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Gabrielle Boulianne

Title: Senior Scientist, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
Designations: PhD
Alternate Contact Name: Vidya Rambali
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 x302968
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics


Dr. Boulianne completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and post-doctoral studies at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California in San Francisco.  She joined SickKids in 1996 and is currently a Senior Scientist in the Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at SickKids and a Professor in the Dept. Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Boulianne has held numerous leadership roles within the Research Institute including Chief of Research Acting (2020-2021), Associate Chief, Research Career Development (2016-2020) and Director of the Research Training Center at SickKids (2009-2016). 

Her research program takes advantage of powerful genetic approaches available in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to uncover the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and function of the nervous system and to establish models of human disease.


Gabrielle and her colleagues are interested in understanding how cell fate is determined during neuronal development in Drosophila. In recent years they have focused on a group of genes, called "neurogenic genes", which have been shown to interact in a common pathway to determine the fate of virtually every cell type in many complex organisms. A second area of their research is to understand the molecular basis of neurotransmitter release and how this is regulated in development and disease.  Finally, they have developed Drosophila models of human aging and disease including neurodegenerative such as ALS and Alzheimer’s.


  • 1982: B.Sc., Biology and Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • 1988: PhD, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON


  • 2015: Presidents Award of Excellence, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • 2005–2019: Canada Research Chair in Mol. Dev. Neurobiology (Tier I)
  • 2001: TLL Temple Foundation Discovery Award , Alzheimer's Association USA
  • 2000: Young Scientist Award , Genetics Society of Canada
  • 2000–2005: Investigator Award, CIHR
  • 1997–1997: Ruth Salta Young Investigator Award , American Health Assistance Foundation
  • 1988–1990: Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, National Cancer Institute of Canada
  • 1982–1988: Graduate Studentship Award, National Cancer Institute of Canada


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