Newsroom

For media enquiries or more information about research at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, please contact Emily Wight, Communications Manager.

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Hockey player on the bench.
New research shows athletes may be returning to the game too soon after concussion Sep 4, 2018

Detailed scans of University of British Columbia hockey players who had suffered concussions found that the protective fatty tissue surrounding brain cell fibers was loosened two weeks after the injury—even though the athletes felt fine and were deemed ready to return to the ice.

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Members of the EMBED team chatting informally in Shanghai.
EMBED project using digital tools to assist depression diagnosis and care Aug 30, 2018

Can technology help solve the global burden of mental illness? A five-year project, jointly funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research and National Natural Science Foundation of China, has brought international researchers, led in Canada by Dr. Raymond Lam, together to study the effectiveness of digital technologies for depression in community mental health centres across Shanghai, China.

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Researcher works at fume hood, wears headphones.
Member news: August 2018 Aug 28, 2018

Dr. Matilde Balbi (PI: Dr. Tim Murphy), Dr. Katharina Held (PI: Dr. Yu Tian Wang), Samrat Thouta (PI: Dr. Terry Snutch) recieved Research Trainee Awards from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). 

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Jennifer Campbell.
GPN emphasizes wellbeing, works to improve graduate student experience Aug 27, 2018

The 2017/18 academic year saw major changes to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN), from the appointment of Dr. Liisa Galea as Graduate Program Director in July 2017, to the hiring of Jennifer Campbell (pictured above) as Graduate Program Coordinator in March 2018.

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Dr. Matthew Farrer at the University of British Columbia.
Genetic model offers elegant tool for testing Parkinson's disease therapies Aug 21, 2018

Pictured: Dr. Matthew Farrer. Image credit: Paul Joseph/UBC.

For the past decade, Parkinson’s disease researchers have relied on the experimental equivalent of using a sledgehammer to tune a guitar to test new therapies for the disease. This may be a reason clinical trials of promising neuroprotective drugs fail. But, in new research published today in Nature Parkinson’s Disease, researchers at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) may have found the ideal tool for the job.

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Figure showing neurons with and without connection points.
Essential 'sugar' for brain communication: a new therapeutic path for autism, schizophrenia Aug 9, 2018

Pictured: wild-type and model neurons showing connection points. When the glycan associated with neurexin is absent fewer connection points exist, impairing communication within the brain. 

For twenty years, researchers thought they knew everything there was to know about the composition of neurexin, a protein that connects neurons and is essential for communication within the brain. Neurexin is a key building block of synapses, the specialized sites where neurons connect and signal via chemical messengers.  

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Sukriti Gupta with her poster at the NeuroFutures conference.
Member news: July 2018 Jul 26, 2018

Pictured: Sukriti Gupta, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Jeremy Seamans' lab, with her poster at NeuroFutures 2018 in Seattle. Image credit: Nate Powell.

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Dr. Shernaz Bamji, 2018 CIHR Foundation Grant recipient.
CIHR funding for brain health, neuroplasticity research Jul 19, 2018

For the brain to function, signals need to pass between neurons in order to control movement, speech, thought, and decision-making. Each individual neuron (there are billions within a single human brain) connects to a vast and complex network of neurons through thousands of synapses. Synapses mediate communication between neurons, affecting how we perceive and react to the world around us—essentially propelling us through life and making us who we are.

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Gene sequencing data, blue on black.
Genetic marker for drug risk in multiple sclerosis offers path toward precision medicine Jul 16, 2018

A team of researchers has uncovered a specific gene variant associated with an adverse drug reaction resulting in liver injury in a people with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is the first time researchers have been able to establish a validated genetic marker for a drug-induced harm in people with MS.

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