Jean-Sébastien Joyal - CHU Sainte-Justine
  • Le 06 December 2022
    Amphi Denis Escande
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  • 09h00

Neuronal energy metabolism instigates vascular growth

Neuronal energy metabolism instigates vascular growth

Pr Jean-Sébastien Joyal, MD, PhD
Département de pédiatrie CHU Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal
Professeur adjoint


Neuronal energy requirements are matched by adequate vascular supply to maintain function. In 2008, we showed that succinate, a Krebs cycle metabolite released by the hypoxic retina, binds to GPR91 in ganglion cell neurons to promote angiogenesis (Nature Med, 2008). Inspired by this initial work, neurovascular energy crosstalk is now our central research focus. We recently discovered that photoreceptors use fatty acids as fuel to produce energy, confronting the dogma that neurons rely exclusively on glucose. Moreover, we showed that energy failure could drive vessel growth in addition to hypoxia, likely playing an important role in the onset of AMD (Nature Med, 2016; first co-corresponding author; Cover article, IF: 87); findings also resulted in a patent. I was invited to review the role of energy metabolism in the retina (Progress in Retinal Eye Research, 2018, IF: 21), establishing our credentials as leaders in the field. Our current work explores the role of autophagy as an alternative energy source in the retina (Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, 2022, Cover article, IF 9.5). We are also collecting samples from pediatric critical care patients with mitochondrial diseases (J of Ped Intensive Care, 2020), bridging my clinical practice and research interest.


Dr Joyal is a pediatric critical care physician at Sainte-Justine Hospital and associate professor of Pediatrics and Ophthalmology at University of Montreal. Dr Joyal obtained his MD and PhD from McGill University. He then completed a cardiac critical care fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital (London) and a postdoctoral fellowship in vascular biology at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include neurovascular guidance and the role of neuronal energy metabolism in angiogenesis, using the eye as a model. He leads an FRQS-funded single-cell transcriptomics platform.
Mis à jour le 02 June 2023.