An interview with new MQ Fellow Dr Alexandre Lussier |

MQ is happy to announce that Dr Alexandre Lussier from the Lussier Lab at Massachusetts Common Hospital has been awarded an MQ Fellowship. Alexandre is learning extent to which the timing of kid and adolescent despair interacts with genetic susceptibility to affect suicide threat in early maturity.


Please give a short abstract of your tutorial profession to this point:

Over time, my tutorial profession has progressed from being narrowly centered on molecular mechanisms to investigating broader social and organic elements that contribute to well being.

I acquired a BSc in Biochemistry from McGill College in 2012 and a PhD in Medical Genetics from the College of British Columbia in 2017. My doctoral analysis centered on the affect of prenatal alcohol publicity on epigenomic and transcriptomic patterns in animal fashions and scientific cohorts of people with fetal alcohol spectrum dysfunction (FASD).

Following my PhD, I skilled in computational biology and statistical genetics at Cornell College, engaged on X chromosome variation and psychiatric illness. After this transient fellowship, I started my postdoctoral coaching in psychiatric and genetic epidemiology on the Massachusetts Common Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical College (HMS). My postdoctoral analysis investigated the position of delicate durations and epigenetic mechanisms in linking early-life environments to psychological sickness.

As of April 2023, I’ve transitioned to an Teacher position at MGH and HMS (equal to Assistant Professor), which has allowed me to begin my very own analysis group. Our work broadly focuses on figuring out social and organic mechanisms that be used to stop and deal with psychopathology throughout the life course.


How lengthy have you ever been at your present college/establishment?

I’ve labored at MGH and HMS since I started my postdoctoral research in April 2019 (4.5 years in the past).


What’s your space of research?

My analysis focuses on the position of prenatal, childhood, and adolescent stressors and environments in shaping psychological well being trajectories. Particularly, my analysis group at MGH makes use of translational approaches to establish social and organic elements that may assist predict, stop, and deal with psychopathology throughout growth. We analysis the position of delicate durations and epigenetic mechanisms in linking early-life environments to psychological sickness throughout the life course.

As a part of my MQ fellows award, I now have the chance to increase this work to look at the affect of despair throughout childhood and adolescence as a threat issue for suicide. By way of this analysis, I purpose to establish delicate durations when despair has a higher affect on suicide threat, in addition to genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that may be leveraged to raised predict threat for psychological sickness and develop extra well timed and focused intervention methods.


What motivated you to review this space? Do you have got a private connection to the topic?

Suicide analysis is unquestionably underrepresented within the psychological well being world, as it’s a tough subject to strategy and research. Mixed with the widespread affect of current world occasions on psychological sickness in younger individuals and adults, analysis on this space feels significantly necessary and related. Like most individuals, I even have private connections to psychological well being and my work on this space is without doubt one of the methods I can contribute to decreasing the general burden of psychological sickness.


What are you hoping to find or obtain on account of your analysis?

Within the long-term, I hope the outcomes of this undertaking will result in new prediction instruments and interventions that can be utilized to stop suicide in youth affected by psychological sickness and misery. These new instruments would possibly embrace genetic and epigenetic prediction algorithms to foretell future threat for suicide, or interventions which can be timed for durations of enhance vulnerability. Finally, I hope my work will assist extra individuals lead pleased, wholesome, and profitable lives.


How do you’re feeling about getting the Fellows award from MQ?

I’m deeply honoured to obtain an MQ Fellows award and really excited to conduct this analysis. This award gives a singular alternative to finish some necessary work within the discipline of suicide analysis, which I may not have had the prospect to finish in any other case. I’m very grateful for the help of MQ and their perception within the potential affect of this work.


How necessary is funding in analysis for the development of our understanding of Psychological well being situations and coverings?

Analysis is without doubt one of the foundational pillars of psychological well being and it’s important to speculate in the direction of our understanding of psychological problems and their remedies. The psychological well being discipline is continually evolving, and with out analysis to check and validate our fashions and lengthen our understanding of psychological sickness, remedy methods might go down paths which have the alternative impact, or divest funds that could be more practical in different places. Analysis is the important thing to understanding and growing higher interventions to stop and deal with psychological well being situations.


Is there anything you want to say?

I want to thank MQ and its sponsors for supporting my analysis, in addition to all of the individuals who make this work attainable, together with research members, households, clinicians, individuals with lived expertise, fellow researchers, and so forth. I’d additionally encourage everybody to contribute to psychological well being nonetheless they’ll – be it serving to out a neighbour, good friend, or member of the family, collaborating in analysis, or giving again to native communities and organizations invested in psychological well being help, funding, and analysis.


Alexandre’s analysis is supported by the MQ Basis. You’ll be able to learn extra about his analysis right here. 




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