by Barbara Black
Cecilia Flores has won the
Prix dExcellence de lAcadémie des Grands Montréalais
for the best doctoral thesis of the year in the natural sciences and engineering
Dr. Flores earned her doctorate from Concordia last year, and we featured
her on the front page of the June 8 issue of CTR.
She came to Concordia from Mexico partway through her undergraduate degree
in 1990 and never looked back, working her way through a BSc, an MSc in
experimental psychology, and finally her PhD, which she did in Professor
Jane Stewarts lab in the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology.
Her PhD work focused on the role of a type of brain substances called
neurotrophic factors in the long-lasting consequences of repeated exposure
to drugs of abuse in adult rats.
Flores has been working over this past year at Harvard Medical School
in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Coyle, on a postdoctoral fellowship from
the Schizophrenia Society of Canada/Canadian Institutes for Health Research
She is working to identify differences in the expression and function
of specific proteins in the brains of schizophrenic patients, and trying
to find out, using laboratory rats, whether exposure early in life or
in adulthood to certain drugs can influence the expression and function
of those proteins.
The Prix dExcellence is an initiative of the Montreal Board of Trade,
and the awards are presented at a gala, to be held this year on June 14.
It is interesting to note that Flores husband, Andreas Arvanitogiannis,
earned his PhD while doing research with Dr. Peter Shizgal at the Centre
for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology.
He, too, won a Prix dExcellence from lAcadémie des
Grands Montréalais for his thesis, in 1999. Like her, he is doing
postdoctoral work at the Harvard Medical School on an MRC fellowship.
However, the couple are returning to Montreal this summer, as Arvanitogiannis
has been hired by Concordias Psychology Department as a CIHR junior
chair at the CSBN. Flores will continue her postdoctoral work at the Montreal