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Name: Alex Lussier

Role: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: 

McGill University, Honors in Biochemistry (2012)

University of British Columbia, PhD in Medical Genetics (2017)

Hometown: Brigham, QC, Canada


1. What will you be working on in the Dunn Lab?

I will be mainly working on translational analyses of epigenetic and genetic data to identify periods of sensitivity to early life exposures and their influence on the risk for depression. I’m also looking forward to learning more about the use of teeth as biomarkers and collaborating with lab members on projects across different fields. 

 

2. What are 3 big questions you are interested in answering? 

  1. Can we use DNA methylation patterns to diagnose or predict risk for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders?

  2. How do adverse early-life events interact with the genome to shape physiological responses, brain development, and risk for disease? 

  3. What are the cellular-level multi-omic changes occurring following prenatal alcohol exposure and/or early life adversity?

 

3. Of your most recent accomplishments, which one are you most proud?

I was recently the MVP of a small C/D level hockey tournament and scored my first hat trick!  For those of you who don’t follow hockey, this means I scored three goals in one game. 

Getting my PhD was probably my last big science accomplishment, short of publishing some decent papers in the past year. One of those was a perspective article published in Science - that was a pretty cool moment.

 

4. What’s a quote that you live by?

“Chance favors only the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott

 

5. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I have a bunch of fermentation projects, mostly inspired from the “It’s Alive with Brad” series from Bon Appetit. It started with fermented hot sauce and very quickly devolved into all sorts of little side experiments. Best thing I’ve made so far is fermented pumpkin preserves. I also like to play hockey, but despite being Canadian, I am really quite terrible at it. 

 

6. If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest OF your life, what would it be? 

Uhhhh… gold? Unlimited gold = unlimited pretty much every else. It’s a relatively stable commodity that has a wide range of applications outside of just monetary value (computing, medical, aerospace, etc.)

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