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Nadine Provençal

Nadine Provençal


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2020-2022
  • Child & Brain Development




Research in Nadine Provençal’s lab seeks to understand how exposure to stress early in life “gets under the skin” and shapes children’s brain and behaviour development.

Exposure to stressful or traumatic life events as early as during fetal development and up to adolescence, is an important risk factor for developing a wide range of health problems later in life such as increased reactivity to stress, cognitive deficits, psychiatric and behavioural disorders. However, it is not well understood how an individual’s health can be affected years after the initial exposure to stress. Research in Provençal’s lab focuses on the effects stress has on our genes to explain why some individuals are more vulnerable to stress and to developing mental disorders later in life. With a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in our response to stress, we can develop new ways to improve child health.


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship (2015-2017)
  • Richard Todd Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (2014)

Relevant Publications

  • Glucocorticoid exposure during hippocampal neurogenesis primes future stress response by inducing changes in DNA methylation. Nadine Provençal, Janine Arloth, Annamaria Cattaneo, Christoph Anacker, Nadia Cattane, Tobias Wiechmann, Simone Röh, Maik Ködel, Torsten Klengel, Darina Czamara, Nikola S. Müller, Jari Lahti, PREDO team, Katri Räikkönen, Carmine M. Pariante, Elisabeth B. Binder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Aug 2019, 201820842; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820842116
  • Tobias Wiechmann, Simone Röh, Susann Sauer, Darina Czamara, Janine Arloth, Maik Ködel, Madita Beintner, Lisanne Knop, Andreas Menke, Elisabeth B. Binder and Nadine Provençal. Identification of dynamic glucocorticoid-induced methylation changes at the FKBP5 locus. Clinical Epigenetics Journal, 2019, Volume 11, Article number: 83.
  • Nadine Provençal and Elisabeth B. Binder. The effects of early life stress on the epigenome: From the womb to adulthood and even before. Experimental Neurology, June 2015, 268:10-20.
  • Nadine Provençal, Linda Booij and Richard E. Tremblay. The developmental origins of chronic physical aggression: biological pathways triggered by early life adversity. Journal of Experimental Biology, January 2015, 218(Pt 1):123-33.
  • Nadine Provençal, Matthew J. Suderman, Claire Guillemin, Dongsha Wang, Angela Ruggiero, Allyson J. Bennett, Peter J. Pierre, David P. Friedman, Sylvana M. Côté, Michael Hallett, Richard E. Tremblay, Stephen J. Suomi and Moshe Szyf. The signature of maternal rearing in the methylome in rhesus macaque prefrontal cortex and T cells. Journal of Neurosciences, 2012, Oct 31;32(44):15626-42.

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