HBHL fellowship plants the seeds of an international collaboration

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Andrija Stajduhar was an HBHL Visiting Fellow in 2017 in the neuroinformatics lab of Dr. Alan Evans at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). He has since returned to his home country, Croatia, where he is a Research Assistant at the Croatian Institute for Brain Research.

How did you benefit from your HBHL fellowship?

My stay at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and work with Professor Alan C. Evans and his team have expanded my knowledge and experience in the analysis and processing of high-resolution histological images of the human brain. Specifically, I was able to improve the methods I was creating as a part of my doctoral research by working on a unique histological dataset, the Big Brain.

What has been the outcome of your research at the MNI?

During my stay, I was able to advance my research and develop a future project while building solid scientific connections with collaborators at the MNI. It was a pleasure working in such a positive and focused environment. My recently published conference paper entitled 3D Localization of Neurons in Bright-Field Histological Images is one of the results.

A journal article entitled Automatic Detection of Neurons in NeuN-stained Histological Images of Human Brain will also appear soon (The preprint is already available on arXiv).

I presented my latest work on the automatic segmentation of cortical layers at the FENS Forum 2018 in Berlin with a poster entitled "Automatic segmentation of cortical layers in histological images of the human brain". This builds on my previous research and presents initial work on using machine-learning methods to combine features of individual neurons that facilitate the segmentation of the laminar structure of the brain.

What are you working on now?

My work at the MNI promoted an international scientific collaboration between the MNI and my home institution, Croatian Institute for Brain Research. Since my return to Croatia, I have been working to finalize my thesis on computational histology image analysis of human brain cytoarchitectonics, and I have continued to work with colleagues at the MNI with a view to future collaboration.

None of this would be possible without the HBHL's support. I would like to say that I am honoured and thankful to HBHL, which funded my 10-month stay, and all the people involved for the opportunity to have this experience in Montreal.