Denis Gris, Ph.D.

Dr. Denis GrisDenis Gris, PhD

Dr Denis Gris has a goal to change our understanding of how the immune system is regulated. He believes that immune system can be regulated by nervous system. In a figure of speech: "We can think and adjust immune response to different pathogens during  inflammation and autoimmunity."  But this is the future.

Dr. Denis Gris has started his scientific career with the Master's and Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Dr. Lynn Weaver's laboratory at the University of Western Ontario. He studied the role of inflammation in spinal cord injury. He discovered that the influx of neutrophils is detrimental for recovering after spinal cord injury. Using anti CD11d antibody as a treatment, he demonstrated that animals recovered faster and better after the treatment. Also, he showed that sever spinal cord injury results in massive inflammatory reactions throughout the body leading to syndrome similar to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

Dr. Denis Gris continued his education in Dr. Jenny P-Y Ting's laboratory as a post doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There he studied in detail mechanism of activation of innate and adoptive immune responses. In collaboration with Dr. Wen, Dr. Eitas, Dr. Allen, and other members of the laboratory, Dr. Gris studied inflammation during obesity which leads to insulin resistance; innate and adoptive responses during multiple sclerosis. In summary, his role in this laboratory was to define the role of novel family of immuno regulatory proteins (NLRs)  in different human diseases.

Currently, Dr. Denis Gris is a member of Immunology Program at the University of Sherbrooke and he is studying neuro-immune interactions during healthy state and disease. Neuro-immune interactions are complicated because there are at least two immune and two neuro components in these interactions; namely: CNS cells, including neurons and oligodendrocytes, and CNS-residing immune cells, including microglia and astrocytes, and on the other hand, peripheral nervous system cells and peripheral immune cells (leukocytes). Central and peripheral systems are separated by the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) that protects the CNS from the peripheral immune system. During diseases, the state of the BBB permeability is altered, which permits influx of peripheral inflammatory cells into the CNS. The role of neuro-immune interactions in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases is dependent on whether the CNS is facing resident immune cells or cells from the periphery. His research program encompasses studies of neurodegenerative diseases including stroke, multiple sclerosis, and slowly progressing diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Outside of laboratory, Dr. Gris enjoys taking care of his six beehives and practicing Aikikai Aikido. He has a family with two beautiful children.

Curriculum vitae

I am a molecular and cellular neuro-immunologist with nine years of extensive research experience in the fields of neuroscience, neuro-inflammation, and autoimmunity. I received solid research training in neuroscience and in both innate and adaptive immunity. I have an excellent publication record that depicts my abilities to independently design, execute, and supervise neuro-immunology experiments in various disease models including neurotrauma and autoimmune disorders.

  • I am proficient in animal work including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and ischemia reperfusion injury. I have strong expertise in working with genetically modified mice. My expertise includes maintenance of large numbers of murine colonies and designing specific genetic crosses.
  • I have strong knowledge of multiple protein detection techniques including: (1) Immunochistochemistry of paraffin embedded and frozen tissues using different chromogens and fluorescent dyes using a variety of antigen retrieval protocols; (2) Immunoblotting immunoprecipitation, co-immunoprecipitation techniques, and ELISA; (3) Protein activity assays such as FLICA and zymography; (4) Detection and quantification of production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.
  • I have acquired an extensive knowledge in multi-color flow cytometry (FACS). I routinely design and perform Multi-(7-9) color flow cytometry analysis (on Cyan ADP and BD LSRII platform). I am especially adept at performing intracellular cytokine staining, phosphoflow, and identifying rare populations of cells by FACS analysis. I am constantly following the most recent developments in flow cytometry. Currently, I am optimizing cell fluorescent bar-coding for high throughput analysis.
  • I have extensive experience in working with nucleic acids including DNA and RNA isolation, RT, PCR, and qPCR.
  • I am proficient in the field of inflammation and autoimmune disorders. I can independently design and perform major in vitro and in vivo immunology experiments. I am especially familiar with Macrophage, Microglial, Astrocyte, Neutrophil, T cell, and Dendritic cell biology.
  • I posses excellent communication skills, which allow me to present effectively my research to scientific community in the form of scientific papers, oral presentations, poster presentations, and lectures.
  • I have extensive teaching experience. Throughout my career I have maintained the teaching component as a necessary part of my work.

 

 Citizenship: Canadian

Academic degrees

PhD Neuroscience
University of Western Ontario

B.Sc. (Physiology Honours)
Department of Physiology
University of Western Ontario

Current position

Assistant Professor
Division of Immunology
Department of Pediatry
Faculty of Mecidine
University of Sherbrooke
2011-present

Education

Postdoctoral fellow
Microbiology Immunology
Funded by CIHR and MS
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC, USA)
2007-2011

Graduate student (PhD)
Neuroscience Program
Funded by CIHR
University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario)
2001-2007

Undergraduate student
Department of Physiology
University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario)
1998-2001

Student
Department of Medicine
Pediatrics University of St. Petersburg, Russia)
1987-1991

Funding

Faculty of Medicine (FMSS)
45,000
2011-present

Centre of clinical research (CRCÉLB)
42,000
2011-present

Department of Pediatry
13,000
2011-present

University of Sherbrooke
20,000
2011-present

 Honours and Awards

  • Canadian MS society fellowship (2010-2011)
  • CIHR fellowship (2007-2010)
  • Biolegend travel award (2009)
  • CIHR doctoral studentship (2004-2007)
  • GTA scholarship (2004-2006)
  • Nomination for CIHR National Health Research Poster Competition (2006)
  • Travel grant award from International Neurotrauma Society (2005)
  • OntarioNeurotrauma Foundation Studentship (2001-2004)
  • N-INTS 2003 conference finalist (2003)
  • N-INTS 2002 conference finalist (2002)
  • SUS scholarship (2001-2004)
  • John D. Schultz studentship (2001)
  • Graduation with distinction (2001)
  • Deans Honours List (1998-2001)
  • University of Western Ontario work and study program (1999-2001)
  • University of Western Ontario Bursary (2001)
  • Canada Millennium Scholarship (2001)
  • Evelyn Moxley Bursary Fund  (2000)
  • Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation summer student scholarship  (2000)
  • Student Opportunity Grant   (2000)

 

Selected Published Abstracts

1.  D. Gris, L.R. Saville, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Early treatment with a monoclonal antibody to the integrin aD after clip compression spinal cord injury improves autonomic and locomotor outcomes. Proceedings of the XXIIIth International Symposium Spinal Cord Trauma: Neural Repair and Functional Recovery,Montreal,May 6-8, 2001

2.  D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. An early anti-inflammatory strategy using an antibody to the integrin aDb2 improves autonomic and locomotor outcomes after compression spinal cord injury. J. Neurotrauma, 2001

3.  D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Early treatment with a monoclonal antibody to the intergrin alpha D after clip compression injury of the spinal cord improves histological and functional outcomes. Neuroscience Abstract 27, 2001

4.  D.R. Marsh, D. Gris, J.C. Fleming, V. Hristova, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Early anti-inflammatory treatment promotes myelin sparing and neuroprotection correlating with improved outcomes after spinal cord injury. Proceeding from International Spinal Research Trust Research Network Meeting, 2002

5.  D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Beneficial effect of early anti-inflammatory strategy after spinal cord injury: comparison to the efficacy of methylprednisolone.  J. Neurotrauma 19, 2002

6.  D. Gris, D. Marsh, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Autonomic function recovery following anti-inflammatory treatment two and six weeks after severe spinal cord injury. Autonomic Neuroscience, 2003

7.  D. Marsh, D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. The severity of autonomic dysreflexia after spinal cord injury in rats increases in parallel with improved locomotive function. Autonomic Neuroscience, 2003

8.  D.R. Marsh, D. Gris, F. Bao, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver.  Early selective modulation of intraspinal inflammation is neuroprotective and leads to improved motor, sensory, and autonomic outcomes.  Proceeding from International Spinal Research Trust Research Network Meeting, 2003

9.  D. Gris, D. Marsh, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Long lasting recovery following early anti-inflammatory treatment after spinal cord injury. J. Neurotrauma, 2003

10. D. Gris and L.C. Weaver. Systemic inflammatory response after spinal cord injury: activation of neutrophils. J. Neurotrauma, 2004

11. D. Gris and L.C. Weaver.  Systemic inflammatory response after spinal cord injury. J. Neurotrauma, 2005

12. D. Gris and L.C. Weaver.  Systemic inflammatory response after spinal cord injury: kidney, liver, lung (SCI). Neuroscience abstracts, 2005

13.  F. Bao, D. Gris, M. Markowski, A.J. Beggs, S.I. Bailey, K.R. Gurr, L.C. Weaver.  Increased oxidant activity and up regulation of adhesion molecules of human peripheral blood neutrophils in response to spinal cord injury.  J. Neurotrauma, 2005

14. D. Gris and L.C. Weaver.  Multiple organ damage after spinal cord injury. Proceedings of “Repairing the injured spinal cord” symposium abstracts, 2006

15.  D. Gris and L.C. Weaver. Systemic inflammatory response affects multiple organs and may impact survival and recovery after spinal cord injury. Neuroscience abstracts, 2006

16.  D. Gris, Z. Ye, B.P. O’Connor, H.A. Iocca, H. Wen, M. Schneider, R. Craven, M. Huang, S.D. Miller, and J.P. Ting. NLRP3 plays a critical role in the development of EAE by mediating Th1 and Th17 responses. Society of Neuroscience abstracts, 2009

17.  D. Gris, Z. Ye, H. Wen, P. Gris, S.D. Miller, and J.P. Ting. Nlrp3 inflammasome mediates Th1 and Th17 responses during development of experimental allergic encephalitis. Society of Neuroscience abstracts, 2010

 

Invited Presentations

1.  D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Beneficial effect of early anti-inflammatory strategy after spinal cord injury: comparison to the efficacy of methylprednisolone.  J. Neurotrauma 19, 2002. Presented at the N-INTS 2002 conference

2.  D. Gris, G.A. Dekaban, and L.C. Weaver. Beneficial effect of early anti-inflammatory strategy after spinal cord injury: comparison to the efficacy of methylprednisolone. Presented at the Ontario Neurotrauma Society,Toronto, 2003

3.  D. Gris, L.C. Weaver. Local and systemic inflammatory responses after spinal cord injury.Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 2006

4.  D. Gris, L.C. Weaver. Local and systemic inflammatory responses after spinal cord injury. Ohio State University, 2006

5.  D. Gris, L.C. Weaver. Local and systemic inflammatory responses after spinal cord injury. Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurobiology, 2006

6.  D. Gris, L.C. Weaver. Local and systemic inflammatory responses after spinal cord injury. University of North Carolina, Department of Neuroscience and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 2006

7.  D. Gris and J.P. Ting. Caterpillars in neuroinflammation. Centre for Neurosensory Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008

8.  D. Gris. Cell bar-coding in flow cytometry. Center for Neurosensory Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009

9.  D. Gris. Function of the innate and adaptive immune systems in neurodegenerative diseases. Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, 2010

10.  D. Gris. The role of Nrls in innate and adaptive immune responses. Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Université de Sherbrooke, 2010

11.  D. Gris. Role of Nlr proteins in multiple sclerosis. Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 2010

 

For full list of publications, article abstracts and links to full articles, please click here.

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