NeuroTeams are small networks of researchers focused on specific research areas within the Brain and Mental Health research strategy. Teams are grounded in discovery-based research, operate collaboratively with basic, clinical and population health research members, and take an interdisciplinary approach to brain and mental health research questions. Teams are the vehicles for discoveries, aligned with the team-based funding models of external funding bodies. In addition to setting up researchers for team funding success, the NeuroTeams structure will aid researchers in doing top-quality science, by aligning individuals with shared interests into small, interdisciplinary group.
NeuroTeams in Brain & Behaviour:
1) Mental Health Disorders
- Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. Twenty per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The Mental Health Disorders team will be centred in The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education. Mental health research includes a multidisciplinary approach to the early identification, treatment and prevention of mental disorders including depression, psychosis, schizophrenia and other conditions.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Anne Duffy, Dr. Andrew Bulloch
- One in every 100 Canadians has active epilepsy. Next to migraine headaches, epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder. The Epilepsy team will have strong links to the Alberta Children’s Research Institute (ACHRI), building on their strengths in epilepsy and seizure disorders to develop a translational continuum from childhood through to adulthood; from bench to bedside to population health studies.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Nathalie Jette, Dr. G. Campbell Teskey
- Stress is an important trigger for mental health disorders and strongly correlated with the development of many physical conditions. Understanding the neural basis of stress is the focus of the team.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Jaideep Bains, Dr. Stephanie Borgland
NeuroTeams in Neural Injury & Repair:
1) Multiple Sclerosis
- MS research is a long-standing focus area at the University of Calgary where basic and clinical researchers support a cyclical process of discovery and translation, contributing to new treatments for patients. Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. An estimated 100,000 Canadians have multiple sclerosis; 15,000 of those individuals are from Alberta. The high prevalence of MS in Alberta reinforces the continued importance of this team.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. V. Wee Yong, Dr. Luanne Metz
2) Spinal Cord/Nerve Injury & Pain
- Spinal cord and nerve injuries are often a consequence of accident or illness and therefore difficult to predict or prevent. The focus of the Spinal Cord/Nerve Injury & Pain team will be the mechanisms of injury and rehabilitation of the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. The triggers and neural pathways of pain are also a growing area within this team.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Patrick Whelan, Dr. Chester Ho
3) Traumatic Brain Injury
- In Canada, 300,000 concussions occur in competitive sports and recreational activities each year. This team will work closely with ACHRI, the Faculty of Kinesiology and the Department of Psychology to address sports-related concussion and other forms of mild traumatic brain injury as the leaders of an integrated, university-wide program.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Keith Yeates, Dr. Chantel Debert
NeuroTeams in Healthy Brain Aging:
1) Dementia & Cognitive Disorders
- As Canada's population ages, Alzheimer's disease and dementia are a growing concern. By 2031, greater than one in five Albertans will be age 65 and older. This team will conduct research into the varied causes of dementia and other cognitive impairments, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Early identification and intervention are a focus of this team’s work. The Dementia & Cognitive Disorders team is also a key collaborator in the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Eric Smith, Dr. Lorraine Venturato
- One in four Canadians will have a stroke in their lifetime, with the risk increasing with age. The Calgary Stroke Program provides a strong clinical foundation for this integrated team, which also works closely with the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. The Stroke team is developing an international expertise in acute stroke treatment.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Andrew Demchuk, Dr. Roger Thompson
3) Movement Disorders
- Nearly 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson's disease, with approximately 5,500 new cases diagnosed each year in Canada. The Movement Disorders team will take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the mechanisms and origins of the cognitive deficits observed in Parkinson’s disease and other movement-related disorders of the aging population.
- NeuroTeam Leaders: Dr. Oury Monchi, Dr. Zelma Kiss