The Computational Brain Anatomy (CoBrA) Laboratory is located at the Cerebral Imaging Centre at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (Verdun, QC, Canada; affiliated with McGill University). Our laboratory is interested the anatomy of the brain and how it matures through adolescence, how it stays healthy through the normal ageing process, and how alterations in brain anatomy are related to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. To do so, we use and develop sophisticated computational neuroanatomy techniques that are able to automatically parse the geometric complexity of brain anatomy. Our group is a multi-disciplinary group of neuroscientists, computer scientists, engineers, and physicists all working towards a common goal of improving our understanding of the structure-function relationships of the brain through health and illness. We publicly disseminate much of the algorithmic and atlas work that we do in an effort to promote open and reproducible science.

Camp CoBrA 2017!

The CoBrA Lab returned to Camp Kanawana for our third annual lab retreat. We spent the three days lakeside reviewing our accomplishments of the past year and brainstorming future directions for our laboratory. It was not all work and no play. Despite the weather, we had a wonderful time hiking, kayaking and canoeing, and ended each day huddling by the campfire while stuffing our faces with s’mores and playing campfire games.

groupphoto

Congratulations to Anthony on winning the Best Poster Presentation at the Undergrad Expo

The CoBrA lab would like to congratulate fellow member Anthony Chen on winning the best poster presentation at the Douglas Institute Research Center’s Undergraduate Research Expo. Anthony presented his work titled, “Learning the whole from understanding its parts: In Vivo, Multimodal Parcellation of the Thalamus”. His project explores a de novo, multimodal, data-driven method of detecting patterns of microstructural covariance in the human thalamus. Anthony tied for first place with fellow undergraudate student Tara Delorme. Congratulations to the winners, and to all students who presented!

Congratulations to Elisa and Raihaan on each receiving the Shuk-Tak Liang Fellowship!

Ph.D. students Elisa Guma and Raihaan Patel were each awarded a Faculty of Medicine Internal Studentship Award from McGill University. They both received the Shuk-Tak Liang Fellowship, in which is offered to highly qualified graduate students.

With the support of this award, Raihaan will be investigating normative patterns of microstructure and function of the human hippocampus using multi modal MRI data. Elisa, who will retain her FRQS award (and as a result had to decline this award), is investigating how the timing of maternal immune activation (a known risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia) affects neuroanatomical and behavioural outcomes in the offspring.

Congratulations to Saashi on receiving a HBHL Fellowship!

M.Sc. student Saashi Bedford was awarded a Training Award from McGill University’s Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives program, which aims to train top students at the graduate and post-doctoral level from across disciplines and around the world. With the support of this award, Saashi will address the heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorder by performing a large-scale examination of alterations in cortical thickness, with a specific focus on sex differences, using a large, multi-site structural magnetic resonance imaging dataset and state-of-the-art computational and statistical analysis techniques to account for inter-site differences in image acquisition and testing methods. This work will be an important first step in the development of biomarkers for ASD, and will further our understanding of heterogeneity and individual variability in neurodevelopmental disorders, which can in turn improve early detection and allow for individualized and targeted interventions.

We will be attending the OHBM 2017 Annual Conference!

The CoBrA Lab will be at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping’s annual meeting in Vancouver from June 25-29. The Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) is the primary international organization dedicated to using neuroimaging to discover the organization of the human brain, and their annual meeting brings together researchers in the field of neuroimaging to share their visions, knowledge, and experience through exceptional scientific sessions, poster presentations and networking forums that allows attendees to remain at the cutting edge of neuroimaging research.

Matt Park, Nikhil Bhagwat, and Raihaan Patel will each be presenting posters. Search for their abstracts here. For more information about OHBM and the meeting, check out their website.