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Siddiqui, Tabrez J.

Title & Affiliations: Associate Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology - Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Principal Investigator – PrairieNeuro Research Centre, Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine; Principal Investigator - Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; Principal Investigator - Program in Biomedical Engineering

Degrees: BSc, MSc, PhD

Publication IDs: Google scholar, ORCID

Key research interests:

Brief Bio

Dr. Tabrez Siddiqui trained as a biophysicist and biochemist during his graduate studies at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany. For postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia, he worked on mechanisms of neuronal synapse development. His postdoctoral work has contributed immensely to understanding how glutamatergic synapses form and function in the brain. In 2014, Dr. Siddiqui joined the University of Manitoba where he is appointed in the department of physiology and pathophysiology. The Siddiqui lab is located at the Klyesen Institute for Advanced Medicine, where he is a principal investigator in the Neuroscience Research Program. The Siddiqui lab focuses on the roles of synaptic adhesion and scaffolding molecules in the development, maintenance and plasticity of synapses and how these processes can be regulated in health and disease. Dr. Siddiqui has nurtured a multifaceted research program encompassing the molecular, systems, and behavioural branches of neuroscience. The Siddiqui lab has developed diverse approaches to address their questions; protein chemistry, glycobiology, cellular assays, molecular genetics, viral methods to manipulate neuronal circuits, slice electrophysiology, and animal behaviour.

Research Directions

Synapse development requires adhesion of appropriate axons and dendrites, accompanied by local recruitment of presynaptic vesicle release machinery in axons and apposing neurotransmitter receptor signal transduction machinery in dendrites.

These processes are coordinated by a class of trans-synaptic adhesion proteins known as synapse organizers.

Synapse organizing proteins coordinate the broad spectrum of processes constituting synapse development, including formation and maintenance of synapses, as well as mediating experience-dependent changes in synaptic properties, a phenomenon known as synaptic plasticity.

Numerous mutations or copy number variations in genes encoding synapse organizers disrupt synaptic function and increase the risk for neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

The goals of the Siddiqui research program are:

  1.  to determine the molecular mechanisms of synapse development and function in both the developing and mature brain
  2. to determine the mechanisms governing long lasting changes in synaptic properties (plasticity)
  3. to determine how synapses are specified and organized in the mammalian brain
  4.  to discover and test regulatory mechanisms governing synaptic function

The Siddiqui lab research program will generate fundamental knowledge of how neuronal circuits form and function and will open untapped lines of inquiry with strong potential to yield novel small molecule therapeutics targeting synapse organizers


Dr. Nirmala Padmanabhan, Research Associate

Dr. Shinichiro Oku, Research Associate

Mr. Mir Sohayeb Rabbi, Research Technician

Mr. Mohammed Abrar Basha, Graduate Student

Ms. Rebecca Twilley, Graduate Student

Ms. Dinu Rajapakse, Undergraduate Student


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