Neuro Spotlight



Brenda Milner turns 100!


Dr. Brenda Milner, world-renowned scientist and pioneer of neuropsychology turned 100 years old on July 15, 2018! She celebrated by watching the World Cup final and having dinner with close friends and colleagues.


Dr. Milner has been blazing trails for more than 65 years. She changed the course of brain science by identifying the specific brain region that is crucial to memory formation and by identifying multiple memory systems. In pioneering the field of cognitive neuroscience, she has had a major influence on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world.


Watch Brenda's Neuro XXceptional video!       


Watch Brenda's animation by the National Film Board!


Brenda Milner Centennial Symposium (September 6-7)


Neuro Noteworthy



A Healing Garden


The new Healing Garden in The Neuro's North Wing welcomes patients, staff, students, and visitors seeking a tranquil space. This airy zone of sunlight and greenery was carefully designed to be a calm environment for pause, rest and reflection. The elements of nature – shrubs, trees, flowers and water – were chosen for their restorative power.


Learn more!




The Neuro's New Furry Friends!


Paws to Love, the MUHC’s dog therapy program, is now at The Neuro. The program brings volunteers and their pets to help soothe some of the stresses and challenges faced by patients and clinical care staff. The dogs know exactly how to connect with each person they visit.


Watch a video of the dogs in action!





#IChooseTheNeuro Wraps Up


The final profile in the #IChooseTheNeuro video series, highlighting the newest faculty members at The Neuro, features Dr. Stuart Trenholm. His lab studies how neural connectivity enables us to see objects around us. His work could discover new ways to improve the vision of people who have lost their sight.


Watch Stuart's video to learn more!


These new Neuro researchers, the top minds in neuroscience from all corners of the globe, are making critical contributions to our understanding of the nervous system. Watch out for profiles of new faculty members on the #IChooseTheNeuro page!


View all of the videos in the #IChooseTheNeuro series!





Federal Health Minister visits The Neuro


The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s Minister of Health, met with two key groups at The Neuro. The multi-disciplinary Action for Positive Brain Health Now team studying aging, cardiovascular and brain health challenges in people living with HIV, as well as the team at the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research, which integrates research with drug discovery and the training of autism specialists.




Canada, Israel and Italy join forces at The Neuro


The First Joint McGill-Hebrew University of Jerusalem-EBRI Symposium brought together leading experts from McGill, The Neuro, the Hebrew University at Jerusalem/Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, and the European Brain Research Institute Rita Levi-Montalcini (EBRI).


Learn more!



Donald Baxter Lecture & Neurology Day


Neurology residents came together for the annual lecture that honours Dr. Donald Baxter, Director Emeritus of The Neuro. The lecture titled ‘The management of acute ischemic stroke: from therapeutic nihilism to Endovascular Therapy’ was delivered by Dr. Frank Silver, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.





Dr. Andre Olivier Retires


Dr. Andre Olivier, former Neurosurgeon-in-chief, has retired after a long and illustrious career. As an internationally-renowned leader in epilepsy surgery, he has made outstanding contributions to neurosurgery and epilepsy treatment.


Dr. Olivier performed innumerable successful operations in this field and was sought out by patients from around the globe. He served as a dedicated and staunch leader of McGill’s neurosurgical team for over two decades. Dr. Olivier developed pioneering surgical technology, including the OBT stereotactic frame, which greatly advanced neurosurgery standards and improved patient quality of life. In recent years, he wrote a book titled ‘Techniques in Epilepsy Surgery, the MNI Approach’, an invaluable resource in epilepsy treatment.


Congratulations to Dr. Olivier on an exceptional career that has exemplified devotion to his patients and a pursuit of the highest of neurosurgical standards.


Neuro News



Unique brain “fingerprint” can predict drug effectiveness


Researchers at The Neuro and the Ludmer Centre have developed a personalized Therapeutic Intervention Fingerprint (pTIF), which can predict the effectiveness of targeting specific biological factors for controlling the evolution of the patient’s disease.


Learn more!





Pathway of Alzheimer’s degeneration discovered


Neuro scientists have used a unique approach to track brain degeneration in Alzheimer's disease. The study shows PET and sMRI scans could potentially be used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease before cognitive symptoms appear, giving doctors a better window of time to work on prevention.


Learn more!





New insight into how autism might develop in the human brain  


Autism spectrum disorders are a set of hundreds of very rare diseases, caused by mutations in many different genes. By taking skin cells from patients and reprogramming those cells to become brain cells through genetic engineering, the team at The Neuro has revealed how a brain cell with the patient's own specific mutation develops improperly.     


Learn more!





Genes associated with infantile forms of schizophrenia identified


Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric illness affecting one per cent of the population worldwide. Current treatments for schizophrenia are insufficient in addressing all of its symptoms. The identification of genes responsible for this condition means researchers can focus on developing drug therapies to give patients better outcomes.


Learn more!




Patient Stories



Living with Parkinson’s disease


“I thought I was too young to have Parkinson’s disease (PD). We knew about Michael J. Fox but thought he was an exception.” To 44-year-old Linda Bérard, PD was a disease that struck old people, not physically active people like her in the prime of life. It was the tremors in her right leg that initially caught her attention. PD, she was to learn, struck younger people, too.


Read Linda’s story.


Do you have a patient story to share? Please share it with us. We appreciate hearing from you!


Open Science News



The Road to Open Science


Dr. Guy Rouleau and Dr. Alan Evans were part of a panel of McGill experts discussing the implications and challenges of open science: the no-barrier approach to scientific research that allows data and materials to move freely between research teams and disciplines, across the world. The round-table discussion was part of the International Economic Forum of the Americas conference.  


Learn more!




$ 10 M Gift for Mental Health


“There isn’t a family that hasn’t been touched by this issue,” said Irving Ludmer. A gift of $10 million from the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation in support of the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health will establish a Global Brain Consortium that will use principles and practices of open science developed at The Neuro to accelerate ground-breaking solutions to mental health and neurodegenerative diseases.


Learn more!


Community Minded



Golf for a Great Cause!


The Topor Family look forward to seeing you on September 16, 2018 at the Hillside Golf and Country Club for another fun-filled tournament that will raise funds to help our MS Program provide stellar front-line care to our patients, as well as invest in research projects with the potential to revolutionize treatment options. Over the past four years, Grip 'N' Rip for MS has raised over $200,000, and this year promises to be another great success!


Be a part of the action and contact or call 514-779-1687 today!




Tickets for a Brilliant Night Now Available


A Brilliant Night, a fundraising Cocktail Dînatoire has raised almost $ 3 million for brain cancer treatment and research at The Neuro in its first three years! Tickets for the fourth edition of A Brilliant Night are now available. Join us on October 18, 2018, at the Salle des pas perdus at Windsor Station for a night you won’t forget.


Learn more!

Get tickets!





Dr. Brenda Milner, in addition to her 80 awards and over 25 honorary degrees, is the winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mensa Foundation. The award is given biennially in recognition of a lifetime of contributions to the field of intelligence and related subjects.



Alain Bouchard has been named Officer of the Order of Canada. Mr. Bouchard and his wife, Sandra Chartrand, donated $4-million to The Neuro in 2016 to establish The Sandra and Alain Bouchard Intellectual Disability Research Program.




Ryan Sanford, PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded the Relève étoile Jacques-Genest by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé for his outstanding research investigating whether HIV-related brain atrophy also progresses in patients who are receiving treatment.



Dr. Daniel Gendron was awarded the Clinical Teaching Award by McGill's neurology residents.






Dr. Lucy Vieira was awarded The Neurology Recognition Award, Award of Distinction for Outstanding Contributions to McGill Neurology, by department faculty and residents.




Dr. Stefan Nicolau was awarded the Adele D'Amato Scholarship for Neurology residents, voted on by fellow residents.



Vanier Scholars. The Vanier Scholarship program recognizes graduate students who demonstrate excellent leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, or health-related fields. Three students at The Neuro are part of the 2018 round of awards:

  • Sarah Burnett-Burns (supervised by Gustavo Turecki and Giamal Luheshi at The Douglas)
  • Guido Guberman (supervised by Alain Ptito)
  • Joanna “Kasia” Szyszkowicz (supervised by Gustavo Turecki)


Global News

What's Your Guess 




Q: Can you name all The Neuro’s previous directors?


A: Do you give up? Learn the answer here!



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