CREATE grant helps build on leadership in medical imaging


NSERC program aims to provide professional skills training to researchers

Two projects led by McGill professors are among the 17 that will receive a total of $28 million over six years to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements, thanks to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) CREATE program. The two projects are the CREATE program in green chemistry led by Prof. Chao-Jun Li, and the CREATE Program in Medical Image Analysis led by Prof. Kaleem Siddiqi in collaboration with other colleagues at McGill including Dr. Bruce Pike, Director of the Brain Imaging Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, The Neuro, as well as at L’École de technologie supérieure and the University of Sherbrooke.

Launched in May 2008, the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program is designed to add professional skills training to the qualifications and technical skills of Canadian researchers to better prepare them for careers in industry, government or academia.

The projects are led by university researchers who see the value in helping students acquire personal and professional skills that are not part of their everyday academic training. Students have the opportunity to enhance their ability to work productively in a research environment that has become increasingly multidisciplinary. Important areas of training include leadership training, entrepreneurship, communication and project management.

“NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program is providing a valuable experience for students and postdoctoral fellows to learn practical skills and engage in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and, in some cases, international research,” said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. “Exposing our trainees to an innovative, collaborative training environment will enable them to succeed in careers that contribute to the world’s top research.”

The CREATE Program in Medical Image Analysis is targeted towards industries which employ image analysis technologies for healthcare. Trainees in this program will receive advanced training in medical image acquisition and analysis, signal processing, computer vision and biomedical imaging. Upon completion, these individuals will have acquired expertise in image processing, medical imaging, mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, machine learning and software engineering. In addition to the industrial and academic career opportunities in medical imaging research, graduates of the program will be highly qualified to work in the wider domains of computer vision, imaging and signal processing.

In addition to the possibility of growth and development within industry, this expertise can lead to innovations in other areas of medical imaging and biotechnology. These are among the fastest growing segments of the Canadian economy.

About The Neuro
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — the Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre.  Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. For more information, visit

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Anita Kar
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