Alan Evans wins prestigious RSC McLaughlin Medal

Published: 14 September 2021

Internationally renowned neuroscientist earned career award for sustained scientific contributions to knowledge of the brain

On September 14, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced the names of fifteen Canadian scientists, scholars, and researchers honoured with RSC awards and medals for outstanding achievements in their fields. Professor Alan Evans is the 2021 recipient of the prestigious RSC McLaughlin Medal for important research of sustained excellence in medical science. Evans will formally receive his medal at the RSC's 2021 Celebration of Excellence and Engagement, presented by McGill on November 19.

“I want to express my sincere congratulations to Professor Evans for being awarded the McLaughlin Medal by the Royal Society of Canada,” said Martha Crago, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation. “This well-deserved and impressive medal recognizes Professor Evans’ innovative and important advances he contributed to the field of neuroscience throughout his career.”

Evans is a James McGill Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, and Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and a researcher in the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (BIC) at The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital). He holds the Victor Dahdaleh Chair in Neurosciences and is the Scientific Director of two initiatives that aim to advance innovative research in neuroinformatics: the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP), and McGill’s Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative. He is also the Co-Director of the Helmholtz International BigBrain Analytics & Learning Laboratory (HIBALL) and the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health.

"This award means a great deal to me since it recognizes career achievement rather than a specific breakthrough,” said Evans. “It tells me that, as a trained physicist who built a career in neuroscience, I didn't make a crazy decision 40-odd years ago. I am forever grateful that I was brought to The Neuro by Bill Feindel, to an environment that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration at the interface between basic and clinical neuroscience. I have worked, and continue to work, with some amazing people in a fascinating field."

The father of modern brain mapping

The McLaughlin Medal recognizes sustained excellence and achievement in medical science making Dr. Evans is the ideal candidate for this prize, thanks to his continuous and substantial contributions to the science of brain mapping. Indeed, he is considered the ‘father’ of the modern brain mapping field, as he has created, led, and shaped modern neuroimaging over the last thirty years. Evans has helped to define the massive impact of brain mapping on clinical and basic neuroscience and pioneered the use of advanced mathematical and computational techniques to study the brain’s structure and function using neuroimaging, particularly in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders.

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