Interdisciplinary Programs

The NeuroEngineering Program and the Rio Tinto Laboratory of NeuroEngineering at the MNI

The NeuroEngineering Program is a merger of physical and biological sciences. Together, physicists, chemists, materials scientists, computer engineers and neuroscientists tackle the challenges of creating interfaces between neurons and artificial substrates to restore the function of a damaged nervous system. Applying the tools and techniques of materials science to fundamental questions in neuroscience, the team seeks answers to questions in regenerative medicine. Aiming to find strategies for functional recovery after spinal cord injury, scientists at the MNI and McGill are using the most advanced tools of nano science and materials science to guide axon growth; induce myelination; stimulate synaptic contacts onto material targets; and measure synaptic activity. The goal is to amplify signals from these new synapses to direct healthy target muscles or a prosthetic limb.

In this program, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows engage in cross-disciplinary research. Their training teaches unique and highly prized skills that have the potential for significant clinical application.  At the MNI, research activities of the NeuroEngineering Program are carried out within the Rio Tinto Laboratory of NeuroEngineering, made possible thanks to a $1 million donation by Rio Tinto in 2011.

For information, contact
    Tim Kennedy, PhD
    Tim.Kennedy [at] (subject: Neuroengineerign%20Program) (Email)

Canadian Neurophotonics Platform

The Neurophotonics Centre is a unique, state-of-the-art national facility for advanced Biophotonics approaches dedicated toward the understanding of the brain, the development of diagnostics for brain disorders and phototherapy. The centre brings together a team of researchers, scientists and staff who develop and use the most innovative methods integrating neuroscience and physics.

This innovative facility, located at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec (IUSMQ), has received >60M$ of funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and partners, the Quebec Government and more recently, the Canada Excellence Research Chair.

The Centre presently occupies 20,000 sq ft, with an additional 10,000 sq ft presently under construction. It includes 6 clean rooms, 46 microscopy rooms, wet labs, cold rooms, tissue culture rooms, histology rooms, and a workshop for instrument design.

The Neurophotonics Centre, through its ‘Frontiers in Neurophotonics’ Summer school, contributes to the training of highly qualified personnel in this specialized field. Moreover, this national facility offers services to the Canadian and International scientific communities through one or more of its platforms.

The mission of the Neurophotonics Center is to provide Canadian scientists the tools to use and develop the approaches of tomorrow to help solve the brain. It is also dedicated to the training of a new generation of scientists capable of developing the necessary technology to tackle unsolved brain-related function and disorders.



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