Associate Professor  |  Independent Scientist

Toshifumi Tomoda

Neurosciences and Clinical Translation - Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience


Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
250 College St, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5T 1R8
Research Interests
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry, Proteostasis, Neuronal Trafficking, Organelle Stress
Appointment Status


  • MD
  • PhD

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Neuroscience

Initially trained in medicine and molecular neurobiology, I am currently focused on research studying translational aspects and pathophysiological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. My primary effort has been focused on studies on molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal trafficking during nervous system development. By using both vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms, I studied fundamental mechanisms of trafficking of a wide range of neuronal cargoes and the effects of their dysfunctions on neuronal development. Over the last decade, I have also studied the role of protein homeostasis (proteostasis) in nervous system functions, reporting a new role of neuronal autophagy in neuroplasticity and inhibitory neurotransmission, and additional proteostasis mechanisms (e.g. ER stress) in selective vulnerability of neural circuit functions pertinent to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders.

The overarching aim of our research is to understand neural bases of complex behaviours by decoding the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms, and to contribute to a better understanding of psychopathological outcomes such as mood, anxiety, psychotic, and substance use disorders. To this end, we employ multidisciplinary approaches combining methods from the fields of molecular genetics, cell biology, behavioural neuroscience, and functional imaging to establish causal links between genes, neural circuit functions, and behaviours, and to understand key mechanisms for psychopathological vulnerability and resilience.


Associate Professor, Status-only


Supported by Research Grant from Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Recent Publications

Tomoda T*, Sumitomo A, Newton D, Sibille E* (2022). Molecular origin of somatostatin-positive neuron vulnerability. Molecular Psychiatry 27, 2304-2314.

Jaaro-Peled H, Kumar S, …., Saudou F, Dzirasa K*, Sawa A*, Tomoda T* (2021). Regulation of sensorimotor gating via Disc1/Huntingtin-mediated Bdnf transport in the cortico-striatal circuit. Molecular Psychiatry 27, 1805-1815.

Sumitomo A, Tomoda T* (2021). Autophagy in neuronal physiology and disease. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 60, 133-140.

Tomoda T*, Yang K, Sawa A* (2020). Neuronal autophagy in synaptic functions and psychiatric disorders. Biological Psychiatry 87, 787-796.

(* Corresponding authors)