Directed by N.M.K. Ng Ying Kin, PhD, the laboratory measures putative biological markers for various psychiatric conditions and treatment-resistance to usual medications. One of the main activities of the laboratory is the measurement of putative biological markers for various psychiatric conditions. Areas of interest include:

  • the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
  • metabolic syndrome
  • serotonergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitters
  • the neurohormones involved in circadian rhythms
Focus is placed on markers for treatment-resistance to usual medications and the pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution and metabolism) of psychiatric medications.

This permits the monitoring of therapeutic levels, as well as drug interactions, particularly with respect to treatment-resistant patients and the elderly.

The importance of these findings within our increasingly multiethnic society is further underscored by developments in the new scientific discipline of pharmacogenetics (i.e. the study of inherited sensitivity to drugs). Our goal is to maximize the value of drug therapy on an individual basis, and to decrease the incidence of side effects.

The laboratory is outfitted with specialized equipment, including:
  • a gas-chromatograph mass-spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • a capillary electrophoresis system
It also has access to McGill University’s high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The team can thus measure the psychoactivity of drugs and various neurochemical processes.