Enthused by her bachelor’s degree in Physics, Dr. Desjardins obtained her PhD in biomedical engineering from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6) and École Polytechnique de Montréal, followed by a post-doctoral training at the University of California in San Diego. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Département de physique, de génie physique, et d’optique at Université Laval and a researcher at the Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval. Her research focuses on the imaging of vasculature and oxygenation.

A window on the brain

Our cells need oxygen to function. A change in tissue oxygenation levels can thus be a sign of various pathologies. However, to this day, few methods are available to directly measure oxygenation in biological tissues. Dr. Desjardins’ research takes advantage of a newly developed technique to measure oxygenation in mouse brain using two-photon microscopy. This method allows us to observe the development of physiological or pathological phenomena with time. She also develops biophysical models describing the links between blood flow, oxygenation, and metabolism.

In her lab, these methods are used to study the link between neuronal activity, oxygenation, and blood flow in the brain. This application is made possible by combining oxygenation measurement with light stimulation of neurons in the brains of genetically-modified mice. Another application is following the development of a tumor in a mouse cancer model. By observing the evolution of tumor blood vessels and their effect on oxygenation levels, this research will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of tumor development, with the hope of guiding future therapies.

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Active projects

  • Centre de recherche sur le cancer, Subvention, Institutionnel - BDR, BDR - Centres de recherche reconnus, from 1996-05-01 to 2023-04-30
  • Démarrage pour nouveau professeur - poste #64402, Subvention, Université Laval - démarrage nouveau chercheur, from 2013-11-25 to 2021-01-01
  • Développent de méthodes d'imagerie multimodale vasculaire et de l'oxygénation, Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2018-04-01 to 2023-03-31
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