Toshi Tomoda, MD., Ph.D.

Dr. Toshi Tomoda, Independent Scientist in CAMH and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, leads the research group of the NDA Program focusing on brain homeostasis regulation in health and brain disorders with affect and cognitive disturbances.

Research Focus

Dr. Tomoda’s primary research question is how affective and cognitive processes are regulated to shape our mind and behaviour in health and brain disorders.

He particularly focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms for the maintenance of functional homeostasis of cortical circuits underlying normal neurotransmission and neuroplasticity. He studies how disrupted homeostasis of cortical circuits (through, for example, attenuated autophagy, elevated ER stress, disrupted proteostasis, neuroinflammatory changes) may manifest as maladaptive circuit changes, such as excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, leading to affect and cognitive disturbances commonly observed across neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions.

His lab uses cell type-specific circuit manipulation coupled with functional analysis tools in rodent models, and human biopsied samples for correlative studies.

Meet the team


Sumitomo A, Zhou R, Prevot T, Sibille E, Tomoda T. BS3 Chemical Crosslinking Assay: Evaluating the Effect of Chronic Stress on Cell Surface GABAA Receptor Presentation in the Rodent Brain. J Vis Exp. 2023 May 26;(195). doi: 10.3791/65063. PMID: 37306428.

Tomoda T, Sumitomo A, Newton D, Sibille E. Molecular origin of somatostatin-positive neuron vulnerability. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 (27, 2304-2314). doi: 10.1101/2021.02.16.431515.

Jaaro-Peled H, Kumar S, Hughes D, Sumitomo A, Kim SH, Zoubovsky S, Tharakan R, Hirota-Tsuyada Y, Zala D, Bruyere J, Katz BM, Huang B, Flores R, Narayan S, Hou Z, Economides AN, Hikida T, Wetsel WC, Deisseroth K, Mori S, Brandon NJ, Tanaka M, Ishizuka K, Houslay MD, Saudou F, Kafui D, Sawa A, Tomoda T. Regulation of sensorimotor gating via Disc1/Huntingtin-mediated Bdnf transport in the cortico-striatal circuit. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 (27, 1805-1815). doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01389-3.

Shukla R, Newton DF, Sumitomo A, Zare H, Mccullumsmith R, Lewis DA, Tomoda T, Sibille E. Molecular characterization of depression trait and state. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 22; doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01347-z. PMID:34686766

Sumitomo A, Tomoda T. Autophagy in neuronal physiology and disease. Curr Opin Pharmacology. 2021 Oct;60:133-140. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2021.07.013.  PMID:34416525

Tomoda T, Sumitomo A, Shukla R, Hirota-Tsuyada Y, Miyachi H, Oh H, French L, Sibille E. BDNF controls GABAAR trafficking and related cognitive processes via autophagic regulation of p62. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Jan; 47(2):553-563. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01116-0. PMID:34341497

Prevot TD, Sumitomo A, Tomoda T, Knutson DE, Li G, Mondal P, Banasr M, Cook JM, Sibille E. Reversal of Age-Related Neuronal Atrophy by α5-GABAA Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulation. Cereb Cortex. 2021 Jan 5;31(2):1395-1408. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa310. PMID:33068001

Tomoda T, Yang K, Sawa A.Neuronal Autophagy in Synaptic Functions and Psychiatric Disorders. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 May 1;87(9):787-796. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.07.018. Epub 2019 Jul 29. Review.PMID:31542152

Sumitomo A, Horike K, Hirai K, Butcher N, Boot E, Sakurai T, Nucifora FC Jr, Bassett AS, Sawa A, Tomoda T. A mouse model of 22q11.2 deletions: Molecular and behavioral signatures of Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.Sci Adv. 2018 Aug 15;4(8):eaar6637. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6637. eCollection 2018 Aug. PMID:30116778

Sumitomo A, Yukitake H, Hirai K, Horike K, Ueta K, Chung Y, Warabi E, Yanagawa T, Kitaoka S, Furuyashiki T, Narumiya S, Hirano T, Niwa M, Sibille E, Hikida T, Sakurai T, Ishizuka K, Sawa A, Tomoda T. Ulk2 controls cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance via autophagic regulation of p62 and GABAA receptor trafficking in pyramidal neurons. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Sep 15;27(18):3165-3176. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy219. PMID:29893844

Sumitomo A, Saka A, Ueta K, Horike K, Hirai K, Gamo NJ, Hikida T, Nakayama KI, Sawa A, Sakurai T, Tomoda T. Methylphenidate and Guanfacine Ameliorate ADHD-Like Phenotypes in Fez1-Deficient Mice. Mol Neuropsychiatry. 2018 May;3(4):223-233. doi: 10.1159/000488081. Epub 2018 Apr 26. PMID:29888233

Sumitomo A, Ueta K, Mauchi S, Hirai K, Horike K, Hikida T, Sakurai T, Sawa A, Tomoda T. Ulk1 protects against ethanol-induced neuronal stress and cognition-related behavioral deficits. Neurosci Res. 2017 Apr; 117:54-61. doi:10.1016/j.neures.2016.12.004. Epub 2016 Dec 23.PMID:28017600

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