In our IMRIC lab, we are trying to solve a puzzle.
We know that in the course of a cell's lifetime, toxins build up which can impair or drastically alter cellular function. But the real puzzle is why some toxins only start to build up late in life. For example, members of families with a history of Alzheimer's disease seem to develop it at around the same age — late in life. Where is the disease until then?
The prevalence of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is steadily increasing and is now more than 10 times more common than it was 60 years ago. With that statistic in mind, IMRIC is embarking on new, intensive research in ASD. This research will question whether the maternal use of psychotropic drugs (i.e. anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety, anti-depressives, and other drugs affecting the brain) in pregnancy is associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in the offspring.
The IMRIC collaboration between McGill University and Hebrew University brings together two top scientists who have each made their mark in the world of cancer research. Their partnership will bring us closer to understanding how tumors, like organs, develop "stem cells" that circulate and implant themselves in other parts of the body.