Sutherland on the cutting edge of science

The human brain is a remarkable organ. From the day we're born until the day we die, our brains evolve as we experience the world and expand our knowledge.

But the brain is also vulnerable to dementia-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease, which kills the brain's cerebral cortex cells and erodes short-term memory.

Recently, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) neuroscientist Dr. Robert Sutherland made international headlines when he and his research team became the first in the world to regenerate cerebral cortex brain cells in adult rats.

Sutherland's history at the U of L goes back to 1980, when he completed post-doctoral training in neuropsychology and became a psychology faculty member until 1991. After a decade teaching and researching at the University of New Mexico, he returned to the U of L to help launch the CCBN, Canada's first department of neuroscience, in 2001.

Sutherland says the facility offers excellent infrastructure (including high-tech lab space and funding), and a critical mass of expertise. "It's a highly collaborative place. I've worked and published with virtually every faculty member," he says.

The CCBN is also an important training ground for up-and-coming neuroscientists, and is further evidence of how much the University has grown in its 45 years, from a primarily undergraduate university to one that is on the cutting edge of scientific breakthroughs.