About us

The Gan-Or lab for neurogenetics is focused on identifying genetic causes and modifiers of neurological disorders. Using advanced genetic methods such as whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, targeted next generation sequencing, genome-wide association studies, RNA sequencing and more, we aim to understand the genetic basis of diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), restless legs syndrome (RLS), dementia with Lewy-bodies (DLB), multiple system atrophy (MSA), hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and others. Identifying genetic factors involved in these diseases would provide potential targets for drug development. For example, the PD-related GBA gene, which was characterized in PD by Dr. Gan-Or among others, is currently the target of a phase-2 clinical trial. Another major focus of the lab, is using genetics and machine learning approaches to better design and analyze clinical trials.

Research highlights

  • First studies on genetics of RBD identify a distinct genetic pattern.

  • GWAS and targeted NGS in the world's largest genetic cohort of RBD.

  • Discovery of genetic variants potentially associated with conversion from RBD to different synucleinopathies.

  • GBA is probably the most important gene in RBD and PD.

  • Discovery and characterization of a novel HSP-causing gene - CAPN1.

  • CanHSP - a Canadian consortium for genetic studies of HSP and database of patients towards future clinical trials.

  • Participation in the world's largest GWASs of PD and RLS.

  • Using genetics to properly design clinical trials.

Recent findings

To apply for graduate or post-doctoral studies, send your CV to:


A new, French-Canadian founder GBA mutation which causes synucleinopathies and Gaucher disease. Read more.

MAPT variants and haplotypes are associated with Parkinson's disease but not with REM sleep behavior disorder.  Read more.

LRRK2 haplotype is protective in REM sleep behavior disorder.  Read more.

Variants in TOX3 are associated with both Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome, but with opposite effects on risk. Read more.

    1033 Pine Avenue West

    Ludmer Pavilion, room 312

    Montreal, QC, H3A 1A1

    Lab: +1-514-398-5845

    e-mail: ziv.gan-or@mcgill.ca