Veronique Belzil, PhD, MS

Associate Professor
Vanderbilt ALS Research Center, Neuromuscular Division

Dr. Belzil is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she also serves as the Director of the Vanderbilt ALS Research Center. She obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology from McGill University in 2003 and her master's degree in psychology from Walden University in 2007. Continuing her academic journey, she pursued her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Montreal under the mentorship of Dr. Guy A. Rouleau, a renowned figure in human medical genetics and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research, graduating in 2012.

Following the completion of her doctoral studies, Dr. Belzil embarked on a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, under the guidance of Dr. Leonard Petrucelli, a leading expert in neurodegeneration. During this time, she initiated and spearheaded a translational research program aimed at developing patient-centered approaches for treating ALS and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRDs), notably frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Research Information

Dr. Belzil's laboratory is dedicated to utilizing human biospecimens to identify disease-specific variants, including genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional changes. Through meticulous investigation, her team aims to unravel the intricate etiology, heterogeneous clinical manifestations, and multifaceted environmental interactions observed in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. By elucidating the underlying biological mechanisms and circuitry, they strive to uncover both static and dynamic biomarkers, as well as potential therapeutic targets.

Her research endeavors extend to the development of clinically relevant biomarker panels to facilitate early diagnosis, prognostication, patient stratification, and assessment of target engagement in clinical trials. Leveraging human-derived cell lines, her team also focuses on disease modeling and the innovation of novel therapeutic interventions. Emphasizing teamwork and multidisciplinary collaborations, Dr. Belzil's translational research program aims to expedite the translation of scientific discoveries from bench to bedside, ultimately advancing the field of neurodegeneration and improving patient outcomes.