Patricia Pelufo Silveira

Patricia Pelufo Silveira MD, MSc, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
  • Associate Director of McGill’s Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN)
  • Researcher and Lead for the Environmental Adversity, Neurodevelopment and Mental Health research group, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Scientific Director (Int), Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health

Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 6875 Boulevard LaSalle Montreal, Québec, CA H4H 1R3
Telephone: +1 514-761-6131 ext 2776  E-mail: patricia.silveira@

Area of Research

Dr Silveira’s research combines the Developmental Origins of Health & Disease (DOHaD) theory with the Life Course Theory (LCT); both are emerging fields of research that have significant implications for public health and illness prevention. Her research focuses on how perinatal and early-childhood environments can shape and modulate both health and disease across the lifespan, into old age. Her aim is to identify genetic/epigenetic markers that interact with environmental adversities in childhood, modifying behaviours (impulsivity, sensitivity to reward, food choices) that ultimately affect healthy growth and neurodevelopment and increasing an individual’s risk for developing chronic diseases and mental illnesses as they age.

Dr Silveira created a biologically informed methodology, expression-based Polygenic Risk Scores (ePRS). Her unique approach focuses on gene networks, rather than individual genes or single-genetic-variations, and enables the exploitation of underutilised genetic data collected by most studies exploring the impact of early life adversities. She has published seven ePRSs elucidating how metabolic mechanisms (serotonin, insulin, dopamine, leptin, glutamate, etc.) in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala influence the development of specific psychiatric traits. Underscoring the importance of this novel methodology, in the last year alone, Dr Silveira has received over 50 requests to develop ePRSs for other studies

Publications & Impact Profile

To learn more about Dr Silveira: