News & Events

Workshops on Computational Methods in Neuroscience

2017workshop

The 4th annual Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience was held at the University of Lethbridge from May 31-June 9, 2017 in partnership with Campus Alberta Neuroscience, NSERC CREATE BIP, and the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN).  The workshop gave students an introduction to the theory and practical application of computational methods for the analysis of neurobiological data.  It was composed of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods in a computer lab, and a course project.  Instruction and exercises use MATLAB, the most commonly used data analysis and visualization tool for quantitative sciences.  The instructors and TAs provided support at every phase of the project, including selecting an appropriate topic, deciding on analyses, programming, and visualization.

 

2016 workshop

The 3rd annual Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience was held at the University of Lethbridge from June 1-10, 2016 in partnership with Campus Alberta Neuroscience, NSERC CREATE BIP, and the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN).  A total of 28 students including a record 21 from the University of Alberta and Calgary took part in the 10-day workshop, which builds trainees' strengths in a variety of essential research methodologies.  Participants immediately recognised the impact.  "It gave me a foundation in computational  tools for analysis, and the talks and seminars also gave me valuable information in the field of neuroscience," said one student, noting "the workshop was integral in my undergraduate education."  Another credited learning about a wide range of methodologies for developing "a much better understanding of the scope and breadth of the field." 

A new on-line course Advanced Online Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience was also held from June 13 - July 29, 2016.  This online extension was developed in direct response to the participants' requests to continue to work with the instructor team on their projects, and to explore advanced topics in computational methods.

The 2nd annual Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience was held at the University of Lethbridge, in partnership with Campus Alberta Neuroscience, NSERC CREATE BIP, NeuroInvestigations Inc., and the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN).  From June 10–19, 2015, 27 Alberta trainees — including one from Saskatchewan and three from the United States — gathered to learn cutting-edge computational data analysis approaches from some of Alberta's top researchers in the field.

The first annual Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience was held at the University of Lethbridge, in partnership with Campus Alberta Neuroscience, NSERC CREATE BIP, and the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) from June 11-20, 2014.

Large CIHR Team Grant Awarded to NSERC CREATE BIP Team Members

Dr. Gerlinde Metz, an NSERC CREATE BIP team member and University of Lethbridge neuroscientist, along with her team of researchers have received more than $1.1 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct further research into prenatal stress and examine the role of fathers’ stress in preterm birth and newborn development.

Research evidence suggests prenatal stress is linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, and that the negative consequences from prenatal stress can be passed from one generation to another.

Dr. Gerlinde Metz, at left, works with a student in the lab at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience. The CIHR funding will allow the research team to further study the effects of prenatal stress.

“This research funding will help us get closer to answers about the effects of prenatal stress and identify treatments that can improve and even reverse preterm birth risk,” says Metz. “About 15 million preterm babies are born every year and they can face increased health risks throughout their lives. This is a significant issue around the world.”

Metz, along with Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, an NSERC CREATE BIP team member and Biological Sciences professor, and Dr. David Olson, an NSERC CREATE BIP Private Partner and University of Alberta obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and physiology professor, will take a neuroscience approach and use three separate rat models of prenatal stress. They’ll study the effects of generational stress on offspring when only fathers are stressed, when only mothers are stressed, and when both mothers and fathers are stressed.

“We will identify mechanisms involved in how the brain translates stress to alter pregnancy health and identify markers of prenatal stress that translate to future human studies of risk assessment,” says Metz.

The researchers will also study the mitigating effects of enriched environments and drug treatments. Previous research has shown that enriched environments have reduced stress responses. The researchers hypothesize that the use of enriched environments will reverse stress markers, normalize pregnancy outcomes and lessen the negative behavioural and developmental outcomes.

“Our goal is to develop new treatments that promote healthy futures for our children and next generations,” says Metz.

Congratulations to Our Collaborators Edvard and May-Britt Moser on their 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine!

May-Britt and Edvard Moser and Alfred Nobel gold medal. Photo.

Brain researchers May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser at NTNU's Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with John O'Keefe of University College London. May-Britt and Edvard Moser discovered – in the medial entorhinal cortex, a region of the brain next to hippocampus – grid cells that provide the brain with an internal coordinate system essential for navigation.

More information is available on their Nobel Prize from their web site at: http://www.ntnu.edu/nobelprize2014.