Drug Discovery and Reverse Translation

Platform Leadership

Jane Foster, PhD
Francesco Leri, PhD

Active Sites

The Drug Discovery and Reverse Translation Platform operates at the following research sites:

  • St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto, Ontario)
  • St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario)
  • University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario)

Platform Overview

The Drug Discovery and Reverse Translation Platform tests clinical questions in preclinical settings to drive new findings. Animal models, including rodent and zebrafish models, are used to improve our understanding of the biological and behavioural underpinnings of depression and treatment response, and for drug discovery. For example, candidate microRNA biomarkers of antidepressant response identified by the CAN-BIND Molecular Platform have been used to develop fluorescent reporter zebrafish lines that will be used to screen for novel depression treatments. This is carried out in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Canada’s first and only robotic, automated zebrafish high-throughput platform for drug discovery research. Researchers in this platform are also exploring how antidepressant medications from CAN-BIND clinical studies affect brain and behaviour in pre-clinical models, with the objective of uncovering key behavioural, electrophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms of depression.