The CRN was officially established as a University Centre in 1986 under the leadership of Dr. Albert Aguayo (photo). Originally, the focus of research was to understand neural regeneration, with the aim of reducing the harmful effects of trauma to the brain and spinal cord. This focus stemmed from now-famous studies by Dr. Aguayo and his colleagues, Drs. Peter Richardson, Sam David, Garth Bray and Michael Rasminsky. Their work showed that CNS neurons had the capacity to regenerate axons over long distances. This discovery overturned dogma that had existed for decades, and launched a world-wide effort to identify factors that would stimulate CNS regeneration.
With construction of new CRN laboratories in 1993 and continued expansion since, the group has broadened its focus to include research into the development of neural tissues, synapse formation and plasticity, the assembly and function of neural circuits, and behavior, while maintaining our strengths in regeneration and repair (click here for more details). This work has led to major advances in basic and medical neurosciences, and has contributed to a better understanding of some brain diseases. See our latest successes here. The CRN has been and remains home to some of Canada’s most distinguished neuroscientists, and we number more than 60 trainees and staff at any time, including postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, undergraduates, and technicians.
A World of Opportunities
The CRN offers a program to train pre-doctoral students for an MSc or PhD degree, as well as post-doctoral PhD or MD graduates for careers in biomedical research. Please see our Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies section for more information.