North America: Mississauga

Created On Monday, 19 December 2011 08:01 By Administrator
Rosewood Bistro & Wine Bar
1900 Dundas Street West,
Mississauga, ON L5K 1P9
Second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm

In the similar vein to other Cafe Scientifique forums, we will be inviting local researchers to share their passion with the general public in an informal setting.  There will be no need for any scientific background to attend these events except a desire to learn and understand current issues from a scientific perspective.

The venue is conducive to small - medium sized gatherings with an emphasis on interaction between the featured speaker(s) and the audience without defined boundaries or electronic aids.  We have negotiated a special deal for our monthly event with Rosewood Bistro and Wine Bar in the Sherwood Forest Village on Dundas, just West of Mississauga Road.  

To start, we will be featuring faculty from University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus.   We hope to engage researchers from other institutions in Mississauga.  Length of the meeting will be limited to 2 hours, primarily on the SECOND TUESDAY of the month in the evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.  The restaurant kitchen closes at 10:00pm so you are welcome to hang around after the meeting.

If you have any recommendations on appropriate speakers or topics, you can suggest them in a meetup or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Check out for more information on Canadian Cafes and  

Kevin Saldanha
  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website Mississauga Cafe Scientifique



Dr. Robert Gerlai

Professor, University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Area of Research 
Behavioural genetics and neuroscience, animal behaviour, rodents and fish [more]


Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 7:00 PM

Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and fetal alcohol syndrome:

How could a small fish help us?

Many of us assume that alcohol is not really a drug. It is legal to purchase, it is legal to consume. Yet, alcohol abuse and alcohol related diseases represent represent a huge health care problem. In fact the cost of alcohol related diseases to the society is more than that of all cancers and cardiovascular diseases COMBINED!

Is it really a disease? Many of us would think it is not. After all one can just decide not to drink and then the person would be "cured". By now, however, we know that abuse of alcohol induces a large number of complex changes in the brain and these changes alter the way people respond to this drug and lead to alcohol dependence and subsequent abuse of the substance.

It is indeed a disease. And it is a hard one to treat because we do not know enough about how alcohol interacts with our brain and how it influences its functioning. This is because alcohol is a "dirty" drug, from a pharmacology viewpoint. That is, it affects a lot of molecular mechanisms and in a rather complicated (for example dose dependent, and exposure regimen type dependent) manner. It is this complexity that hindered our advances towards the development of effective treatment strategies.

And this is where zebrafish may come in. This fish has several advantages over humans or other laboratory animals. It allows precise laboratory control in the analysis of the effects of alcohol, and the mechanisms of these effects.

The Gerlai lab has pinoreered the use of this fish in alcohol research. Although we have only made the first few interesting discoveries and are far from being able to suggest therapies, the future appears bright. In this talk/discussion session, we will present some of these interesting findings, talk about how one (or whether one) can extrapolate from fish to human, and we will also discuss general current issues regarding alcoholism and alcohol abuse.


Last Updated On Tuesday, 20 December 2011 13:19 By Kevin Saldanha