Research project in reprotoxicology (pregnancy & placental functions)


Project title: Effect of depression and prenatal maternal stress on placental functions


Institution: INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier Research Center, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, QC. CANADA H7V 1B7

Project description: Our laboratory focuses its research on endocrinology and the development of human placenta. Placenta is a very important organ that can be used as a tool of diagnosis and prevention. This temporary organ is essential to foetus development and its functions can be altered in certain pathologies such as maternal stress, anxiety or depression in pregnancy or exposure to environmental toxins (pathogens, chemical, drug…). Within the proposed project, the chosen candidate will work in collaboration with a team in Vancouver to study the effect of depression (with or without antidepressant treatment) and prenatal maternal stress caused by a natural disaster on placental functions. These environmental factors to which the mother can be exposed have consequences on placental serotonin and cortisol and on the neurological development of the baby that have yet to be studied.


Research area: reproduction, toxicology, glucocorticoids, serotonin, pregnancy, placenta.


Starting date: Fall 2017


Research advisor: Pre Cathy Vaillancourt


Financial support: Our Research University offers many scholarship programs. Every student-researcher benefits from a research stipend during their higher education studies. This project is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the candidate will also have access to other grant opportunities within the groups Pr Vaillancourt is part of (Réseau Québécois de Reproduction (RQR), Cinbiose, BioMed, Society for Reproductive Investigators (SRI) and the International Federation of Placenta Association (IFPA)).


Program: Master’s degree in experimental health sciences or Doctorate in biology. Resume in English here.


Profile: The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree (or equivalent for the Ph.D programme) depending on the program of interest and a background in biochemistry, molecular biology and biostatistics. The candidate also has to master French and English (oral and writing).


Questions? Cathy Vaillancourt, Ph.D.


450-687-5010, extension 8812

Website: http://www.iaf.inrs.ca/cathy-vaillancourt?f=english


How to apply:

Interested candidates must gather their curriculum, an official transcript, a motivation letter describing your research interests and carrier goals as well as the name of contact information for further reference. Address all information to cathy.vaillancourt@iaf.inrs.ca.