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Mini Symposium on Sleep, Brain Plasticity, and Cognition

September 27, 2019,
09:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
F.C. Smith Auditorium, Loyola Chapel

About the Symposium

The Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology and the PERFORM Centre are pleased to invite you to our first Mini Symposium on Sleep, Brain Plasticity, and Cognition. It will take place at the F.C. Smith Auditorium in the Loyola Chapel at Concordia's Loyola campus, the morning of September 27, 2019.

Registration Deadline Passed.

Registration is open until September 25. This event is free to attend.


We are pleased to have the following people presenting at this mini symposium:

Barbara E. Jones, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Neuro, McGill University

Barbara E. Jones, received her PhD from the University of Delaware in Physiological Psychology, having performed her thesis research with Michel Michel at the Faculty of Medicine in Lyon, France. Since 1977, she has been a Professor in Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University at the Montreal Neurological Institute. She has sought to understand how the brain generates states of waking and sleep. Her research focusses upon the neuroanatomical organization, chemical neurotransmission and physiology of the specific neural circuits in the brainstem, hypothalamus and basal forebrain, which stimulate and maintain a waking state, as well as those which reciprocally inhibit waking and promote sleep. To study these neural systems, her laboratory employs in vivo neurophysiological recording in naturally waking/sleeping rodents, combined with neuroanatomical and histochemical techniques. One major facet of Jones’ research program has been investigating the way in which cholinergic neurons in the brain stem and basal forebrain stimulate cortical activation with theta and gamma electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during waking and paradoxical (or REM) sleep. Her lab has studied cholinergic along with other neuromodulatory systems, including noradrenergic, orexinergic and MCH neurons, and how they can modulate the functionally diverse glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which work in balance as the effector neurons for cortical activity and behavioral states. Most recently, her lab has examined how these systems are regulated in a homeostatic manner to regulate sleep and waking.


Valérie Mongrain, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Université de Montréal

Valérie Mongrain is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience of the Université de Montréal. Her research facilities are located at the Biomedicine Center of the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal that belongs to the CIUSSS-NIM. She joined the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine of the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal in 2010 after completing two postdoctoral trainings (McGill University, 2006-2008; University of Lausanne, 2008-2010) and one Ph.D. in neurological science (Université de Montréal, 2003-2006). She is a member of the Sleep Research Society, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, the Canadian Sleep Society, and a Founding member of the Canadian Society for Chronobiology. Her main research interests, funded mainly by the Canada Research Chair in Sleep Molecular Physiology and NSERC, concerns the molecular physiology of sleep regulatory mechanisms. In particular, her team is working on the links between sleep homeostasis, transcriptional regulation and synaptic plasticity, and on the involvement of synaptic adhesion proteins in sleep regulation.


Ysbrand van der Werf, PhD
Professor, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ysbrand Van Der Werf, Ph.D. graduated in Biology and Psychology at the University of Groningen. He obtained his PhD from the Graduate School for Neurosciences in Amsterdam and has worked at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is currently full professor of Functional Neuroanatomy teamleader at the VU University medical center in Amsterdam, and supervises a team of postdocs, PhD students and research assistants.. His work is primarily concerned with understanding cognitive functions of the brain, in relation to sleep and neurological and psychiatric disease. He was elected into ‘De Jonge Akademie’, a platform for young scientists in the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work uses neuropsychological investigations, transcranial magnetic stimulation, neural imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, electromyography and positron emission tomography.


Gert-Jan Lammers, MD, PhD
Neurologist, Associate Professor & Consultant, department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands

Gert Jan Lammers gained his medical degree in Groningen, and specialized in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology in Leiden. Up to 2013 he served as general neurologist at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), and also occupied the chair of its Sleep Center. In 2013, he started a third line sleep clinic in Heemstede as a new branch of SEIN. In 2015 he became Medical Director of all locations of the Sleep Wake Center of SEIN (Heemstede, Zwolle and Groningen).

His main scientific and clinical interest concerns the central disorders of hypersomnolence, in particular narcolepsy. He is involved in research (and international committees) regarding diagnostic criteria and the classification of these disorders, expressions of impaired vigilance, and treatment. In narcolepsy he also studies the pathophysiology, the phenotype of cataplexy, and metabolic and endocrine aspects.

Gert Jan Lammers is (board)member of several national and international scientific and educational societies and is the past President of the European Narcolepsy Network (EU-NN), of which he is also co-founder. He is heavily involved in education in Sleep Medicine. He has published extensively, more than 150 PubMed cited papers, and numerous book chapters in his field of interest.


The schedule for the day:

Time Presenter Topic
09:00 - 09:20 --
Registration and coffee
09:20 - 09:30 Habib Benali & Thanh Dang-Vu Opening remarks 
09:30 - 10:00 Barbara E. Jones  Arousal and sleep circuits and their homeostatic regulation
10:00 - 10:30 Valerie Mongrain Sleep and cell adhesion molecules involved in neuronal plasticity
10:30 - 10:50 --
Health Break
10:50 - 11:20 Ysbrand Van Der Werf  Recent developments in the research on sleep and memory interactions
11:20 - 11:50 Gert-Jan Lammers  Narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia: update on clinical characteristics and presumed pathophysiology


Concordia University - Loyola Campus
7141 Sherbrooke Street West
F.C. Smith Auditorium, Loyola Chapel,
Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6

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