Graciela Piñeyro , M.D. , Ph.D.
    Graciela Piñeyro
    Research Axis
    Brain and Child Development Axis
    Research Theme
    Development of psychopathologies
    CHUSJ - Centre de Recherche Office 3.17.026

    514 345-4931 6289


    • Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Montreal


    • Postdoctoral fellow in Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Biochemistry, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2001
    • PhD in Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1996
    • MD, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad De La Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay, 1991

    Research Interests

    Research in my laboratory focuses on the molecular determinants of the efficacy of drugs that act on G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), particularly cannabinoids and opiates.

    Chronic pain afflicts millions of people worldwide causing more disability than cardiovascular disease and cancer combined. Treatment of this condition is especially difficult since effective analgesics are sorely lacking.

    Research in my laboratory focuses on rational drug design to develop novel analgesics for chronic pain treatment. Over the last 20 years, we have studied mechanisms underlying the analgesic actions and the undesired effects of opioids and more recently, cannabinoids. For this purpose, the lab has developed bioanalytical tools for screening novel drug candidates.

    By applying these technological and analytical tools to opioid analgesics, we have developed and validated a strategy to infer possible clinical outcomes from in vitro signaling profiles of novel analgesics. We have extended these approaches and strategies to characterize the pharmacological properties of cannabinoid ligands.  

    Awards and Distinctions

    • ADRIQ prize  for RSRI : PRIX RSRI - CQDM in partnership with University of Montreal, Domain Therapeutics NA, Pfizer Canada and Merck Canada, 2019 (
    • FRQS Junior 2 Research Scholar, 2005-2009
    • FRQS Junior 1 Research Scholar, 2002-2005



    • Exploring Use of Unsupervised Clustering to Associate Signaling Profiles of GPCR Ligands to Clinical Response . B Benredjem et al. Nat Commun 10 (1), 4075. 2019. PMID 31501422.
    • Molecular Pharmacology of δ-Opioid Receptors
    • L Gendron et al. Pharmacol Rev 68 (3), 631-700. Jul 2016. PMID 27343248. - Review
    • Delta Opioid Receptors Recycle to the Membrane After Sorting to the Degradation Path.
    • I Charfi et al. Cell Mol Life Sci 75 (12), 2257-2271. Jun 2018. PMID 29288293.
    • Analyzing Biased Responses of GPCR Ligands
    • B Benredjem et al. Curr Opin Pharmacol 32, 71-76. Feb 2017. PMID 27930943. – Review doi:10.1016/j.coph.2016.11.008
    • Functional Selectivity Profiling of the Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Using Pathway-Wide BRET Signaling Sensors
    • Y Namkung et al. Sci Signal 11 (559). 2018. PMID 30514808.

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