Sylvain Baillet, PhD

Contact Information

EmailSylvain.Baillet [at] (Sylvain Baillet)
Tel.: 514-398-5469
Website: Baillet lab
Recent Publications: PubMed, Google Scholar
Academic Affiliations: Neurology and Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science
Research Groups: Neuroimaging and NeuroinformaticsCognitive Neuroscience


Sylvain Baillet is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and the inaugural Director of the magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging core of the Neuro. He is also affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Computer Science at McGill University.

Sylvain Baillet graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay in Applied Physics (France) and obtained his Ph.D. summa cum laude in Physics from the University of Paris (Paris-XI), in 1998. Prof Baillet has an international career profile, having held positions in France, the USA and Canada. He was a Research Associate at the Signal and Image Processing Institute of the University of Southern California before joining the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France) as a tenured Principal Investigator in 2000. He became the head of the Brain Imaging group at the Cognitive Neuroscience & Brain Imaging CNRS Laboratory in 2005, at La Salpetriere University Hospital in Paris. In 2008, he took a position as Associate Professor of Neurology & Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin and became the founding Scientific Director of the MEG Program at Froedtert Hospital, in Milwaukee (USA). He joined the Montreal Neurological Institute in 2011 and founded the MNI’s MEG core program. Between 2013 and 2017, Dr. Baillet was the Director of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (BIC), the MNI’s multimodal core platform and research center entirely dedicated to brain imaging science. Under his leadership, the BIC went through outstanding growth, with the recruitment of 6 new faculty members, 9 highly-qualified support staff, and more than $6.2M received in infrastructure grants; in addition, BIC Principal Investigators obtained transformative grants e.g., a $17.8-M project to install the first ultra-high field human MRI scanner in Quebec.

Overall, Prof Baillet has produced 250 publications and concrete, practical solutions shared with the scientific community and transferred to the clinic and the biomedical industry. He also contributed 3 international patents. Dr. Baillet has published his research contributions in leading neuroscience, biomedical engineering, medical physics, computer science, and top-tier journals including PLoS Biology, PNAS, Nature Communications, Nature Neuroscience and Neuron. He has been invited to speak at 160 occasions (73 abroad), and co-organized 50 conferences and educational events worldwide. Prof Baillet trained 63 graduate students and 13 post-docs, who obtained permanent academic or industry positions in Europe, Asia and North America.

Dr. Baillet was recognised with Young-Investigator and Mid-Career Achievement Awards, as “a scientist who has shown leadership and made significant contributions to brain imaging.”

Current research:

Overall scientific output – Prof Baillet’s track record is in leading multidisciplinary projects in systems and clinical neuroscience. In particular, he contributed a wide spectrum of advances in brain imaging methods, with specific expertise in multidimensional biological time-series analyses and image processing, biophysical electromagnetics, computational neuroanatomy, and statistical methods. Dr. Baillet has been playing a pivotal role in the development of magnetoencephalography (MEG) as a time-resolved brain imaging modality for systems and clinical neuroscience research. He contributed authoritative reviews of the field, including a recent special focus for Nature Neuroscience, and highly-cited good-practice guidelines.

Promotion and Practice of Open Science – Dr. Baillet contributed major open-science resources, which he considers as vectors of research productivity and reproducibility. He led in 2014/15 a Quebec Bioimaging Network strategic initiative to create the Open MEG Archives (OMEGA): the first open-access repository of MEG data (>250 data entries and 510 international users). He also share his tools and methods via open-source software. His team hosts the software integration of Brainstorm, an international NIH project, which has grown a community of >16,500 registered users. Since 2011, 1,200 students and faculty members have attended our 32 training workshops worldwide, and 650 journal articles cite Brainstorm as the primary tool for data analysis.

Management of Large Research Operations – Dr. Baillet founded and led major research and clinical imaging platforms: the MEG program he created in the USA in 2008 was recognized by US health-insurance partners, and is now part of the routine pre-surgical workup of dozens of epilepsy and brain-tumor patients annually. The MEG core he founded at McGill in 2012 has become the second busiest scanner on campus, after 3T MRI. He has led the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, the largest of its kind in Canada in 2013-17. In that period, he was also the inaugural leader of the Neuroimaging & Neuroinformatics research group at The Neuro.

Industrial Transfers – Dr. Baillet has experience with the management of patented intellectual property and successful industrial transfers. For example, his patented MRI work for acute stroke evaluation was transferred to the biomedical industry, used in national clinical trials, obtained CE and FDA certifications, and is now marketed worldwide.

Selected publications:

1. Morillon B & Baillet S (2017) Motor Origin of Temporal Predictions in Auditory Attention, Proc Natl Acad Sci 114 (42):E8913-E8921

2. Albouy P, Weiss A, Baillet S* & Zatorre RJ* (2017) Selective Entrainment of Theta Oscillations in the Dorsal Stream Causally Enhances Auditory Working Memory Performance, Neuron, Apr 94(1):193–206

3. Baillet S (2017) MEG for Brain Electrophysiology & Imaging, Nature Neuroscience, 20(3): 327–339

4. Coffey EBJ, Herholz SC, Chepesiuka QP, Baillet S, Zatorre RJ (2016) 
Cortical Contributions to the Auditory Frequency-Following Response Revealed by MEG, Nature Communications, Mar, 7: 11070

5. Baillet S, Friston KJ & Oostenveld R (2011) Academic Software Applications for Electromagnetic Brain Mapping using MEG and EEG, Computational Intelligence & Neuroscience, 972050.

6. Auzias G, Colliot O, Glaunes J, Perrot M, Mangin JF, Trouve A & Baillet S. (2011), Diffeomorphic Brain Registration Under Exhaustive Sulcal Constraints, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 30, 1214-1227

7. C. Rosso, N. Hevia Montiel, S. Deltour, E. Bardinet, D. Dormont, S. Crozier, Baillet S & Y. Samson (2009), Prediction of Infarct Growth Based on Apparent Diffusion Coefficient: Penumbral Assessment without Intravenous Contrast Material, Radiology, 250(1):184–92.

8. Lefèvre, J. & Baillet, S. (2008), Optical Flow and Advection on 2-Riemannian Manifolds: a Common Framework, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, 30(6):1081–92.

9. A. Del Cul, Baillet S & S. Dehaene (2007), Brain Dynamics Underlying the Nonlinear Threshold for Access to Consciousness, PLoS Biology, 25:5(10):e260

10. Sergent C, Baillet S & Dehaene S (2005), Timing of the Brain Events Underlying Access to Consciousness during the Attentional Blink, Nature Neuroscience, 8(10):1391–1400.