Core Facility and Technology Development Program: Competition II

Following the 2020 mid-term core facility/technology platform renewal process, HBHL launched its second Core Facility and Technology Development Program in April 2021. Fifteen applications were received, of which three were selected for funding based on the following process:

  1. External evaluations (four non-McGill reviewers per application)
  2. Sex- and gender-based analysis plus (SGBA+) review: two non-McGill SGBA+ experts
  3. NeuroHub engagement: Reviewed by NeuroHub leadership
  4. User analysis: Core facility/technology platform user lists cross-checked with HBHL’s database of funded PIs
  5. Strategic review and recommendation for funding: Conducted by a special committee made up of Strategic Steering Committee and Research Management Committee members who were not in conflict of interest
  6. Final Funding Decisions: The HBHL Board of Directors reviewed the recommendations from the special committee and made final funding decisions.

Read more about HBHL's general funding allocation process for all funded programs.

Funded Core Facilities and Technology Platforms

McGill-Mouse-Miniscope Project (M3)

Two researchers using analysis tools on computers elevated on cabinets.

Principal Investigator: Keith Murai

  • Dr. Philippe Huot, Montreal Neurological Institute
  • Dr. Mark Brandon, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Dr. Sylvain Williams, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Dr. Jean-Baptiste Poline, Montreal Neurological Institute

Funding received: $1,500,000 over three years

The McGill-Mouse-Miniscope (M3) animal modelling platform, which also encompasses the McGill Comparative Medicine & Animal Resources Centre (CMARC), aims to build new expertise, technologies, and core services to help bridge studies between mouse and humans. To do this, M3 develops, tests and implements novel approaches for understanding and decoding brain and circuit function in both mice and marmosets. HBHL funding will allow M3 team members to work together to create a fully integrated mouse-to-marmoset service platform that will enable sharing of data, infrastructure, hardware, software, and technical know-how across McGill sites. At the same time, the platform will strengthen McGill's marmoset resources and allow access to new techniques and data sets for McGill, Canadian and international researchers collaboratively engaged in neurophysiology, neuroimaging, behavioral analysis and disease modelling.

Douglas Research Centre - Cerebral Imaging Centre

Exterior of CIC building, which has a intricate metail facade.

Principal Investigator: Mallar Chakravarty

  • Dominique Walker, Douglas Research Centre
  • Patricia Pelufo Silviera, Douglas Research Centre
  • Cecilia Flores, Douglas Research Centre
  • Lalit Srivastava, Douglas Research Centre
  • Jai Shah, Douglas Research Centre
  • Jean-Baptiste Poline, McGill University
  • Lena Palaniyappan, Western University
  • Romina Mizrahi, Douglas Research Centre

Funding received: $700,000 over three years

The Cerebral Imaging Centre (CIC), located at the Douglas Research Centre, is a unique facility housing a 3T Siemens Prisma Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner and 7T Bruker Biospec MRI scanner under one roof. As one of the leading psychiatric research centres in Canada, the CIC is uniquely positioned to perform cutting edge research in model systems, in clinical populations, and to examine variation that relate brain and behaviour across the lifespan. HBHL funding will help to augment the CIC's current offerings by allowing the Centre to prioritize four specific goals:

  1. Improve the platform to deal with the specific challenges of scanning early in the lifespan
  2. Expand multi-modal integration related to animal imaging
  3. Enhance data sharing through NeuroHub
  4. Build partnerships with industry and other academic institutions

Brain Health Outcomes Platform+ (BHOP+)

Principal Investigator: Nancy Mayo

  • Lesley Fellows, McGill University
  • Simon Ducharme, McGill University
  • Alexander Thiel, McGill University
  • Sara Ahmed, McGill University
  • Laurence Kirmayer, McGill University
  • Madeleine Sharp, McGill University

Funding received: $300,000 over three years

Fully characterizing a brain disorder or mental illness requires the measurement of how the disorder affects a person’s life and how their social and cultural backgrounds influence both the brain and the effects of the brain on the person. It is uncommon for these outcomes and influences to be fully integrated in neuroscience research, however, open science platforms now make this integration possible. The Brain Health Outcomes Platform+ (BHOP+) was developed to ensure that the voice of the patient living with a neurological or mental health disorder is heard when considering how the brain works.

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