under Jan Kaslin. We were able to convince him to move back to Ontario and to do a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab where his work on adult stem cells in zebrafish will be applied to spinal cord injury work in mammalian and fish models.
Yann received an award for best poster by a Senior PhD student at Brain Health Research Day for his poster looking at the involvement of glycine in the operation of spinal locomotor networks at different developmental stages of the zebrafish. Congratulations for a well-deserved award!
The lab is participating in the Lap the Gats fundraiser for Parkinson’s Research. Adib, Melissa and I will be biking through the beautiful Gatineau Park on June 25th. Please consider donating to this cause by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/TeamBuiLab
Several lab members presented their work at the 11th annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neurosciences. These include Adib, Carl, David, and Yann. Well done
The arrival of the summer term also sees the welcome addition of three new lab members, Sara Goltash (PhD candidate), Nicolas Lalonde (Honours student), and MaryAnnWu (Honours student).
April 2017 (continued)
Congratulations to Kevin Amelete, Adib Dehghany, and Stefan Visentin for completing their Honours theses and for their poster presentations at the Department of Biology/BIM Honours Poster day. Thank you for your hard work and for representing the lab well
We have been awarded a NSERC Research Tools and Instrument grant valued at $141K to assemble an optogenetic platform for high-throughput interrogation of cellular basis of physiological function in zebrafish. Dr. Bui was the lead applicant, and his fellow co-applicants on this application were Drs. Marie-Andrée Akimenko, Marc Ekker, Kathleen Gilmour, Michael Jonz, Len Maler, Steve Perry, and Vance Trudeau. The equipment will allow all researchers involved to undertake research using optogenetics to answer important physiological questions using the zebrafish model.
Eugene Wang, Gerry Huynh, and Melissa Paradis presented their work at the University of Ottawa Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) poster session. Congratulations on your hard work!
January 2017 (continued)
Our lab has been awarded a 150,000 CHF grant from the International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia (IRP)! We thank the IRP for their generosity and look forward to using this grant to continue our work aiming to developing advances in the treatment of lost motor function due to spinal cord injury.
Happy New Year to all. We wish you a fantastic 2017! To kick things off we have two events. First, Tuan will be giving a talk at the Neurosciences department of Carleton University on Friday January 6th at 10AM.
Secondly, and more importantly, Carl successfully defended his Master’s thesis on Monday January 9th. Congratulations we’re all very proud of you.
Big news! Tuan is a co-first author on a new article in the top-tier journal eLife. This study is the first to identify a population of spinal neurons that is important for the recovery of locomotion following a complete spinal cord injury in mice. Read the press release from uOttawa http://media.uottawa.ca/news/uottawa-researcher-discovers-new-lead-in-treating-spinal-cord-injuries
eLife is open access and the article can be found at the following DOI
Congratulations to Gerry Huynh, Melissa Paradis, and Eugene Wang on being awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program of the University of Ottawa. We all look forward to your many contributions to our research endeavours.
The Bui Lab is participating in two fundraising efforts over the next couple of weekends to support research into a couple of neurodegenerative disorders that affects many individuals worldwide.
The first is a fundraising effort to further research into Parkinson’s Disease called Lap the Gats organized by the Parkinson Research Consortium of the University of Ottawa.Adib and I will be cycling several(?) 21K loops for 3 hours through Gatineau Park on June 19th. Eugene is volunteering to help the event go smoothly.
If you are interested in donating, please visit our fundraiser page at http://www.crowdrise.com/NeuralMotorControlLab
The second fundraiser is a walk for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis held in Ottawa, on June 12th. A few of the Bui Lab members will be making the walk
If you are interested in donating to this cause, please visit the page of the Centre for Neuromuscular Disorders, of which we are a part of: http://www.alsevents.ca/uOttawaCNMD
Thanks for reading
There are new faces joining the lab this summer. Stefan Visentin, Eugene Wang, and David Zheng are undergraduate students that will be pushing the lab forward in new and exciting directions. Welcome!
With the end of the school year, we also have to sadly say goodbye to our honours students, Jun Yu Gao, Diana Liu, and Saif Zemourra. Thank you for your involvement in the research endeavours of the lab and best of luck with your future careers.
For World Parkinson’s Disease Day, Tuan discussed recent progress in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease on a panel on the radio show Les malins plaisirs on CBC Radio Canada. A recording of the broadcast can be found at http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/les_malins_plaisirs/2015-2016/ under Vivre avec le Parkinson 2016
Tuan will be participating in a parallel symposium at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience in Toronto on May 30, 1:30-3PM. The session, entitled “Low-level circuits for sophisticated sensorimotor control: lessons from four model systems”, is organized by Andrew Pruszynski (Western) and will also feature Katherine Nagel (NYU) and Michael Hendricks (McGill).
Yann Roussel, Carl Farah, and Adib Dehghany from the lab will also be presenting posters at this meeting describing their latest research findings.
Congratulations to Mary Lynn Cottee, Adib Dehghany, Uyen Do, and Johnny Di Rienzo on being laureates of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program of the University of Ottawa. The lab looks forward to your participation in our various research endeavours.
Carl Farah is a co-author on a recently accepted review to be published in the Journal of Neurophysiology. Genetically identified spinal interneurons integrating tactile afferents for motor control provides a comprehensive overview of the latest findings on how spinal neurons process sensory information related to touch to shape motor output.
Yann Roussel is a co-author on a Perspective on decision making in escape responses. Choosing sides: making decisions in an escape response is published in the Journal of Physiology.
A manuscript entitled Spinal circuits for motor learning, written by Brownstone RM, Bui TV, and Stifani N, has been recently published in Current Opinion in Neurobiology as part of a themed issue on Motor Circuits and Actions.
Congratulations to Diana Liu who was awarded a summer research scholarship from the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa! This award will allow her to pursue work in collaboration with Dr. Diane Legace (University of Ottawa) investigating the involvement of spinal cord circuitry in recovery from stroke.
In addition, an application entitled Dissection of the Circuitry Involved in Activity-Induced Stroke Recovery to the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery has been successfully funded. This application was spearheaded by Diane Legacé and includes Tuan and Dr. Jean-Claude Béïque as co-applicants (University of Ottawa).
Tuan’s grant application to the NSERC Discovery Grants program entitled “Neural Control of Swimming in Zebrafish” was successfully funded from 2015 to 2020!
Congratulations to Jun Yu Gao who was awarded a NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award! This award will allow her to pursue work in our lab characterizing a new class of spinal neurons in zebrafish.
Our manuscript entitled Sensory-evoked perturbations of locomotor activity by sparse sensory input: A computational study has been accepted by the Journal of Neurophysiology and is currently in press.
Tuan is giving a talk at the Scientific launch of the Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases. It is happening on October 26th at the Main Auditorium of the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. He will be speaking of his work on dI3 interneurons and their involvement in hand control and locomotion.
Renovations to our lab were completed this summer and we officially opened for business (research that is) in July! Now for the fun part – unpacking equipment and supplies out of boxes and setting everything up.