Lab members

Current members

Gabriel Bossé, PhD- Principal Investigator

Gabriel is first generation university graduate from a small farming town in Bas Saint-Laurent.  He did his graduate studies at the Université Laval with Martin Simard where he studied the regulation of the microRNA pathways with the nematode C. elegans. After completing his PhD, he was interested in developing novel behaviour base assays to study neuronal function and disease modelling. He chose to join the Peterson lab with the hope of combining such assays with unbiased screening approaches such as small molecule screening. Given the ongoing crisis with opioid abuse, he set out to develop the first self-administration model using zebrafish as a model. This unique assay allows him to study the impact of different small molecules on opioid self-administration and to investigate important biological pathways regulating this behaviour.

I recently moved back to Québec city to open my own research group to study neurobiological mechanisms involved in addiction and in regulating behaviour. 

Margaux Caperaa, PhD candidate

Co-direction with Paul De Koninck 

I started my studies in Neuroscience in France being mainly interested in behavioural studies and the influence of gut microbiota on them.

Then, after going back and forth in the corridors of research labs, I came across beautiful images of fluorescent neurons. So I started thinking that I too wanted to see this with my own eyes and that it would be really interesting to study how their activities and connections are able to produce behavioural responses.

I am now a PhD student at the CERVO research center. The objective of my thesis project is to understand how the neural circuits that govern social behaviour are established during the development of the larval zebrafish. I also aim to investigate the impact of a modulation of the exposome (gut microbiota, drug exposure) on the connection between these networks.

Léa Gagné, Master student


I am currently in my third and last year of my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Laval University.

Since I started my studies, I have mainly worked with cell culture. Other than that, I am  interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction and the option of treatment that could come from the research made around this subject. I am also interested in the use of psychedelics drug as a way of treatment for neurological and mood disorders.

Now being an intern at Dr. Bossé’s laboratory, I have the chance to study behavior and brain imaging in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) to better understand the mechanisms involved in addiction.

Lise Hermant, PhD student


I have always been interested in the mechanisms underlying substance use disorder (SUD) and the consequences of this disorder. Addiction is a very difficult disease as it affects everyone in a different way depending on many parameters (substance.s used, doses, age, sex… ). After working on several projects aiming to understand addiction, I wondered, how could we model at best this diversity that we find in humans ?

Thanks to its quick development and the simplicity of drug-treating it, Zebrafish is a key model in the study of SUD as it permits to mimic plenty of different situations and will surely allow us to gain a lot of knowledge regarding neurological pathways involved in SUD and cognitive impacts of this disorder.


Therefore, after finishing my Master’s degree in Neurosciences in Strasbourg, France, I decided to join the lab of Dr Gabriel Bossé. I am now a PhD student at the CERVO research centre and am working on the effects of a prenatal exposure to different drugs (alone or combined) on the nervous system going from cellular to behavioural aspects in the young and adult zebrafish. I truly hope that our research will help us to better understand the neurobiology of SUD and thus, help addicted patients (young or old!) to improve their ways of living.

** Position currently open for a Master in Bioinformatic/Neuroscience**

Current intern



Morgane Ruffel (Programme Neurasmus)


Zoé Mercier (Université Laval-Sciences Biomédicales)




Master 1 internship- Juliette Boudet-Duc (Université de Rouen)


Undergrad internship- Estelle Dezelus (Université Laval- Med school student)

Research internship- Léa Voyer (Cégep de Garneau-Baccalauréat international)

Nesrine Imloul- (Université Laval-Bioinformatics)