Bernard Le Foll, MD, PHD, MCFP
| Professor, Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Science
Head, Translational Addiction Research Laboratory, Neuroscience Program
Head, Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic, Addictions Program
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
General Area of Research: Behavioral Pharmacology & Drug Addiction, Clinical Pharmacology;
Neuropharmacology; Psychopharmacology; Pharmacogenetics
Dr. Bernard Le Foll is a clinician-scientist specialized in drug addiction. He is Head of the Translational Addiction Research Laboratory and Head of the Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is a Professor at University of Toronto in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine, Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Institute of Medical Sciences.
His clinical activity is centered on alcohol and tobacco dependence. He received specialized training in drug addiction and behavioral and cognitive therapy at Paris University in France. He has written treatment guidelines and has been coordinator of clinical trials. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology at INSERM and has performed a Fogarty Visiting Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
The goal of the research is to improve treatment of drug addiction. For this purpose, various approaches are used such as preclinical models, genetic and brain imaging approaches. The goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies in clinical populations.
He has received scientific prizes and awards from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, the French Academy of Medicine, the American College for Neuropsychopharmacology, the College on Problems on Drug Dependence, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, NARSAD, Pfizer, OPGRC, the Ontario Lung Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Translational Addiction Research Laboratory
The main goal of the Translational Addiction Research Laboratory is to improve the treatment and understanding of drug addiction. The research aims at linking discovery in basic science to clinical applications. The research is organized over three main areas of research:
- Role of dopamine receptors in additions: We have identified a role of the dopamine D3 receptor on nicotine-seeking behaviors. We are exploring the role of D3 (and other DA subtypes) in various addictions and collaborate with Dr Boileau to use PET imaging to explore dopamine transmission and D3 in human subjects.
- Role of cannabinoid system in addictions: We have identified that cannabinoid drugs modulate nicotine-seeking behaviors. We are exploring novel cannabinoid ligands in preclinical models of addictions and the impact of cannabinoid drugs in humans.
- Role of insular cortex in addiction: We have identified that insular cortex controls nicotine-seeking and we are exploring the role of insular cortex in other addictive behaviors (alcohol/gambling). The role of insular cortex is being explored in humans using rTMS and brain imaging approaches
Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic
As part of the Addiction Medicine Service of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic (ARTC) brings together an inter-professional team of physicians, nurses and specialized therapists to improve access to pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Led by Dr. Bernard Le Foll, the clinic also includes research and evaluation components to find new evidence-based treatment strategies that will inform delivery of care at CAMH, throughout the province and beyond. ARTC is currently using approved pharmacotherapies (disulfiram, naltrexone and acamprosate) and second lines therapies (baclofen and topiramate).
Below is a selection of some of the research projects that are ongoing:
- Pharmacotherapies for impaired drivers: We are exploring the utility of naltrexone in subjects convicted of impaired driving with alcohol dependence.
- Smoking cessation during alcohol treatment: in collaboration with Dr Zawertailo and Dr Selby, we are exploring the utility of varenicline for smoking cessation in subjects with alcohol dependence.
- Improving pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence: In collaboration with Dr Daskalakis, we explore the impact of drugs on brain function.
Contact Address: Translational Addiction Research Laboratory
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
33 Russell Street
Phone: 416-535-8501 X34772