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Dr. Signe Bray

Dr. Signe Bray PhD

Assistant Professor
Departments of Radiology and Paediatrics

Links:
brayneuroimaginglab.ca
Twitter

Dr. Bray uses brain imaging with magnetic resonance (MRI) to study learning and cognition. She is interested in better understanding how changes in the brain as kids mature enable them to get better at paying attention and learning. She is also interested in how the brain is affected in people with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Turner syndrome. Some of her work uses brain imaging to ask how the brain is changed by certain experiences. Altogether, she and other members of the CAIR program, believe that learning more about the brain can help to improve treatments for symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Catherine Lebel

Dr. Catherine Lebel PhD

Assistant Professor
Departments of Radiology and Paediatrics

Links:
developmentalneuroimaginglab.ca

Dr. Lebel and her group use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain development in kids. Specifically, they are interested in understanding how the healthy brain develops, and how development is different in children with learning disabilities or prenatal exposure to alcohol. They also study how the brain changes in response to learning, treatment or intervention. Ultimately, they hope that their research will help improve treatments for kids with learning and behavioural challenges.

Dr. Ashley Harris

Dr. Ashley Harris PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Radiology

Links:
research4kids.ucalgary.ca/ashley-harris

Ashley Harris develops magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy methods for clinical and neurosciences research. She is interested in using MR to understand brain neurochemistry, function and structure, as measured using different MR modalities. Further, she wants to understand the relationship between these measures in both healthy brain function and clinical conditions including developmental disorders, neurodegeneration, injury and chronic pain.

Dr. Frank MacMaster

Dr. Frank MacMaster PhD

Assistant Professor
Departments of Psychiatry and Paediatrics
Cuthbertson & Fischer Chair in Paediatric Mental Health

Links:
Facebook
Twitter

The broad goal of my research is to study the impact of the stress response on the regulation of emotion, particularly in young people. Dysfunction in emotional regulation is at the heart of major depression and bipolar disorder, and there is no doubt that stress often plays a pivotal role in these illnesses. Uncovering the neurobiology of mood disorders is the core of my work. Reward processing (an aspect of emotional regulation) in addictions is a developing interest as well.

I also maintain an interest in other psychiatric disorders found in young people, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, all of which I have worked on in the past.

We use a number of experimental techniques to answer these questions. These include, but are not limited to: (1) volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (manual tracing, voxel based morphometry and cortical thickness), (2) diffusion tensor imaging, (3) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (proton mainly, and phosphorous if possible) and (4) functional magnetic resonance imaging. Obviously, neuroimaging techniques provide only part of the 'whole picture': other tools such as endocrine assessments, behavioral studies and rigorous psychiatric examination must be combined in order to understand the manner in which changes in emotional regulation are related to stress and disease.

The larger, 30,000 feet goal is to have my outcome-focused research have a positive and useful impact upon clinical practice in ways that will better the lives of children affected by mental illness.