Named Lectures


Albert Aguayo Lecture

This annual lecture honours Dr. Albert Aguayo, founder and former Director of the Centre for the Research in Neuroscience at McGill University. Dr. Aguayo currently serves on advisory boards of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (USA), the IBRO committee for the Rita Levi-Montalcini Fellowships for African Young Women Neuroscientists, the Pew Charitable Trusts (USA), the External Advisory Board of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston (SA), and the Executive Committee of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (USA). He is also the Director of the Canada-IBRO International School of Neuroscience and a member of the Brain@McGill International Collaboration Program. Dr. Aguayo recently received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Cordoba in Argentina and as well as receiving a "Corresponding Membership" in the Cordoba Academy of Medical Sciences.

Brenda Milner Lecture & Neuropsychology Day

The Brenda Milner Lecture has been held since 1977 to honour the achievements of Dr. Milner, an eminent cognitive neuroscientist and pioneer of the discipline of neuropsychology. 

Denis Melancon Lecture & Neuroradiology Conference

This annual lecture and conference honors the legacy of Dr. Denis Melançon (1934-2016).  Dr. Melançon’s career at The Neuro, where he was Director of the Department of Radiology from 1995 to 1999, spanned more than 40 years. His outstanding achievements as a neuroradiologist are part of the history of radiology in Quebec and in Canada. He helped to pioneer CT and MR scanning. He gathered and analyzed data from many hundreds of brain scans to improve diagnostic accuracy. Scores of medical residents and fellows used the knowledge he gave them to make careers around the world. For the general public, he organized a major historical exhibition devoted to the history of X-Rays that was shown at the McCord Museum and at Ottawa’s Science and Technology Museum. He was the first president of FRER now called FARQ, the Association des radiologistes du Québec and served as president of the Canadian Association of Neuroradiology. He founded and maintained a quarterly magazine, Neuroimage.

The Neuro began its Denis Melançon Lecture series in 2008 to honor him in addition to bestowing him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his numerous other distinctions was the Prix Albert-Jutras, a lifetime achievement award bestowed by La Société canadienne-française de radiologie, where he served as president from 1990 to 1992.

Donald Baxter Lecture & Neurology Day

This annual lecture honour Dr. Donald Baxter (1926 – 2012).  Donald Baxter graduated with a medical degree from Queen’s University in 1951. Following post-graduate training at the Kingston General Hospital (Internal Medicine), the Montreal Neurological Institute (Neuroanatomy), and the Boston City Hospital (Neuropathology, Neurology), Dr. Baxter joined the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1962, he moved to Temple University, Philadelphia. In 1963, Dr. Baxter was recruited to the Montreal General Hospital as Director of the Division of Neurology, which he successfully developed and  expanded over the next 15 years. In 1979, he became Chairman of the McGill Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Neurologist-in-Chief at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. He was Director of  the MNI from 1984-1992, and Interim Director from 2000-2002. Dr. Baxter was a role model, mentor and loyal friend to junior faculty and colleagues, an inspiring teacher to neurology trainees and students, and a respected,  caring physician to patients. Dr. Baxter is recognized for his contributions to The Neuro, McGill University and Canadian neurology by the Order of Canada, the annual Baxter Lecture of the Department of Neurology and neurosurgery, MNI Lifetime Achievement Award, and honorary membership in the Canadian Medical Association.

Dorothy J Killam Lecture

In 2004, the MNI inaugurated the Dorothy J. Killam Lecture as an annual lecture to recognize the achievements of women in academia and science. Prominent women who have delivered the Dorothy J. Killam Lecture are:

Nancy Kanwisher (2015)
Nora Volkow (2014) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Lily Yeh Jan (2012) University of California
Marianne Bronner-Fraser Filbin (2010) California Institute of Technology,Pasadena, CA
Marie Filbin (2007) Department of Biological Science, Hunter College, CUNY, New York
Linda Buck (2006)Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
Naomi Halas (2006) Rice University
Heather Munroe-Blum (2004) Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University

Francis McNaughton Lecture

Dr. Francis McNaughton was a teacher and clinical neurologist. The McNaughton Lecture has been held since 1984 to honour his work.  Speakers are distinguished scientists or clinical neurologists with a particular interest in neuromuscular disorders, headache or epilepsy.

George Karpati Lecture

This lecture honours Dr. George Karpati (1934-2009), who was a Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill and held the Isaac Walton Killam Chair in Neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. He was a distinguished clinician scientist and the Coordinator of the Neuromuscular Group at the MNI for many years. Karpati was recognized internationally as one of the leading experts on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. He made seminal contributions in the area of muscular dystrophy. His greatest achievements were in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a lethal genetic disorder due to a deficiency of the protein dystrophin. He was the first to show the localization of dystrophin to the muscle fibre surface and to demonstrate a lack of dystrophin in the fibres of Duchenne patients. Karpati’s research covered a broad range of basic and clinical studies on neuromuscular and neurological disorders, utilizing a broad spectrum of technologies including clinical science, histology, cytochemistry, molecular biology and genetics.

Throughout his career, Karpati was honoured with many awards including the Order of Canada, the Order of Quebec (Knight), membership in the Royal Society of Canada as well as the Hungary’s Academy of Sciences, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Neuromuscular Research and Clinics from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Federation of Neurology. In 2005 he was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and in 2006 he was awarded the Prix Wilder Penfield (Prix du Québec). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Debrecen in Hungary, and in 2008 was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the MNI.

Herbert Jasper Lecture

Dr. Herbert Jasper (1906-1999), received doctorates from the University of Iowa and the University of Paris before coming to Canada to join famous neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). Dr. Jasper received his MD from McGill and for many years was Director of the Laboratories of Neurophysiology and Electroencephalography at the MNI. Dr. Jasper's expertise in electrophysiology allowed him to make seminal discoveries along with Dr. Penfield to locate the sources of electrical seizures in brain disorders ranging from epilepsy to brain tumours and brain injuries. He played a leading role at the MNI in the exploration of the brain's operation in both health and disease and in 1954, he co-authored, along with Dr. Penfield, the influential monograph Epilepsy and the Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain. Dr. Jasper's work, his teaching and his leadership have had a profound influence on the field of neurological sciences and brain function in Canada and abroad. (Canadian Medical Hall of Fame)

Hughlings Jackson Lecture

The Hughlings Jackson Lecture is the Neuro’s premier scientific lecture.  It was established at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in 1935. It honors the legacy of British neurologist John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911) who pioneered the development of neurology as a medical specialty.

Jerzy Olszewski Lecture

Dr. Jerzy Olszewski (1913-1964) was a Polish-trained neuroanatomist who worked at the MNI after World War II.  The lecture has been held since 1968.

KAC Elliot Lecture

Dr. Elliot was the first neurochemist at the MNI.  He contributed immensely to the understanding of the basic chemical mechanisms of cerebral edema, epilepsy, and brain tumours.  Importantly, in 1957, Dr. Elliot and his colleagues identified the role of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), now believed to be the major inhibitory transmitter in the brain.

Pierre Gloor Lecture and Neuro Epilepsy Day

Inaugurated in 2014, this lecture honours the great neuroscientist, clinical neurophysiologist, teacher and mentor, Pierre Gloor (1923-2003) who began his career at the Neuro in 1952. 

William Feindel Lecture & Neurosurgery Fellows' Day

This lecture honours Dr. William Feindel, O.C., G.O.Q., MDCM, D. Phil., (1918-2013) one of Canada’s most distinguished neurosurgeons and The Neuro’s third director.Dr. Feindel’s many contributions to medical science were recognized in 2003, when he was among the earliest inductees into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He attended Merton College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a D. Phil. in neuroanatomy. In Montreal during the Second World War, Dr. Feindel worked to develop treatments for war injuries along with The Neuro’s founder and first director, Dr. Wilder Penfield. After earning his medical degree at McGill and further studies in neurosurgery at Oxford, Dr. Feindel became the first professor of neurosurgery at the medical college in Saskatoon in 1955. Seeing the potential of brain scanning equipment, he developed the first automatic isotope scanner. He returned to The Neuro in 1959 as the first William Cone Professor of Neurosurgery. Three years later, he was appointed The Neuro’s neurosurgeon-in-chief. A researcher who contributed to more than 500 scientific papers, Dr. Feindel had special interest in determining the causes of focal epilepsy as well as in finding methods for the early detection of brain tumours and strokes. He helped to develop what came to be known as the Montreal Procedure for temporal lobe epilepsy, which involved the surgical resection of the antero-mesial temporal lobe. The procedure was subsequently adopted throughout the world, leading to cures for thousands of epilepsy patients.  During his tenure as The Neuro’s director from 1972 to 1984, Dr. Feindel largely introduced revolutionary brain scanning tools to Canada, acquiring the country’s first CAT, MR and PET units. In 1984, the tools were combined into the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, a unit that established The Neuro as one of the world’s leading brain-imaging facilities. Under Dr. Feindel’s direction, The Neuro doubled in size with the construction of two new wings, the Penfield Pavilion and the Webster Pavilion. McGill inaugurated the William Feindel Chair in Neuro-Oncology in 2001 with the support of the Clive Baxter Memorial Fund.  Along with his scientific research papers, Dr. Feindel wrote extensively on topics of medical history, especially about the work of Thomas Willis, the seventeenth-century British pioneer in brain research who coined the term, “neurology.” In 1964, Dr. Feindel published a facsimile in English of Willis’s treatise of 1664, “Cerebri Anatome” (Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves). The Osler Library of the History of Medicine at McGill University elected Dr. Feindel as Honorary Osler Librarian in 1984.

Wilder Penfield Lecture

Dr. Yoshua Bengio will deliver the 2017 Wilder Penfield Lecture “Deep Learning” at 4:00 pm on November 2, 2017 at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University. A reception will follow.

The Penfield Lecture was inaugurated in 1985 to honour Wilder Penfield, pioneering neurosurgeon and founder of the MNI.   We are pleased to welcome Dr. Yoshua Bengio who is the world-leader expert on Deep Learning and author of the best-selling book on that topic.

Yoshua Bengio is the world-leader expert on Deep Learning and author of the best-selling book on that topic. His research objective is to understand the mathematical and computational principles, which give rise to intelligence through learning. He contributed to a wide spectrum of machine learning areas and is well known for his theoretical results on recurrent neural networks, kernel machines, distributed representations, depth of neural architectures, and the optimization challenge of deep learning. His work was crucial in advancing how deep networks are trained, how neural networks can learn vector embeddings for words, how to perform machine translation with deep learning by taking advantage of an attention mechanism, and how to perform unsupervised learning with deep generative models.  He is the author of three books and more than 300 publications, is among the most cited Canadian computer scientists and is or has been associate editor of the top journals in machine learning and neural networks.


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