Bénédicte Amilhon , Ph.D.
    Research Axis
    Brain and Child Development Axis
    Research Theme
    Neurodevelopmental diseases
    CHUSJ - Centre de Recherche

    514-345-4931, ext. 7838


    • Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Université de Montréal (2017)


    • Research Associate, McGill University, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, (2009 – 2015)
    • Postdoctorate, McGill University, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, (2009 – 2015)
    • PhD in Neuroscience, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI (France, 2009)

    Research Topics

    • Memory
    • Emotions
    • Serotonin
    • Glutamate
    • Interneurons
    • Oscillations
    • In vitro and in vivo electrophysiology
    • In vivo calcium imaging
    • Behavioral studies

    Career Summary

    The brain is a mosaic of different regions each having defined functions. These brain regions communicate together in a complex language to generate behavior. Dr Bénédicte Amilhon’s laboratory studies the neural circuits underlying emotional behavior, with focus on the link between emotions and memory. Memories formed in heavy emotional contexts, either positive or negative, leave a strong imprint in our minds. The Amilhon lab aims to dissect the neuronal networks underlying this modulation of memory formation by emotional state. We are mainly interested in the different projection pathways connecting the raphe nuclei, essential in emotional information processing, and the hippocampus, a key brain region in memory formation. To understand the roles of neurons from the raphe–hippocampus pathways, the Amilhon lab combines techniques such as in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, optogenetics, calcium imaging and behavioral studies.

    Bénédicte Amilhon obtained her PhD at Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI (France) in 2009. She then joined the laboratory of Pr Sylvain Williams for her postdoc (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University) where her work has addressed the role of interneurons in generation and modulation of theta rhythm in the hippocampus. Dr Amilhon joined the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center in 2017.

    Awards and Distinctions

    • FRQS – Research Scholars Junior 1 program (2018-2022)
    • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2016-2018)
    • FRQS – Postoctoral Fellowship (2011-2014)
    • Fondation Fyssen (France) – Postoctoral Fellowship (2009-2011)
    • Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale – PhD Fellowship (2008-2009)
    • Ministère de la Recherche et des Technologies (France) – PhD Fellowship (2005-2008)


    • Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, June 2016
    • Gottingen University, European Neuroscience Institute, ENI Lecture days, June 2016
    • Université de Bordeaux, Interdisciplinary Institute for Neurosciences, October 2015
    • McGill University, The «Montréal All-Opto-Club», April 2014
    • Neuropôle de Strasbourg, conférences IFR Neurosciences Strasbourg, December 2013


    1. Amilhon B., Huh C.Y.L., Manseau F., Ducharme G., Nichols H., Adamantidis A., Williams S. Parvalbumin interneurons of hippocampus tune population activity at theta frequency. Neuron 2015; 86(5):1277-89
    2. Huh C.Y.L., Amilhon B., Ferguson K.A., Peach J.P., Scodras S., Manseau F., Skinner F.K., Williams S. Excitatory inputs determine phase-locking strength and spike-timing of parvalbumin and somatostatin interneurons during intrinsically generated hippocampal theta rhythm. The Journal of Neuroscience 2016; 22;36(25):6605-22
    3. Isingrini E., Perret L., Rainer Q., Amilhon B., Guma E., Tanti A., Martin G., Robinson J., Moquin L., Marti F., Mechawar N., Williams S., Gratton A., Giros B. Resilience against chronic stress is mediated by Locus Coeruleus norepinephrine regulation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. Nature Neuroscience 2016; 19(4):560-3
    4. Jackson J., Amilhon B., Goutagny R., Bott J.B., Manseau F., Kortleven C., Bressler S.L., Williams S. Reversal of theta rhythm flow through intact hippocampal circuits. Nature Neuroscience 2014; 17(10):1362-70
    5. Amilhon B., Lepicard E., Renoir T., Mongeau R., Popa D., Poirel O., Miot S., Gras C., Gardier A.M., Gallego J., Hamon M., Lanfumey L., Gasnier B., Giros B., El Mestikawy S. VGLUT3 (vesicular glutamate transporter type 3) contribution to the regulation of serotonergic transmission and anxiety. The Journal of Neuroscience 2010; 30(6):2198-210

Grow Beyond our wildest dreams

With the support of donors like you, at the heart of the Grow Beyond campaign, we are leading healthcare teams towards the opportunities offered by science and new technologies, so that every child, no matter where in Quebec, has access to the unique expertise and know-how of CHU Sainte-Justine. Together, let's join forces for their future.

Grow Beyond with us.

Contact Us

514 345-4931


© 2006-2014 CHU Sainte-Justine.
All rights reserved.
Terms of Use, Confidentiality, Security


Les informations contenues dans le site « CHU Sainte-Justine » ne doivent pas être utilisées comme un substitut aux conseils d’un médecin dûment qualifié et autorisé ou d’un autre professionnel de la santé. Les informations fournies ici le sont à des fins exclusivement éducatives et informatives.

Consultez votre médecin si vous croyez être malade ou composez le 911 pour toute urgence médicale.

CHU Sainte-Justine