A Word from our Director
Julien Doyon, Ph. D.
Under the directorship of Dr. Yves Joanette (Director, Research Center at the Geriatric Institute of the University of Montreal) and Dr. Julien Doyon (Scientific Director of the “Regroupement Neuroimagerie/Québec” [RNQ] and the “Unité de Neuroimagerie Fonctionnelle” [UNF]), members of the UNF now have access to a state-of-the-art imaging center entirely dedicated to research. The main piece of equipment consist of a Siemens high-field 3.0 T TRIO Magnetic Resonance imaging system, the first of its category in the province of Quebec. In addition to MRI, investigators also have access to other imaging technologies including an optical imaging system for humans and a MR-compatible high-density ERP system, which will serve to carry out combined EEG/hdERP/fMRI studies. This new equipment has been purchased through the financial contribution of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (40%), the Quebec Government (40%) and other partners like Siemens, SUN Micro Systems and the “Fondation de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal”.
RNQ investigators have a unique expertise in aging, human development and animal research. By merging data derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), optical imaging (OI) and high-density event-related potentials (hdERP), as well as by using new mathematical approaches to model functional, effective and causal connectivity, the RNQ investigators pursue a series of innovative interdisciplinary and inter-institutional projects aimed at making fundamental breakthroughs regarding normal and pathological aspects of the human brain functions during aging and ontogenesis. To this end, the group plans to conduct multi-modal imaging studies in both humans of different age groups (e.g., babies, children, adults, the elderly) and large mammals (e.g., primates and cats) that present technical challenges to investigators in this field. In doing so, investigators from the RNQ will further consolidate Canada’s leadership in the area of neurobiological research in cognitive, motor and sensory functions. It will also make it possible to undertake the work necessary to shed light on altered physiological mechanisms following injury to the central nervous system and on the means to foster the participatory and social reinsertion of individuals with such injuries. Moreover, RNQ researchers will contribute to the development of a unique data analysis platform that will make it possible to merge multi-modal images (e.g., MRI, fMRI, OI and hdERP), hence unveiling the functional dynamics across the various regions of the brain, and generating innovative results with practical applications for the diagnosis and rehabilitation of neurological conditions.
The RNQ is composed of more than 60 investigators from different areas in Neurosciences principally from the Université de Montréal network of campus-based groups and hospital-based centers of research recognized by the FRSQ (Québec Health Research Fund). This group of scholars represent nearly 25% of all Canadian research in Neurosciences, for which Canada has an enviable reputation.