Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 CAN- CIHR-INMHA Brain Star Awards!

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) and the Canadian Institutes of Health’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA) are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Brain Star Awards.

The CIHR-INMHA Brain Star awards, administered for 2021 by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, are awarded to students and trainees who have published high impact discoveries in all fields and disciplines covered by CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction in the 2021 calendar year.

The top 3 Brain Star Award winners of the year have been invited to make a presentation at the CAN meeting in May.

Read about the Brain Star Award winners of 2021

Recording available: Science Policy Session with Senator Stan Kutcher – April 25, 2022

Co-hosted by the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

On Monday, April 25, the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience welcomed the Honourable Senator Stan Kutcher for a session on science policy and advice.

Key takeaways:

  • Scientists must engage in advocacy, it is an important part of their job
  • We need more scientists in Parliament.
  • In the absence of more scientists in Parliament, we need scientists and researchers to advocate on behalf of their communities, and highlight the important work they are doing.
  • We have to help politicians understand how science is part of everything we do, and how if we don’t invest in basic science, we don’t have the tools and products required to improve people’s health and lives.
  • Scientists and researchers need to be their own champions, and try to find other long-term science champions both in the House of Commons and in the Senate.
  • We need to highlight how government investments need to be in creating a “science enterprise”, so that young people will want to stay in Canada instead of going elsewhere, or being put off from doing scientific research all together.
  • It takes constant, repeated, and clear messaging. Fundamental science is a long-game, and communicating its impacts to politicians is a long-game.
  • Canada’s scientists need to trumpet their successes more. While mainstream media doesn’t have as many scientific journalists as it used to, science communicators need to step up to fill the void and to tell the story of science.

(more…)

CAN-ACN response to budget 2022 – “A Plan to Grow our Economy and Make Life More Affordable”

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience recognizes key investments that were made to support targeted research areas in budget 2022 but calls on the government to provide broader support to the Canadian scientific community through increased funding for fundamental research. We are specifically disappointed with the lack of increased support for non-targeted, hypothesis-driven & investigator-led research funded through Tri-Agency – Canadian Institutes of Health Research – CIHR, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council – NSERC, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council -SSHRC). (more…)

Boris Bernhardt wins the 2022 New Investigator Award from the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

Boris Bernhardt
Boris Bernhardt

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is extremely proud to present Dr. Boris Bernhardt, Assistant Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, with the 2022 CAN New Investigator Award. Dr. Boris Bernhardt is a Tier-2 Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroinformatics and leads the multimodal imaging and connectome analysis laboratory (http://mica-mni.github.io) at the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (BIC) of the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro).

Dr. Boris Bernhardt is recognized internationally for his research that seeks to better understand human brain organization, brain development, and neural mechanisms of human cognition across different spatial and temporal scales. His research integrates cutting edge in vivo neuroimaging, network science, histology, and transcriptomics approaches. He is one of the pioneers of an emerging system neuroscience field to study large-scale gradients – spatially organized patterns of brain microarchitecture, connectivity, and function– and to examine their role in human cognition. His research has contributed to the growing understanding of how multiscale network anomalies contribute to atypical brain function and cognitive difficulties in common conditions, notably in epilepsy and autism.

Read more here

Men and women process pain signals differently

Drs. Annemarie Dedek, Eve Tsai, Mike Hildebrand and colleagues have discovered that neurons in the spinal cord process pain signals differently in women compared to men. Image courtesy of Justin Tang.
Drs. Annemarie Dedek, Eve Tsai, Mike Hildebrand and colleagues have discovered that neurons in the spinal cord process pain signals differently in women compared to men. Image courtesy of Justin Tang.

A new study published in the journal BRAIN shows for the first time that neurons in the spinal cord process pain signals differently in women compared to men. The finding could lead to better and more personalized treatments for chronic pain, which are desperately needed, especially in light of the opioid epidemic.

Although it has long been known that women and men experience pain differently, most pain research uses male rodents. The new study is unique because it used female and male spinal cord tissue from both rats and humans (generously donated by deceased individuals and their families). (more…)