Michael Meaney, Ph.D

Douglas Institute & McGill University

Michael Meaney is a James McGill Professor of Medicine at Douglas Mental Health University Institute of McGill University. He is the Director of the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Project and of the Developmental Neuroendocrinology Laboratory. In 2008 Meaney also joined the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences as a Senior Investigator and leads the Integrative Neuroscience Program. Meaney was educated at Loyola College of Montreal and received his PhD from Concordia University (Montreal) with post-doctoral training at The Rockefeller University in New York.
Dr. Meaney’s primary research interest is that of the stable effects of early experience, particularly maternal care, on gene expression and development. His lab is particularly focused on developmental outcomes that associate with the risk for mood disorders. These studies have led to the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms for the influence of early experience. Current studies examine the hypothesis that the quality of the environment during early life can directly alter the structure and function of the genome through epigenetic mechanisms, thus altering the expression of genes that regulate responses to stress and health. Meaney’s lab is also examining the neurobiology of emotional states in females during pregnancy and lactation as well as mood as a function of influence on developmental history.

The Meaney lab has authored over 300 journal articles and has been the recipient of a Scientist Award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and a Distinguished Scientist Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders. Meaney was awarded Lougheed Prize (Alberta Heritage foundation for Medical Research), The Klerman Award (Cornell University), The Patricia Barchas Award (Research in Socio-physiology), The Heinz Lehman Award (Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology) and is the Bank of Montreal Fellow for the Canadian Institutes for Advanced Research. In 2012 Meaney was awarded the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest citizen honour and the Distinguished Scientist award from the American Psychological Association. The Meaney lab was designated as a “Mostly Highly Cited Researcher” in Neuroscience by the Institute for Scientific Information.