Naguib Mechawar, PhD


Naguib MechawarResearcher and Director, Mood, Anxiety and Impulsivity-Related Theme, Douglas Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Director, Douglas – Bell Canada Brain Bank
CIHR New Investigator & Bell Senior Fellow in Mental Health
Graduate Program Director, Dept of Psychiatry, McGill University


Expertise: Chemical neuroanatomy, central cholinergic systems, cortical development, adult brain neurogenesis, programmed cell death, suicide


Naguib Mechawar, PhD, joined the Douglas Institute and the McGill Group for Suicide Studies in 2007. He is mainly interested in identifying the neurochemical and neuroanatomical properties underlying major depression and suicide. His research is focused on limbic brain regions.

Different research themes are explored in his laboratory, namely:

  • The comparative study of neuroinflammatory markers in the brains of healthy and depressed individuals
  • The characterization of neurogenic markers expressed in the amygdala in relation to major depression and suicide
  • The study of circulating growth factors as potent neurogenic molecules. Dr Mechawar’s research is funded by the CFI, CIHR, FRQS, NSERC, and the AFSP.

Key Publications:

  • Susana G. Torres-Platas, Samuel Comeau, Adeline Rachalski, Gregory Dal Bo, Cristiana Cruceanu, Gustavo Turecki, Bruno Giros and Naguib Mechawar Morphometric characterization of microglial phenotypes in human cerebral cortex
    Journal of Neuroinflammation 2014, 11:12 link
  • Maheu M, Davoli MA, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2013) Amygdalar expression of proteins associated with neuroplasticity in major depression and suicide. J Psych Res 47:384-90.
  • Mahar I, Tan S, Davoli MA, Dominguez-Lopez S, Qiang C, Rachalski A, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2011) Subchronic peripheral neuregulin-1 increases ventral hippocampal neurogenesis and induces antidepressant-like effects. PLoS One 6(10): e26610.
  • Torres-Platas SG, Hercher C, Davoli MA, Maussion G, Labonté B, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2011) Astrocytic hypertrophy in anterior cingulate white matter of depressed suicides. Neuropsychopharmacology 36:2650-2658.
  • Hercher C, Canetti L, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2010) Anterior cingulate pyramidal neurons display altered dendritic branching in depressed suicides. J Psychiatr Res 44 :286-293.
  • Ernst C, Mechawar N, Turecki G (2009) Suicide neurobiology. Prog Neurobiol 89 :315-333.
  • Hercher C, Parent M, Canetti L, Flores C, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2009) Alcohol dependence-related increase of glial
 cell density in the anterior cingulate cortex of suicide completers. J Psychiatr Neurosci 34:281-288.
  • Hercher C, Turecki G, Mechawar N† (2009) Through the looking glass: examining neuroanatomical evidence for cellular alterations in major depression. J Psych Res 43 :947-961.
  • Moser N, Mechawar N, Jones I, Gochberg-Sarver A, Orr-Urtreger A, Plomann M, Roth U, Maskos U, Winzer-Serhan U, Bourgeois JP, LeSourd AM, Marubio L, De Biasi M, Salas R, Molles B, Schröder H, Lindstrom J, Maelicke A, Changeux JP, Wevers A (2007) Evaluating the suitability of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antibodies for standard immunodetection procedures. J Neurochem 102:479-492.

Lab members:

  • Marilyn Cyr (PhD student, co-supervised by M-A Bédard)
  • Maria Antonietta Davoli (research assistant)
  • John Kim (Laboratory technician)
  • Arnaud Tanti (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Marina Wakid (MSc student)


  • Julia Devorak (MSc student)
  • Haseeb Khan (undergraduate research student)Lennart Marahrens (undergraduate research student)
  • Alexander Freibauer (undergraduate research student)
  • Sandra Yogendran (undergraduate research student)
  • Archchun Ariyarajah (undergraduate research student)
  • Samuel Comeau (undergraduate research student)
  • Diana Elwell (undergraduate research student)
  • Erika Freemantle (PhD student, co-supervised by G. Turecki)
  • Christa Hercher (MSc student, co-supervised by G. Turecki)
  • Alexandra Hoehne (undergraduate research student)
  • Masanobu Ito (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Donald MacIsaac (undergraduate research student)
  • Calvin Qiang (undergraduate research student)
  • Adeline Rachalski (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Stephanie Tan (undergraduate research student)
  • Ian Mahar (PhD student)
  • Marissa Maheu (PhD student)
  • Susana Gabriela Torres-Platas (PhD student)


Douglas Institute profile
Recent publications: Pubmed