Dr. Susan George
Canada Reseach Chair for Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Toronto and Co-Section Head of Molecular Pharmacology in the Neuroscience Department at CAMH
"Our data links evidence to create better understanding of schizophrenia and bipolar and open the doors to a new generation of highly specific drugs that help alleviate their devastating symptoms."
A person who experiences psychosis is said to lose contact with reality. They may see things, hear things, and have great difficulty organizing their own thoughts. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to what causes its onset. We do know that how chemicals interact in our brains plays a leading role in the formation of psychosis – a serious symptom of both schizophrenia and bipolar.
What if we could identify the specific molecular basis for psychosis? Could we then develop new drugs that target a person’s biological vulnerability to experiencing it in the first place?
The primary focus of Dr. Susan George’s research is discovering novel targets (newly identified signal receivers) in the brain to create new drugs that will prevent psychiatric conditions such as psychosis.
Susan and her team perform advanced molecular studies that look at novel signal cascades, or the sequence of events that takes place downstream from where a neurotransmitter (signal carrier) interacts with various pairs of protein receptors (signal receivers).
Dr. George and her colleague at CAMH, Dr. Brian O’Dowd, are recognized for developing a novel screening test that detects how a particular drug targets a pair of dopamine receptor complexes (called a G-protein) in a single, easy to set up format.
“The power of this test is that it can visualize the dynamics of chemical interactions in living brain cells in real time; its benefit to understanding how to best treat psychosis could be tremendous.”
Learn more about our vision for research.