CTR Home Internal  Relations and Communications Home About CTR Publication Schedule CTR Archives

May 10, 2001 Brain expert Cecilia Flores is a Great Montrealer




Cecilia Flores

Cecilia Flores, winner of the Prix d’Excellence de l’Académie des Grands Montréalais


by Barbara Black

Cecilia Flores has won the Prix d’Excellence de l’Académie des Grands Montréalais for the best doctoral thesis of the year in the natural sciences and engineering category.

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 Stewart’s 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 (CIHR).

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 d’Excellence 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 d’Excellence from l’Académie 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 Concordia’s Psychology Department as a CIHR junior chair at the CSBN. Flores will continue her postdoctoral work at the Montreal Neurological Institute.