• portrait of Renee Douville
  • Associate professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    University of Manitoba
    Lab 4050, 351 Taché Avenue
    St. Boniface Hospital Research
    Winnipeg, MB, R2H 2A6

    Phone: 204-235-3942

Cross appointments

Does not hold any cross-appointments.

Research achievements

Research summary

With growing evidence of how human endogenous retrovirus-K (ERVK / HERV-K) proteins deregulate cellular processes and drive pathologic neuronal injury, our research substantially shifts current paradigms on neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and dementia. The molecular changes induced by ERVK have important implications for defining the pathophysiology of virus-mediated motor neuron loss in ALS and warrant further investigation.

The broad long-term objective of this research direction is to lay the biomedical foundation for the use of antiviral therapeutics in ALS, dementia, and other ERVK-associated conditions. Our research translated into innovative therapeutics will give hope to individuals in clear and urgent need of effective treatment for incurable neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Research themes

    • antivirals
    • behavioural neuroscience
    • cellular and molecular neurobiology
    • computational biology
    • neurodegeneration
    • neuroimmunology
    • neurovirology
  • Keywords

    • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
    • dementia
    • endogenous retrovirus-K (ERVK)
    • neurodegeneration
    • neurovirology
  • Research affiliations


Dr. Renée N Douville is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at UM and a principal investigator in the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. She was formerly a full professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Winnipeg (2011-2023).

Dr. Douville is best known for her expertise on human endogenous retroviruses and their potential roles in neurological disease. During her first postdoctoral fellowship, she published a seminal report on endogenous retrovirus-K (ERVK) activity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Over the last few years, her work has been largely focused on the discovery of a new viral protein in ERVK called conotoxin-like protein (CTXLP) found to be strongly expressed in ALS.

Recently, the Douville lab has also shown the potential benefit of therapeutically targeting the ERVK integrase enzyme as a strategy to treat motor neuron disease. It is our continued mission to investigate whether antiviral drugs targeting ERVK could be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and dementia. 


Postdoctoral Fellowship - Lady Davis Institute / McGill University (2010-2011)

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Johns Hopkins University (2008-2009)

Leadership and Management in the Life Sciences Graduate Certificate - Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University (2008-2009)

PhD in Immunology, University of Manitoba (2002-2007) 

Bachelor of Science in Microbiology (Honours), University of Manitoba (1996-2002)


Martha Donovan Women’s Leadership Development Award (2024)

Chancellor’s Research Chair in Neuroprogressive Disease, University of Winnipeg (2016-2019)

Postdoctoral Fellowship, McGill Neuroinflammation CIHR Strategic Training Program (2011)

Scholarship, Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University (2009)

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (2009)

Dr. Renée N. Douville In the news

Contact us

Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Max Rady College of Medicine
A205 Chown Bldg., 753 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T6 Canada