Research project

Plasticity and Motor Control Development

Project Description

The primary goal of this project is to identify and characterize new neuronal populations so as to promote functional motor recovery after neurotraumatic or neurodegenerative diseases.
Our lab is interested in the neural control of movement with focus on the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord. We are using a combination of genetic, molecular, anatomical, optogenetic, and electrophysiological techniques to study motor control. Our analysis ranges from ionic channels, neurons, neural networks to motor behaviors. Our studies focus on the normal physiology with a long-term goal of restoring motor function, and especially, locomotion following central nervous system injuries or diseases that affect gait.
Techniques used: transgenic and mutant mice; brain and spinal cord microsurgery; axonal and neuronal tracing; immunohistochemistry; confocal microscopy; in-vivo electrophysiological recordings; in-vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings combined with cell imaging; neuropharmacology.
Website: http://www.crchudequebec.ulaval.ca/en/research/researchers/23264

Research Field

- Neurosciences
- Development
- Parkinson
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Functional motor recovery
- Motor control

Research Supervisor

Frédéric Bretzner

Research Environment

Dr. Frederic Bretzner's Laboratory, Research Centre, CHUL-CHUQ

The neuroscience group is organized into multidisciplinary teams which study the biological mechanisms underpinning the normal and pathological functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Researchers in this field are seeking to advance our understanding of physiopathology, and develop new treatments for deficiencies and disabilities caused by lesions or neurological, psychiatric, and neuromuscular diseases. Research themes concern neurodegenerative, neuromuscular, and neurogenetic diseases, cerebral and spinal lesions and trauma, regeneration and reorganization of the nervous system, and mental health. Researchers are very active in Laval University's Regroupement Neurosciences et Santé mentale (Neurosciences and Mental Health Group).

Web Site


Related Programs

Doctorate in Neurosciences

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$18000 per year for 3 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Progression studentship (S-1 to S-8)
8 x $525
Progression studentship (S-9 to S-11) 3 x $200
Ph.D exam success
$800
Thesis deposit before the end of the 12th semester of full-time registration
$2,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $7,850


Recruitment scholarships

Faculty of Medicine: Doctoral recruitment scholarships of up to $10,000.

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $10,000.

Ven Murthy Scholarship: Two $25,000 recruitment scholarships in neuroscience for foreign students.

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Université Laval Doctoral Admission Scholarship  $2,000
Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarships 
3 x $10,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships (in French)
$1,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$21,000 to $50,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $30,000.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's in Neurosciences – with dissertation

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$15000 per year for 2 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Initial thesis submission before the end of the 6th semester of full-time registration
$1,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $1,250

Faculty of Medicine Financial Assistance Fund for Academic Success: Two $5,000 merit awards.

Recruitment scholarships

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $7,500.

Hydro-Québec Admission Scholarship: $5,000.

Faculty of Medicine Golf Tournament: Six $500 admission scholarships.

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarships 2 x $5,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships (in French)
$1,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$14,100 to $21,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Master's Scholarships for International StudentsThese scholarships are available in a number of programs to students from Africa and Europe, excluding France. This scholarship of $7,000 per year is awarded based on university academic achievement * Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Biomedical Science
- Neurosurgery
- Neuropathology

Required Documentation

- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript

Find Out More

Frédéric Bretzner
Professeur agrégé
Département de psychiatrie et de neurosciences
Frederic.Bretzner.1@ulaval.ca