Arts & Science Dean Melanie Woodin is the new president of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

June 3, 2024 by A&S News

Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, is the new president of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN). Comprised of more than 1,000 researchers who work at academic institutions across the country, CAN is dedicated to advancing brain research and ensuring neuroscience remains one of Canada’s greatest research and innovation strengths.

Dean Woodin is a professor in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology, where she has developed an innovative, productive, and well-funded research program. The Woodin Lab is focused on discovering the cellular mechanisms underlying inhibitory GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain. It uses a multi-disciplinary approach combining electrophysiology, biochemistry, fluorescence imaging, and behavioural testing to understand how synapses are built, the mechanisms that underlie their plasticity, and their role in neuronal circuits. Using principles learned from the study of the healthy brain, the lab unravels mechanisms that lead to neurological disorders including autism spectrum disorder, Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

She also serves on the board of directors at the Vector Institute and Palette Skills, and is a member of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy leadership. She has been a strong supporter of CAN since its inception serving as symposium organizer (2008, 2011), executive board member (2013–2016), meeting organizer (2016), and chair of the advocacy committee (2018–2019).