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
Graduate Program Director, Dept of Psychiatry, McGill University


Expertise: Glia, adult brain neurogenesis, and neuroinflammation in the human brain


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:

  • Neuroinflammation in depression and suicide;
  • The characterization of astrocytes in the human brain;
  • Astrocytic abnormalities in depression and suicide;
  • The lasting impact of child abuse on cerebral oligodendrocytes and myelination.

Dr Mechawar’s research is funded by the CFI, CIHR, FRQS, NSERC, and the AFSP.

Key Publications:

  • Tanti A, Kim JJ, Wakid M, Davoli MA, Turecki G, Mechawar N. Child abuse associates with an imbalance of oligodendrocyte-lineage cells in ventromedial prefrontal white matter. Mol Psychiatry. 2017 Nov 21. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.231.
  • Lutz PE, Tanti A, Gasecka A, Barnett-Burns S, Kim JJ, Zhou Y, Chen GG, Wakid M, Shaw M, Almeida D, Chay MA, Yang J, Larivière V, M’Boutchou MN, van Kempen LC, Yerko V, Prud’homme J, Davoli MA, Vaillancourt K, Théroux JF, Bramoullé A, Zhang  TY, Meaney MJ, Ernst C, Côté D, Mechawar N, Turecki G. Association of a History of Child Abuse With Impaired Myelination in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Convergent Epigenetic, Transcriptional, and Morphological Evidence. Am J Psychiatry. 2017 Jul 28:appiajp201716111286. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16111286.
  • Mahar I, Labonte B, Yogendran S, Isingrini E, Perret L, Davoli MA, Rachalski A, Giros B, Turecki G, Mechawar N. Disrupted hippocampal neuregulin-1/ErbB3 signaling and dentate gyrus granule cell alterations in suicide. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jul 4;7(7):e1161. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.132. Erratum in: Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 26;7(9):e1243.
  • Mechawar N, Savitz J. Neuropathology of mood disorders: do we see the stigmata of inflammation? Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 8;6(11):e946. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.212. Review.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Lab members:
Mechawar lab

  • Maria Antonietta Davoli (research assistant)
  • Dominique Mirault (research technician)
  • Arnaud Tanti (postdoctoral fellow)
  • Liam O’Leary (PhD student)
  • John Kim (MSc student)
  • Marina Wakid (MSc student)
  • Qiyuan Huang (visiting PhD student)
  • Madelyn Barton (undergraduate research student) (not pictured)
  • Claudia Belliveau (undergraduate research student) (not pictured)
  • Katharine Birkness (undergraduate research student) (not pictured)
  • Fanny Denux (undergraduate research student) (not pictured)
  • Katie Vandeloo (undergraduate research student) (not pictured)


  • Marilyn Cyr (PhD student, co-supervised by M-A Bédard)
  • 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 Hospital Research Centre profile: Naguib Mechawar
Recent publications: Pubmed