Pierre Lachapelle, PhD, Director, Visual Electrophysiology

Visual Physiology Laboratory and Clinic

Hospital information

Academic appointments 

Professor of Ophthalmology

Associate Member, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery

Faculty of Medicine at McGill University



PhD in biology and neurophysiology, Université de Montréal


Research interests 

Our research team is working on approaches to studying the functional integrity of the human visual system, from the retina to the visual cortex. Our laboratory also characterizes animal models of such human retinal diseases as retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. We aim to better explain the pathogenesis of these retinopathies and ultimately to explore new therapeutic strategies.

One project involves the use of newly developed mathematical tools to extract clinical information from residual electroretinograms (ERGs). Using residual ERGs to model the progression of severe and debilitating retinopathies could make it possible to construct a disease/symptoms classification system. This would lead to a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis for the affected patients. Such a system is also likely to have significant impact on patient management, now that clinical trials exploring therapeutic avenues for the eradication of such retinopathies are underway.


Retinopathy of prematurity, ophthalmology, electroretinography, electrophysiology, development, retinopathy

Selected publications 
Garon ML, Rufiange M, Hamilton R, McCulloch DL, Lachapelle P. Asymetrical growth of the photopic hill during the light adaptation effect. Doc Ophthalmol 121(3):177-87, 2010.

Dorfman AL, Cuencan, Pinilla, I, Chemtob, S, Lachapelle P. Immunohistochemical evidence of synaptic retraction, cytoarchitectural remodeling and cell death in the inner retina of the rat model of OIR. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 52:1693-1708, 2011.

Racine J, Joly S, Lachapelle P. Longitudinal assessment of retinal structure and function reveals a rod-cone degeneration in a guinea pig model initially presented as night blind. Doc Ophthalmol 123(1):1-19, 2011.

Peachey NS, Ray TA, Florijn R, Rowe LB, Sjoerdsma T, Contreras-Alcantara S, Baba K, Tosini G, Pozdeyev N, Iuvone PM, Bojang P Jr, Pearring JN, Simonsz HJ, van Genderen M, Birch DG, Traboulsi EI, Dorfman A, Lopez I, Ren H, Goldberg AF, Nishina PM, Lachapelle P, McCall MA, Koenekoop RK, Bergen AA, Kamermans M, Gregg RG. GPR179 is required for depolarizing bipolar cell function and is mutated in autosomal recessive complete congenital stationary night blindness. Am J Hum Genet 10;90(2):331-9, 2012 Feb. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.12.006.