HomeContactBoard Member LoginCareers

IMHR Researchers

Zul Merali (PhD)

Zul Merali (PhD) is President/CEO and Scientific Director of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research. He is also full professor in the faculties of Medicine (Departments of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Psychiatry) and Social Sciences (Psychology) at the University of Ottawa, as well as research professor at the Institute of Neuroscience at Carleton University. Dr. Merali’s research endeavours, supported by grants from CIHR and NSERC, strive to characterize the body’s response to stressful and appetitive events, and the relationship of stressors (including early-life trauma) to mood and anxiety disorders. Another focus of his research is also to determine how pharmacological interventions (pharmaceutical and nutriceutical) may attenuate stress-induced pathophysiology. In this vein, he and his colleagues have been attempting to isolate anti-anxiety compounds from a variety of rare plants. Dr. Merali’s research investigations extend from the behavioural to the cellular and molecular levels, and involve experimental animals as well as human subjects. Dr. Merali has published over a hundred scientific papers, more than 20 book chapters and over 100 conference presentations.

Email: zmerali@rohcg.on.ca

Selected Publications:

  • Merali, Z., Bédard, T., Andrews, N. Davis, B, McKnight, A.T. Isabel Gonzalez, M. Pritchard, M., Kent, P & Anisman, H. (2006) Bombesin receptors as novel anti-anxiety therapeutic target; non-peptide antagonist PD 176252 reduces anxiety and 5-HT release through BB1 receptor. Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 10387-10396.
  • Merali, Z., Du, L., Hrdina, P., Palkovits, M., Faludi, G., Poulter, M.O., & Anisman, H. (2004).  Dysregulation in the suicide brain: mRNA expression of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone Receptors and GABAA Receptor subunits in Frontal Cortical Brain Region. Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 1478-85.
  • Merali Z., Kent, P., Du, L., Hrdina, P., Palkovits, M., Faludi, G., Poulter, MO., Bédard, T., & Anisman, H. (2006). Corticotropin releasing hormone, arginine vasopressin, gastrin releasing peptide and neuromedin B alterations in stress-relevant brain regions of suicides and control subjects. Biological Psychiatry, 59, 594-602
  • Merali, Z., Khan, S., Michaud, D.S., Shippy, S.A. & Animsan, H. (2004). Does amygdaloid corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mediate anxiety-like behaviors? Dissociation of anxiogenic effects and CRH release.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 229–39.
  • Merali, Z., Levac, C., & Anisman H. (2003). Validation of a simple, ethologically relevant paradigm for assessing anxiety in mice. Biological Psychiatry, 54, 552-65
Other Publications