Tel.: 514-340-8210
 
Dr. Ashley D. Wazana
 
Investigator, Lady Davis Institute and Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Clinical Director, Early Childhood Disorders Day Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital
Research Director (Psychiatric Phenotypes and Endophenotypes) Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevlopment (MAVAN) Project
Member of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University


 
Dr. Ashley Wazana is a clinician-scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital. He was trained as a child psychiatrist at McGill and as an epidemiologist at Columbia University. He is the clinical co-director of the Early Childhood Disorders day hospital at the Jewish General Hospital as well as an investigator in projects at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, at the Douglas Institute of Mental Health and in international collaborations with the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Singapore and the United States.
 
Major Research Activities


Dr. Wazana is currently the Principal Investigator for an international collaboration the Developmental Research in Early Adversity Mental health BIological susceptibility and Gender (DREAM BIG) research project (www.dreambigresearch.com). This collaboration of five prenatal cohorts examines the complex interplay between children’s genetic makeup and their earliest environment (the environment in which they develop during pregnancy) in the prediction of mental illness. He is interested in how the early environment, such as parental care in the early years, stressors and social support influence this trajectory. Specifically, he aims to identify how candidate cell signalling systems in the Serotonin, Dopamine and Glucocorticoid pathways and early maternal experiences interact to modify the trajectory for anxious/depressive and ADHD psychopathology of children with prenatal adversity. Low birth weight and prenatal maternal depression are two conditions of adversity used to test competing models of (diathesis stress or differential susceptibility) using novel gene-environment modelling strategies. He is also the lead investigators for the psychiatric outcomes of Dr Michael Meaney's Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) project.

He is also leading a companion bench to bedside research program which includes the role of early child factors (environmental susceptibility and genetic profile) in the response to treatment (eg. prenatal antidepressants, systemic based therapeutic interventions). This includes collaborations with the US, in British Columbia and in Montreal across the McGill network.

He is faculty in the McGill Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, which included a collaboration in the evaluation of the precarious health outcomes of children and pregnant women with precarious immigration status. He has also been extensively involved in research, teaching and policy development in the relation between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry, a domain for which he has been called to testify as an expert witness. He was a member of the Consensus Panel which developed the AACAP's recent conflict of interest guidelines.
 
Recent Publications
 
Alexia Jolicoeur-Martineau, Ashley Wazana, Eszter Székely, James L. Kennedy, Michael J. Meaney, Celia M.T. Greenwood and the MAVAN team. Alternating optimization for G×E modelling with weighted genetic and environmental scores: examples from the MAVAN study. Psychological Methods. (In press)

Gordon Green C, Babineau V, Jolicoeur-Martineau A, Bouvette-Turcot A, Klaus Minde K, Sassi R, St-André M, Carrey N, Atkinson L, Kennedy JL, Lydon J, Gaudreau H, Levitan R, Meaney M, Wazana A. (2017). Changes in the prediction of Negative Emotionality across the first three years of life from the interaction of prenatal stress and cumulative genetic risk from 5-HTTLPR, DRD4. Development and Psychopathology. 29(3): 901-917

Wazana A, Moss E, Jolicoeur-Martineau A, Graffi J, Tsabari G, Lecompte V, Pascuzzo K, Babineau V, Gordon-Green C, Mileva V, Atkinson L, Minde K, Bouvette-Turcot AA, Sassi R, St-André M, Carrey N, Matthews S, Sokolowski M, Lydon J, Gaudreau H, Steiner M, Kennedy JL, Fleming A, Levitan R, Meaney MJ. (2015). The interplay of child birth weight, dopamine D4 receptor genes and early maternal care in the prediction of disorganized attachment at 36 months of age Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1145-1161.

Babineau V, Gordon Green C, Bouvette-Turcot A, Jolicoeur-Martineau A, Minde K, Sassi R, St-André M, Carrey N, Atkinson L, Kennedy JL, Lydon J, Gaudreau H, Levitan R, Meaney M, Wazana A. (2015). Prenatal Depression and 5-HTTLPR Interact to Predict Dysregulation from 3 to 36 months – A differential susceptibility model. Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry. 56(1), 21-29.
 
Snapshot
Dr. Ashley Wazana is an FRSQ clinician-scientist in the field of developmental psychopathology. His CIHR funded project examine the psychiatric outcomes of children from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) cohort of Dr Michael Meaney. His current focus is on the role of maternal care and genotype in the modulation of risk for anxious and depressive psychopathology in preschool children with prenatal adversity. He also conducts research in the validity of clinical and research based instruments of early psychopathology, by means of international collaborations.
 
 
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