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Stavroula Giannopoulos
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Roderick R. McInnes, CM, MD, PhD, FRSC
Director, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital
Alva Chair in Human Genetics,
Canada Research Chair in Neurogenetics
Professor of Genetics,
Professor of Biochemistry
McGill University

Roderick R. McInnes is the Director of the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, Alva Chair in Human Genetics, Canada Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Professor of Human Genetics and of Biochemistry at McGill University. Until 2009, he was a University Professor of the University of Toronto. He was previously the Head of the Program in Developmental Biology at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children, an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and, from 2000-2010, the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has made important contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis of retinal and eye development, and to the identification of genes and processes associated with inherited retinal degenerations. Recently, he and collaborators demonstrated that it is possible to correct an inherited learning defect in mice with a drug, a finding with important implications for human learning disability. He is a coauthor of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th editions of Thompson and Thompson’s Genetics in Medicine. Amongst other honours, Dr. McInnes is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2008, and a member of the Order of Canada in 2009. In 2010, Dr. McInnes was the President of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Major Research Activities

Our lab is interested in retinal and brain development, as well as photoreceptor degeneration. In inherited neurodegenerations, we wish to understand what is happening in the mutant neurons, in the years to decades between their birth, and their death years to decades later. After decades of normal function, why do the neurons suddenly die? To address this question, we are identifying molecular mechanisms that contribute to, or protect against the death of mutant photoreceptors (PRs) in inherited photoreceptor degenerations using mouse models of these diseases. Understanding of these mechanisms is likely to suggest therapeutic opportunities that will slow or arrest PR death. Our current major focus is on the molecular, cellular and phenotypic analysis of a previously uncharacterized (i.e. “novel”) microtubule-associated protein whose loss of function in mice impairs the growth of the whole animal, the development of the brain, and the retina.
Recent Publications

Ivakine, E.A., Acton, B.A., Mahadevan, V., Ormond, J., Tang, C., Pressey, J. C., Ng, D., Delpire, E., Salter, M. W., Woodin, M.A. and McInnes, R. R. (2013). Neto2 is a KCC2 Auxiliary Protein Required for Neuronal Cl- Regulation in Mature Hippocampal Neurons Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 110, 3561-3566.

Wyeth, M., Pelkey, K., Petralia, R., Salter, M., McInnes, R.R. and McBain, C. (2013). Neto auxiliary protein interactions regulate kainate & NMDA receptor subunit localization at mossy fiber-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. J Neuroscience 34, 622-628, 2014.

Mahadevan, V., Pressey, J.C., Acton, B.A., Uvarov, P., Huang, M.Y., Chevier, J., Puchalski, A., Li, C.M., Ivakine, E. A., Airaksinen, M., Depire, E., McInnes, R.R.,, Melanie A. Woodin (2014). Kainate Receptors Coexist in a Functional Complex with KCC2 and Regulate Chloride Homeostasis in Hippocampal Neurons. Cell Reports 7, 1762–1770.

Jiang, C.K., Wright, K.L., Bramall, A.N., Szego, M.J., Egan, S.E., McInnes, R.R. Stat3 mediates protection of mutant photoreceptors in inherited photoreceptor degeneration (2014). Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA)

Jung, C., Atan, D., Ng, D., Ploder, L., Ross, S., Klein, M., Birch, D., Diez, E., McInnes, R.R. The transcription factor PRDM8 is required for rod bipolar and type 2 OFF-cone bipolar cell survival and amacrine subtype identity (2015). Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) – in press.

Dr. Roderick McInnes is an internationally recognized researcher in the genetics of vision.

His group identified the eye developmental genes CHX10, and VSX1 and Prdm8, as well as the photoreceptor genes CRX, ROM1 and PHR1. Four of these genes have been associated with inherited eye diseases.

His group determined that the kinetics of photoreceptor death in inherited retinal degenerations are exponential, indicating that the cells are at a constant risk of death and do not die of cumulative damage.

With Michael Salter, he identified Neto1 and Neto2 as important accessory proteins for ion channels in neurons. They established that it is possible to correct an inherited learning defect in mice with a drug, a finding with important implications for human learning disability.

Dr. McInnes's Publications Indexed on PubMed

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