The Turecki Lab

Principal Investigator: Gustavo Turecki, MD, PhD

Research Areas

  • Clinical phenotypes associated with suicidal behaviour
  • Molecular changes associated with early-life adversity, mood disorders and their comorbidities, and suicide
    • DNA modifications
    • Histone modifications
    • Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs; lncRNAs, miRNAs, etc.)
    • Polyamines
    • Inflammatory markers
  • Biomarkers of MDD treatment response or relapse and suicidal events
    • Molecular biomarkers
    • Neural correlates
  • Gene expression studies

Suicide brain banking

Contributions to the Suicide Section of the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank

Key publications

  • Cruceanu C, et al. Transcriptome Sequencing of the Anterior Cingulate in Bipolar Disorder: Dysregulation of G Protein-Coupled Receptors. Am J Psychiatry 2015;172(11):1131-40. PMID: 26238605.
  • Nagy C, et al. Astrocytic abnormalities and global DNA methylation patterns in depression and suicide. Molecular psychiatry 2015;20(3):320-328. PMID:24662927.
  • Turecki G, Brent DA. Suicide and suicidal behaviour. Lancet 2015. PMID:26385066.
  • Turecki G. The molecular bases of the suicidal brain. Nature reviews. Neuroscience 2014;15(12):802-816. PMID:25354482.
  • Lopez JP, et al. miR-1202 is a primate-specific and brain-enriched microRNA involved in major depression and antidepressant treatment. Nat Med 2014;20(7):764-8. PMID: 24908571.
  • Lopez JP, et al. Epigenetic regulation of BDNF expression according to antidepressant response. Mol Psychiatry 2013;18(4):398-9. PMID: 22547115.
  • Dalca IM, et al. Gender-specific suicide risk factors: a case-control study of individuals with major depressive disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry 2013;74(12):1209-1216. PMID:24434089.
  • Labonte B, et al. Genome-wide methylation changes in the brains of suicide completers. The American journal of psychiatry 2013;170(5):511-520. PMID:23511308.
  • Labonte B, et al. Genome-wide epigenetic regulation by early-life trauma. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2012;69(7):722-31. PMID: 22752237.
  • Turecki G, et al. The neurodevelopmental origins of suicidal behavior. Trends in neurosciences 2012;35(1):14-23. PMID:22177979.
  • Suderman M, et al. Conserved epigenetic sensitivity to early life experience in the rat and human hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012;109 Suppl 2:17266-17272. PMID:23045659.
  • Ernst C, et al. Dysfunction of astrocyte connexins 30 and 43 in dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex of suicide completers. Biological psychiatry 2011;70(4):312-319. PMID:21571253.
  • Mamdani F, et al. Gene expression biomarkers of response to citalopram treatment in major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry 2011;1:e13. PMID: 22832429.
  • McGowan PO, et al. Epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in human brain associates with childhood abuse. Nat Neurosci 2009;12(3):342-8. PMID: 19234457.
  • Ernst C, et al. Alternative splicing, methylation state, and expression profile of tropomyosin-related kinase B in the frontal cortex of suicide completers. Archives of general psychiatry 2009;66(1):22-32. PMID:19124685.
  • McGirr A, et al. Familial aggregation of suicide explained by cluster B traits: a three-group family study of suicide controlling for major depressive disorder. The American journal of psychiatry 2009;166(10):1124-1134. PMID:19755577.
  • Brezo J, et al. Predicting suicide attempts in young adults with histories of childhood abuse. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science 2008;193(2):134-139. PMID:18669998.
  • Sequeira A, et al. Implication of SSAT by gene expression and genetic variation in suicide and major depression. Archives of general psychiatry 2006;63(1):35-48.
  • Dumais A, et al. Risk factors for suicide completion in major depression: a case-control study of impulsive and aggressive behaviors in men. The American journal of psychiatry 2005;162(11):2116-2124. PMID:16263852.
  • Lalovic A, et al. Cholesterol metabolism and suicidality in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome carriers. The American journal of psychiatry 2004;161(11):2123-2126. PMID:15514417.

Full publication list: Search G Turecki on PubMed

Funding Sources


Canadian Institutes of Health Research




Current lab members

Daniel Almeida (PhD student)
Sarah Barnett-Burns (PhD student)
Amanda Brown (MSc student)
Gary Gang Chen, PhD (Technical operations manager)
Laura Fiori, PhD (Research Associate)
Melina Jaramillo-Garcia (Microscopy specialist)
Chelsey Ju (MSc student)
Rixing Lin (MSc student)
Malosree Maitra (PhD student)
Corina Nagy, PhD (Project Manager)
Kathryn Vaillancourt (PhD student)
Jennie Yang, MSc (Cell culture specialist)
Volodymyr Yerko, PhD (Lab manager)
Zahia Aouabed, MSc (Research associate – Bioinformatics)
View Alumni – Past Turecki Lab Members