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Symposium of neuroscience groups

Following the release of the roundtable report, NeuroScience Canada and its partners – the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN), the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation (CNSF), the Canadian Brain and Nerve Health Coalition (CBANHC), and the Barbara Turnbull Foundation – organized a national neuroscience summit on December 12, 2007, at the MaRS Centre in Toronto. The meeting was divided into three parts:  1. Following opening remarks from NeuroScience Canada (Chair, Michael J. L. Kirby and Inez Jabalpurwala), an overview of the PPF report findings and recommendations was presented for discussion and additional feedback/comments.  2. A draft document (distributed in advance) outlining the proposed mission, goals, actions, funding, etc. of the coalition was discussed. With agreement to move forward, the different models for the structure and leadership of the coalition were discussed. 3. Finally, astronaut Dr. Dave Williams (a supporter of the coalition) gave a special presentation on the space-related aspects of neuroscience research. This meeting was a major step forward, indicating that there is a willingness to work as a coalition, with a common goal.

Roundtable sessions

The roundtable sessions took place at the following dates and locations:
1) March 22, 2007 (Ottawa)
2) May 10, 2007 (Calgary)
3) May 11, 2007 (Vancouver)
4) May 31, 2007 (Toronto)

Please click here to learn more.

Annual General Meeting and Dinner 

NeuroScience Canada held its second Annual General Meeting, reception and dinner on May 23, 2007, at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto. We chose this date to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)–Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), and with the first Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN).  This was an excellent opportunity to reach out to neuroscience stakeholders, from researchers to disease-specific voluntary health organizations to interested members of the public. The meeting brought together about 100 prominent leaders from the business, science and philanthropic communities.  

During the meeting, representatives of NeuroScience Canada’s Board and its committees provided highlights of 2006, and a preview of the activities already underway in 2007.  Representatives of the first three Brain Repair Program teams presented reports of their progress after two years of funding, and answered questions from the audience.

The first recipient of the Dr. Hubert van Tol Travel Fellowship was also announced: Long-Jun Wu, PhD. The fellowship will allow PhD students and postdoctoral fellows performing research as part of a Brain Repair Program team to attend a major international conference/symposium or training course outside of Canada. Dr. Wu will be attending a conference entitled Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System in Cold Spring Harbor, USA,  between July 24 and August 13. Dr. Monica Seger-van Tol presented Mr. Long-Jun Wu with his award at a special ceremony.

At the dinner that followed our Annual General Meeting, NeuroScience Canada recognized the T. Robert Beamish Family (WB Family Foundation), whose generous gift of $1.5-million enabled us to launch the second Brain Repair Program competition.

The evening ended with a special presentation by Dr. Steven E. Hyman, Provost of Harvard University and Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States. Dr. Hyman is a distinguished scholar and a prominent speaker and panelist.  In his presentation, Dr Hyman very effectively conveyed that neurology and psychiatry have, for much of the past century, been separated by an artificial barrier created by the divergence of their philosophical approaches and research and treatment methods, but that scientific advances in recent decades have shown that this division is arbitrary and counterproductive. He reinforced NeuroScience Canada’s message that an interdisciplinary approach will greatly advance our understanding of brain diseases and behavior.

AstraZeneca Canada and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP graciously provided sponsorship funds to offset some of the costs of this event.

March 12th, 2007

Presentation open to the public, free and bilingual at the Montreal Planetarium.

"Functioning with a Floating Brain" by Dr. Luchino Cohen, Program Scientist, Space Life Sciences, Canadian Space Agency.

How does an astronaut know which way is "up"?

Join the Canadian Space Agency's Luchino Cohen for the answer as he gives a fascinating glimpse into how the human brain adapts to the weightless conditions of space. Dr. Cohen will give an overview of the Canadian Space Agency, followed by a discussion of past and present research in space neurobiology and psychology, including:

  • the Neurolab space mission
  • the influence of microgravity on the central nervous system and the inner ear
  • neurological adaptations in space
  • the role of the central nervous system in hand-eye coordination

Dr. Cohen will also discuss the psychological aspects of space travel, as well as the benefits of space research for the Canadian population.

The event is hosted by NeuroScience Canada in collaboration with the Montreal Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience as part of Brain Awareness Week. Brain Awareness Week is an annual public information campaign created in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to advance public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain Awareness Week will take place the week of March 12th-18th, 2007.

December 1st, 2006

Dr. Pierre Drapeau, Professor and Chairman of Pathology and Cell Biology and the Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience at Université de Montréal, was named the 2006 recipient of the Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Research at an award ceremony on December 1st. This award, in support of Canadian research on spinal cord injury, is funded by NeuroScience Canada, in partnership with the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research and the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The award recipient is selected from among the CIHR-funded investigators for that year, judged to be doing the most promising and exciting research in this area. NeuroScience Canada and the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research each provide $25,000 for a total of $50,000. This amount is added to the $300,000 operating grant that the CIHR is providing to the researcher over three years.