Dr. Maryse Paquet
Robarts Research Institute
When a stroke restricts blood supply to the brain, the resulting chain of events includes the release of large amounts of glutamate. This chemical binds to protein receptors found on the surface of cells, killing them and possibly compromising brain function. However, the glutamate has a dual effect and can also activate these receptors to release protective substances that help these cells survive.
Dr. Maryse Paquet is a postdoctoral fellow at Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario, where she is working with principal investigator Dr. Stephen S. Ferguson. She is studying one particular protein receptor that appears to possess these dual characteristics.
Called mGluR5, this protein receptor is found in neuronal cells as well as in a particular class of brain cells called astrocytes, which normally sustain the health of brain tissue and offset drastic biochemical changes. Dr. Paquet will investigate how this protein receptor and these brain cells interact.
It remains unclear if the activation of this receptor helps or harms different types of cells, a distinction that could be crucial to designing a treatment that prevents cell death following a stroke.
By pinning down the specific mechanisms that result in cell death or protection, this research should point the way to maximizing cell survival.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation is proud to support innovative researchers like Dr. Paquet, and looks forward to the results of her work.
Supported by Pfizer Canada