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Martin Alda

Professor and Killam Chair in Mood Disorders

aldam-webheadshot
Department of Psychiatry

Email: malda@dal.ca
Phone: 902-473-2712
Mailing Address: 
Department of Psychiatry, Mood Disorders Clinic
Room 3088 AJLB
5909 Veterans' Memorial Lane
Halifax, NS B3H 2E2
 
Research Topics:
  • Mood disorders
  • Lithium
  • Clinical research
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychiatric genetics
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Genetics of complex traits
  • Heterogeneity of psychiatric disorders

 

Related information

Education

MD, Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia
FRCPC, Post-doctorate, University of Ottawa

Research interests

Dr. Alda is interested in three main questions 1) mapping genes for bipolar disorder using innovative phenotypic approaches; 2) better understanding of the brain structure and function in the development and progression of mood disorders; and 3) optimization of long term treatment and outcome in people with bipolar disorder.

Selected publications  

  • Alda M, Wang J-F, Sun XJ, Lopez de Lara C, Jaitovich-Groisman I, Lebel V, Duffy A, Grof P, Rouleau GA, Turecki GX, Young LT: Alterations in pCREB signaling: an endophenotype of lithium-responsive bipolar disorder? Bipolar Disorders 15: 824 - 831, 2013.
  • Hunsberger JG, Chibane FL, Elkahloun AG, Henderson R, Singh R, Lawson J, Cruceanu C, Nagarajan V, Turecki G, Squassina A, Medeiros C, Del Zompo M, Rouleau GA, Alda M, Chuang DM: Novel integrative genomic tool for interrogating lithium response in bipolar disorder. Translational Psychiatry 5: e504, 2015.
  • Mertens J, Wang QW, Kim Y, Yu DX, Pham S, Yang B, Zheng Y, Diffenderfer KE, Zhang J, Soltani S, Eames TJ, Schafer ST, Boyer L, Marchetto MC, Nurnberger JI, Calabrese JR, Odegaard KJ, McCarthy MJ, Zandi PP, Alda M, Nievergelt CM, The Pharmacogenomics of Bipolar Disorder Study, Mi S, Brennand KJ, Kelsoe JR, Gage FH, Yao J: Differential responses to lithium in hyperexcitable neurons from patients with bipolar disorder. Nature 527: 95 - 99, 2015.
  • Hou L, Heilbronner U, Degenhardt F, Adli M, Akiyama K, Akula N, Ardau R, Arias B, Backlund L, Banzato CEM, Benabarre A, Bengesser S, Bhattacharjee AK, Biernacka JM, Birner A, Brichant-Petitjean C, Bui ET, Cervantes P, Chen G-B, Chen H-C, Chillotti C, Cichon S, Clark SR, Colom F, Cousins D, Cruceanu C, Czerski PM, Dantas CR, Dayer A, Étain B, Falkai P, Forstner AJ, Frisén L, Fullerton JM, Gard S, Garnham JS, Goes FS, Grof P, Gruber O, Hashimoto R, Hauser J, Herms S, Hoffmann P, Hofmann A, Jamain S, Jiménez E, Kahn J-P, Kassem L, Kittel-Schneider S, Kliwicki S, König B, Kusumi I, Lackner N, Laje G, Landén M, Lavebratt C, Leboyer M, Leckband SG, López Jaramillo CA, MacQueen G, Manchia M, Martinsson L, Mattheisen M, McCarthy MJ, McElroy S, Mitjans, Mondimore FM, Monteleone P, Nievergelt CM, Nöthen MM, Ösby U, Ozaki N, Perlis RH, Pfennig A, Reich-Erkelenz D, Rouleau GA, Schofield PR, Schubert KO, Schweizer BW, Seemüller F, Severino G, Shekhtman T, Shilling PD, Shimoda K, Simhandl C, Slaney CM, Smoller, JW, Squassina A, Stamm T, Stopkova P, Tighe SK, Tortorella A, Turecki G, Volkert J, Witt S, Wright A, Young LT, Zandi PP, Potash JB, DePaulo JR, Bauer M, Reininghaus E, Novák T, Aubry J-M, Maj M, Baune BT, Mitchell PB, Vieta E, Frye MA, Rybakowski JK, Kuo P-H, Kato T, Grigoroiu-Serbanescu M, Reif A,  Del Zompo M, Bellivier F, Schalling M, Wray NR, Kelsoe J, Alda M, Rietschel M, McMahon FJ, Schulze TG: Genetic variants associated with response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder: a genome-wide association study. Lancet 387: 1085 - 1093, 2016.
  • Stern S, Santos R, Marchetto MC, Mendes APD, Rouleau GA, Biesmans S, Wang Q-W, Yao J, Charnay P, Bang AG, Alda M, Gage FH: Neurons derived from patients with bipolar disorder divide into intrinsically different sub-populations of neurons, predicting the patients’ responsiveness to lithium. Molecular Psychiatry, in press.

Selected awards and honours

  • 1995 NCDEU Young Investigator Award, NIMH, U.S.A.
  • 1999, 2003 NARSAD Independent Investigator Award (twice), National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, U.S.A.
  • 2005 - 2007 Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), McGill University
  • 2007 - present Killam Chair in Mood Disorders, Dalhousie University
  • 2013 Selected to give The Mogens Schou Memorial Lecture on "Genetics of lithium response and personalized treatment of bipolar disorder" at CINP Thematic Meeting on Pharmacogenomics and Personalised Medicine in Psychiatry, Jerusalem, April 2013.

Memberships

  • 2003 ‑ present Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP), member and councillor (2014 - 2016, two-year term); www.ccnp.ca
  • 2006 - present International Society for Bipolar Disorder ISBD), member; www.isbd.org, councillor (2012 - 2013, two-year term)
  • 2011 - present International Bipolar Foundation, Scientific Advisory Board member; http://www.internationalbipolarfoundation.org
  • 2011 - present The International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (C.I.N.P.), fellow; www.cinp.org
  • 2012 - present The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, elected member; www.acnp.ca

Teaching

  • 1994 - present Supervision / co-supervision of graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows, undergraduate students, and psychiatry residents