Rébecca Robillard , PhD

Dr. Rébecca Robillard directs clinical sleep research at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR), affiliated with the University of Ottawa and co-directs the Sleep Laboratory of the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, where she is also an Assistant Professor.

After completing her PhD in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Montreal, she obtained national awards to support her post-doctoral work in psychiatric sleep, chronobiology and neuroimaging research at the University of Sydney in Australia; the IMHR; and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

Dr. Robillard has received the New Investigator Award of the Australasian Sleep Association, the Young Investigator Inspiration Award of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, and the IMHR’s Emerging Research Innovators in Mental Health (e-RIHM) award.

Through more than 36 scientific publications, she has significantly contributed to the understanding of sleep disturbances in mental disorders. Currently, her research group comprising psychiatrists, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees focusses on the interactions between mental illness, the sleeping brain and the sleeping heart.

Through an innovative  translational research framework, Dr. Robillard is working in close collaboration with the Sleep Clinic at The Royal; notably to implement a large scale multidisciplinary clinical research platform linking sleep and biological rhythms to detailed clinical symptoms, neuroimaging, inflammatory markers, biomarkers of cardiovascular health, and specific genotypes at the intersection of sleep and mental disorders.

Dr. Robillard’s work also seeks to optimise sleep and chronobiological interventions targeting mental disorders, with particular attention to major depression. By supplementing standard clinical care with extended assessment and treatment options, her team hopes to improve quality of life, and potentially accelerate recovery in people with mental disorders and sleep problems.