Jean-Claude Béïque


Jean-Claude Béïque
Associate Professor

Room: 3501N
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 4968
Work E-mail: [email protected]



Ph.D.:                               -McGill University

Postdoctoral training:         -Wayne State University        

                                       -Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests:

Broadly, my lab is interested in studying synapses, the site of functional connections between neurons in the brain. These tiny structures are highly dynamic, in that they can change their function and shape in response to activity. These alterations have been termed “synaptic plasticity” and intense work over many decades has revealed that, in concert with other determinants of cellular excitability, these plasticity mechanisms decisively influence how information is processed and stored in the brain. Our research activities all share the common thread of seeking to study in mechanistic terms fundamental features of central neuron’s function and plasticity.

To achieve this overall goal, we are mainly using a combination of cellular electrophysiology, multiphoton imaging of neuronal morphology and calcium dynamics and optogenetics. Current projects seek to understand fundamental features of dendritic processing (using rapid activation of individual synapses by two-photon uncaging of glutamate and calcium imaging) as well as basic plasticity mechanisms (eg., homeostatic plasticity). Moreover, we are interested in understanding how synaptic plasticity processes are engaged or altered following brain insults such as stroke. Finally, we are using optogenetic methods and cellular electrophysiology to study in great details fundamental aspects of long-range connectivity in the brain, with a focus on interconnected brain regions involved in mood regulation. We are seeking to understand how connectivity features of these neural networks are altered by insults such as stroke and in animal models of affective disorders.   

Grant Support:

The lab is funded by grants from CFI, CIHR, NSERC, Heart and Stroke Fondation, and the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery

Selected publications:

Soares, C., Lee, K. F., Nassrallah, W. & Béïque, J. C. Differential subcellular targeting of glutamate receptor subtypes during homeostatic synaptic plasticity. J Neurosci 33, 13547-13559 (2013).

Qin Z, Zhou X, Pandey NR, Vecchiarelli HA, Stewart CA, Zhang X, Lagace DC, Brunel JM, Béïque, J. C., Stewart AF, Hill MN, Chen HH (2015) Chronic stress induces anxiety via an amygdalar intracellular cascade that impairs endocannabinoid signaling. Neuron 85:1319-1331.

George, J., Soares, C., Montersino, A., Béïque, J. C.. & Thomas, G. M. Palmitoylation of LIM Kinase-1 ensures spine-specific actin polymerization and morphological plasticity. eLife 4, e06327 (2015).

Lee, K. F., Soares, C., Thivierge, J. P. & Béïque, J. C. Correlated Synaptic Inputs Drive Dendritic Calcium Amplification and Cooperative Plasticity during Clustered Synapse Development. Neuron 89, 784-799 (2016).

Geddes, S.D., Assadzada, S., Lemelin, D., Sokolovski, A., Richard Bergeron, R., Haj-Dahmane, S, Béïque, J. C. Target-specific modulation of cortico-raphe pathway by cannabinoids, but not serotonin. Proceedings to the National Academy of Sciences (In press).


synaptic plasticity, electrophysiology, two-photon imaginag/uncaging, stroke, glutamate receptors, AMPA receptors, NMDA receptors

Fields of Interest

  • The study of basic aspects of central synapse function and plasticity
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