AND EMOTIONS LABORATORY
At Dr. Linda Booij's Stress Neurodevelopment and Emotions Lab (or also called Booij Lab), we are interested in how the early life environment, combined with genetics, affects mental health later in life.
To do that, we employ brain-imaging techniques, epigenetic analyses and cognitive-behavioural assessments. Some of the work is done in individuals who are being treated for mental health problems, especially individuals with eating disorders. Other studies are conducted in the Booij Lab include longitudinal cohorts composed of participants who are followed over the years.
Early Life Stress
and Brain Development
Stressors can influence development starting at pregnancy. These could stem from maternal stress, exposure to certain chemicals, among other causes.
Early life stress can interfere with development and have life-long consequences. We are currently investigating the role of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on brain development in childhood. For example in one study, we study brain development in 4-year old genetically identical twins. The use of a twin design allows us to control for genetic effects.
In addition, we are conducting a study on the potential effects of certain environmental contaminants, on brain and cognitive development in children.
A substantial part of the research that is conducted in the Booij lab is devoted to eating disorders. The effects of eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, can be debilitating and long-lasting. Successful recovery rates for eating disorders can in some cases take years.
Our research is aimed at better understanding the neurodevelopmental mechanisms of eating disorders. For example, ongoing projects include the investigation of brain and molecular processes that play a role in eating disorders. With our research, we hope to contribute to the development of better tools for early identification of individuals at risk for eating disorders because early detection leads to more positive outcomes.
Notice to graduate student and post-doc applicants
The Booij Lab will not be accepting Research & Clinical training applicants for the next academic year (2023/2024). However, we are presently offering two postdoctoral fellowships one focused on eating disorders and one focused on early exposure to environmental contaminants and child development (starting date is flexible).
Please, check the Opportunities section for more information.
Concordia University – Loyola Campus
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex
7141, Sherbrooke St. West, SP-340-08
514-848-2424 (ext. 5358)
Sainte-Justine University Hospital
3175, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
514-345-4931 (ext. 4041)