The Minister of Health and Social Services, Réjean Hébert, M.D., Ph.D, has announced the granting of $7.2 million for the creation of the Centre for translational research on Mood Disorders and Suicide.

This amount will be added to a contribution by the Douglas Foundation, as well as donors Bell Canada and Hydro-Québec, for a total investment of more than $ 9.8 million into the Centre.

This unique centre will combine several areas of research – clinical, neuroanatomical, molecular and cellular – with the goal of understanding the mechanisms that lead to depression and suicide. It will be directed by Dr. Turecki.

“Translational research is a form of research that allows knowledge developed in basic and clinical research to be applied directly to patient,” explains Dr. Turecki. “Thanks to this funding, this is exactly the type of research that we will be able to conduct. We will be able to identify vulnerable individuals as well as develop effective preventive strategies and innovative therapeutic programs thanks to a detailed understanding of molecular, cellular, psychological and clinical processes, which intervene during interactions between a predisposition to mood disorders and significant stressful events. Ultimately, we will be better able to help these individuals.”

To lead this promising work, the Centre for translational research on Mood Disorders and Suicide will be equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for the study of biological tissue (histology), cellular and tissue imaging, and the cellular culture of human brain tissue.

Despite the $30 billion in direct and indirect costs to the Canadian economy attributed to mood disorders, the Centre for translational research on Mood Disorders and Suicide will be the first in Canada devoted to their study. Only a few centres alike exist abroad.

The Centre will benefit from a unique combination of cutting-edge platforms at the Douglas Institute, such as the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank, the Neurophenotyping Centre, the Brain Imaging Centre, and the Standard Life Centre for Breakthroughs in Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention. This will allow the Douglas Institute to maintain its position as an international leader in the field of mood disorders and suicide.

Thank you to the governement and to Bell and Hydro-Québec for investing in healthy minds and in helping prevent depression and suicide.

Photo (from left): Dr. Brigitte Kieffer, Scientific Director of the Douglas; Dr. Réjean Hébert, Minister of Health and Social Services; Lynne McVey, CEO of Douglas; Patrick Murphy-Lavallée, Director of Programs and Services, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux; Dr. Gustavo Turecki, Director of Translational Centre