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N.P. Vasavan Nair, M.D., FRCPC

Medical Chief, Program for Dementia with Psychiatric Co-morbidity (PDPC), Douglas Institute
Director, Human Psychopharmacology Trials, Douglas Institute
Professor, McGill Centre for Studies on Aging
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Areas of expertise
Melatonin, cortisol, biomarkers, brain aging, refractory depression, clinical trials, meditation

Neelakanta Pillai Vasavan Nair, MD, FRCPC, FRCP (U.K.), FRC Psych (U.K.), DPM, has contributed to the Douglas Institute in a variety of capacities. Upon joining the Douglas Institute in 1972, N.P. Vasavan Nair was immediately appointed the coordinator of research services by Heinz Lehmann, MD, then director of Research Services.

Since that time, in a clinical and administrative capacity, he has been appointed:

  • Director of research services (1979)
  • Director of the Douglas Institute Research Centre (1980)
  • First director of the Department of Psychiatry (1995), during which time he established sector teams for the Douglas Institute catchment area based on the Rochon Commission model of healthcare delivery)
  • Medical director for the Program for Dementia with Psychiatric Comorbidity (2002)

N.P. Vasavan Nair’s research interests are clinical psychopharmacology and neurobiology of schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer Disease; his current research focuses on finding treatment methods for conditions that are difficult to treat, such as psychosis with Alzheimer Disease, and refractory depression.

Research accomplishments include:

  • Conducting a key study on long-acting injectable haloperidol, which demonstrated equal efficiency with lower blood levels in comparison to oral preparations
  • Along with Dr. San Lal, demonstrating, for the first time, the lack of prolactin release as a special property of clozapine
  • Identifying low melatonin as a marker for depression and its reversal under treatment
  • Establishing the Douglas Institute’s longitudinal study on brain aging, starting as a World Health Organization (WHO) multinational program in 1986. The population and data have been used by a number of Douglas Institute researchers. The project continues to this day.

N.P. Vasavan Nair’s teaching accomplishments include: acting as a regular contributor to the McGill teaching program for residents in psychiatry, offering didactic seminars and clinical supervision; and training WHO fellows from developing countries in research methodology in psychiatry.

His current research projects are:

  1. Therapeutic vaccine trial in Alzheimer’s disease
  2. Effect of a histamine antagonist in moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Effect of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor in moderate stage of Azlheimer’s disease
  4. Meditation, Brain aging & Stress
Contact information
Douglas Institute
CPC Pavilion
Room A-1158
6875, boulevard LaSalle
Montreal (Quebec)
H4H 1R3
Phone :
514 762-3035

Fax :
514 762-3020
Research division :
  • - Clinique
Research groups :
Awards and distinctions :
  • - CAGP Annual Award for Lifetime Achievements in Geriatric Psychiatry
[ view more awards ]
Related Douglas link :
Find out more :
Antibodies Against Alzheimer's Disease
The Research Centre 30th anniversary