Charles Bourque - Biography



Positions at McGill University:

James McGill Chair   (Neurobiology of hydration)


Professor, Department of Neurology-Neurosurgery


Associate Member, Department  of Physiology


Positions at the Research Institute,

McGill University Health Center:


Senior Scientist, Centre for Research in Neuroscience

Degrees:             B.Sc., Ph.D.


Publications:      Pubmed


Dr. Bourque obtained a Certificate in Biophysics from the Marine Biological Laboratory in 1984 (Woods Hole, USA) and a Ph.D. in Physiology from McGill University in 1985 (Montreal). Following post-doctoral training in Pharmacology at the School of Pharmacy of University College London (UK) he was recruited to McGill University’s Centre for Research in Neuroscience. Dr Bourque has published >140 scientific papers, co-edited 1 book, and delivered >150 invited presentations at National and International venues.

The Bourque laboratory is investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the brain monitors body hydration, fluid electrolytes and core temperature. The team is particularly interested in defining how networks of thermosensitive and salt-sensitive neurons communicate with neurons in the central clock and other brain cells to preserve homeostasis by controlling the perception of thirst and secretion of the water conserving hormone vasopressin.

Life-threatening defects in body fluid balance are featured in many acute clinical conditions, including drug overdose, heart failure,  sepsis and traumatic brain injury. Moreover changes in fluid balance likely link dietary salt intake to many forms of hypertension. The Bourque team is investigating how changes in neuronal properties and inter-neuronal communication contribute to such conditions.

Honors awarded to Dr. Bourque have included the Medical Research Council of Canada’s Scholarship, Scientist and Senior Scientist awards, as well as a Senior Investigator award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has received the Joseph Erlanger Distinguished Lecturer Award from the American Physiological Society, the Jacques Benoit Lectureship from the Société de Neuroendocrinologie (France), the Stevenson Lectureship from Western University (Ontario) and a Distinguished Lectureship from the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Bourque was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2016 and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2019. He was President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (2020-2021).



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