FedDev/Ontario Brain Institute awards over $5-million to Baycrest to develop innovative brain health products

The Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), in conjunction with the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) has awarded Baycrest, a global leader in innovations in aging and brain health, over $5-million to develop innovative neuroeducation and cognitive assessment / fitness products for the global market.

The Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit adds an evaluative component

KLARU joined Baycrest’s new Innovation Engine and became the Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied and Evaluative Research Unit (KLAERU). KLAERU provides resources and expertise to support clinical, evaluative and translational research at Baycrest. Through these valuable specialized research support, KLAERU enables and can accelerate the development of new programs and treatments for memory and aging well.

Baycrest appoints Dr. Randy McIntosh as Vice-President of Research and Director of the world-renowned Rotman Research Institute

Baycrest has appointed one of Canada’s leading cognitive scientists as the new Vice-President of Research and Director of its world-renowned Rotman Research Institute (RRI).

Distinguished Population Neuroscientist joins Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute

A prominent researcher and pioneer in the emerging field of “population neuroscience” has joined Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and its world-renowned memory and aging science team. Dr. Tomas Paus will study the impact of genes and environment on cognitive and brain health across the lifespan.

Building a Virtual Brain

Baycrest is leading a team of international scientists in a mammoth project to create the world’s first functional, virtual brain.

The effort puts Canada in a global race to pull off a neuroscience feat that is comparable to decoding the human genome. The achievement could revolutionize how clinicians assess and treat various brain disorders, including cognitive impairment caused by stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

New company enters growing brain fitness market

One of the world’s leading cognitive science institutes has created Cogniciti a new company with MaRS, Canada’s premiere innovation centre, to develop and market brain fitness products to help adults extend their memory and cognitive abilities longer in the lifespan

Canadian Federal Government Invests $15 million in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Centre for Stroke Recovery (Baycrest, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Ottawa Health Research Institute)

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery is moving new discoveries from the lab to the bedside faster than ever before and is the first of its kind in the world to streamline research, stroke care, and stroke recovery… By continuing to make breakthrough discoveries and innovating treatments, the Centre is generating new hope for stroke survivors and their families.” – Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health and the Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.

Baycrest Takes Innovation to the Next Level with the Centre for Brain Fitness (Baycrest, MaRS Venture Group, Government of Ontario)

Baycrest has been awarded $10 million from the Ontario Government to create the Centre for Brain Fitness – a commercialized science enterprise to tackle the rising prevalence of cognitive decline in an aging population.

“One of Ontario’s greatest strengths is the incredible depth of our research talent. Our government is proud to support Baycrest and its invaluable work, which is already leading to the discovery of important new tools and approaches to treating brain diseases associated with aging.” – John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation.

Ensuring Cutting Edge Research with the Establishment of an International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC)

The RRI International Scientific Advisory Committee is comprised of international scientists (C.A. Barnes, University of Arizona; S. Grafton, Director, Dartmouth Functional Imaging Center, Dartmouth College; W. Jagust, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, Berkeley, CA; and A. Yonelinas, University of California – Davis) to provide feedback and advice to the Director to ensure that the RRI remains at the forefront of research.

“In less than 20 years the RRI has been transformed from an idea to a premier cognitive neuroscience centre in the world” – ISAC

Striving to Achieve Excellence in Stroke Recovery

Dr. Bruce Dobkin, Director of Neurologic Rehabilitation and Stroke Neurology at one of the world’s leading centres for the management of vascular disease (UCLA’s Stroke Centre), was invited to assess Baycrest’s clinical and research stroke programs. His response: Baycrest with its brain-behaviour expertise housed with its rich patient population is poised to provide groundbreaking, innovative care for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation particularly in the areas of cognition and language impairment.

New President and Chief Executive Officer an Expert in Geriatric Care

An internationally-known expert in geriatric mental health and dementia, Dr. William Reichman brings with him an outstanding clinical, academic and executive leadership background from the U.S.

“I feel remarkably privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead Baycrest, a vital asset of the community, Canada and the world… The level of pride and ambition that characterizes the Baycrest organization today will continue to grow as our innovative client and family-centered contributions to clinical care, brain research and education enhance the quality of life of older citizens the world over.” – Dr. W. Reichman

New Siemens 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanner Installed

Donations by Jack and Anne Weinbaum, Sam and Ida Ross, and the Rotman Family Foundation, and funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation CSR, have made the addition of this high-tech scanner possible.

The presence of this state-of-art MRI technology alongside the magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) technology already present at Baycrest enables researchers to obtain a comprehensive view of brain function, which will greatly aid in decoding the networks of underlying neural activity mediating cognition and how these systems change as one ages or how they are impaired in cognitive dementias, disorders, brain injury and stroke.

Ministry of Research & Innovation Invests $5 million in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Centre for Stroke Recovery (Baycrest, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Ottawa Health Research Institute)

Recognizing the expertise and revolutionary research made possible through this partnership, the CSR is awarded $5 million by the McGuinty government.

“The creation of a virtual Centre for Stroke Recovery will improve the healthcare and quality of life of countless Ontarians… The new centre will be another innovative institution that will train, retain and attract top scientific and healthcare talent to the province.” – Dalton McGuinty, Premier and Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario.

Ensuring Cutting Edge Research with the Establishment of an International Scientific Advisory Committee

The RRI International Scientific Advisory Committee is comprised of international scientists (C.A. Barnes, University of Arizona; S. Grafton, Director, Dartmouth Functional Imaging Center, Dartmouth College; W. Jagust, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, Berkeley, CA; and A. Yonelinas, University of California – Davis) to provide feedback and advice to the Director annually to ensure that the RRI remains at the forefront of research.

Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC)

A Tier 2 CRC is a prestigious appointment of an exceptional emerging researcher acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field.

As a promising young scientist from the United States, Dr. Jennifer Ryan is appointed as the first Tier 2 CRC in recognition of her research using reaction time studies, eye movement paradigms and MEG, to examine memory performance of younger and older adults to determine how memory is organized and how it transforms with age and/or brain damage.

The Kimel Family donates $15 million to Support Baycrest’s Role as an International Leader in Care and Research Related to Aging

The donation enabled three significant strides in maintaining Baycrest’s stature. For research, this supported capital improvements to the Brain Health Centre facility, and initiated the development of an international campaign in support of research. The funds also add to Baycrest’s expertise in neurodegenerative diseases through the establishment of the Elkie Adler MS Clinic, named in honour of Elkie Adler, a member of the Kimel family.

Trail-blazers for Neuroscience in Toronto

Dr. Donald Stuss, VP Research at Baycrest in conjunction with Dr. Peter Lewis, Vice Dean, Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto, spearhead the successful proposal to the Academic Incentive Fund for the establishment of the University of Toronto Centre for Neuroscience (UTCN).

“UTCN is intended to integrate the neuroscience research and education activities at the University of Toronto. It will facilitate the creation of a comprehensive academic program spanning undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate training and research. This will have a transformative effect on Neurosciences in Toronto.” – Dr. Peter Lewis

Brain Network Recovery Group (Brain NRG) (Canada, U.S.A., Australia, Germany)

Spearheaded by RRI Scientist Dr. Randy McIntosh, Brain NRG funded by the JSF McDonnell Foundation represents the union of computational, cognitive and clinical neuroscience working in concert to understand the damaged brain through application of network modeling. The goal of the group is to develop a framework for understanding normal brain function versus damaged brain function, which in turn may be applied to the development of potential rehabilitative treatment options.

Centre for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (CIMBI)

Funded by the Lundbeck Foundation, CIMBI is a new research center conducting research at several institutions in Copenhagen, Denmark, in addition to collaboration with other institutions in Europe and the U.S.A. Their main focus is on investigating the neural bases of personality that predispose individuals to affective and substance use disorders using PET and MRI technology in human and animal models. As an associated institution, RRI scientists such as Dr. Stephen Strother lend their modeling expertise in the integration of different imaging techniques to yield meaningful data. The association reflects RRI’s international clout.

Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Neuropsychiatry

Recruited to return to Canada from the United States, Dr. Bruce Pollock, the second appointee of this chair, is recognized for his leadership in geriatric psychiatry. This is exemplified in his role as a scientist at RRI and Head of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is currently involved in pioneering research into how genetic variations may potentially help explain differential responses to particular drug treatments.

Review of Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical and Research Developments

Dr. B. Lebowitz, Deputy Director, Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California, San Diego, visited Baycrest and CAMH to provide advice on the current status and potential of each institution and the promise of the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding. His observation in his report to Baycrest:

“The emerging view in the scientific community is that understanding the complex patterns of interrelationships of Gene, Brain, and Environment will lead to significant breakthroughs at both the scientific and clinical levels… there is no place in the world better positioned to now apply these powerful new theories and methods to improve our understanding of brain disorders in later life in a new patient-oriented research synthesis.”

A Revolutionary Model for Out-Patient Care – The Brain Health Centre Clinics

Comprised of the Mood and Related Disorders Clinic, the Memory Clinic and the Louis and Leah Posluns Stroke and Cognition Clinic, the Brain Health Centre Clinics represent the integration of research and care as scientists and clinicians work side by side to provide clients with new treatment options for intervention, rehabilitation, prevention and support for families.

Neuroscience Alliance (Baycrest, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital)

The partnership between the three Toronto healthcare centres builds on the strengths of each and allows for the sharing of resources in order to create a complete continuum of care for clients with neurological diseases and disorders.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC)

Upon Dr. Pantev’s return to Germany, the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair is awarded to Dr. Cheryl Grady in Neurocognitive Aging. As a CRC, Dr. Grady is recognized for her expertise in utilizing brain imaging technology to assess changes in cortical activity and plasticity in the aging brain in order to provide insight into how to maximize memory function in the elderly.

A Leader in Implementing a State-of-the-Art Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) System with Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Capability

The implementation of this system has leveraged Baycrest as the site of a benchmark study to assess the effectiveness of CPOE/CDS from a cost-benefit perspective in terms of implementation and maintenance versus effectiveness is reducing adverse drug events in a long-term care setting. This project is a collaborative effort between KLARU scientist, Dr. Paula Rochon in Canada, and Drs. Jerry Gurwitz, Terry Field and David Bates in the U.S.A.

First External Review – Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit

“The establishment of KLARU as a translational research group focused on aging and the elderly was visionary, and it is a unique centre in Canada and perhaps in North America.” –H. Chertkow (Lady Davis Institute) & R. Tamblyn (McGill University)

Research as One of Four Pillars of Excellence at Baycrest

Baycrest’s new identity as outlined in its 2003 strategic vision emphasizes the integration of care, research and education. The commitment to research is exemplified in the prominent role research now plays as one of Baycrest’s pillars of excellence.

Baycrest Pillars of Excellence:

  • Care – Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System;
  • Research – Baycrest Centre for Aging and the Brain;
  • Education – Baycrest Centre for Education on Aging; and the
  • Baycrest Foundation.

Centre for Stroke Recovery (CSR) (Baycrest, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Ottawa Health Research Institute)

These three institutions, matching funds provided by a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, have joined forces to develop a broad integrated research program to identify post-stroke interventions that will lead to effective improvement in function such that post-stroke quality of life will be improved. This virtual centre spans acute to chronic care, biomedical research to functional outcome, and imaging from cells to brain functioning.

CIHR Brain and Aging Group Grant Renewed

CIHR affirms the importance of the research conducted by the Brain and Aging Group by renewing the group grant awarded in 1999, with increased funds for further infrastructure development.

Introduction of Internet-Based Intervention Programs for Caregivers

Funding from the Canarie Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has enabled KLARU scientist, Dr. Elsa Marziali, to explore the development and evaluation of internet-based intervention programs for family caregivers of persons with long term disabilities (dementia, stroke, Parkinson, frontotemporal dementia, and traumatic brain injury). This initiative in another example of the commitment to address the whole-person, including the social network of patients with long term disabilities.

Third External Review – Rotman Research Institute

“The Rotman Institute is a premier international center for the study of human brain function. Rotman researchers have provided pioneering insights into the mechanisms of normal aging and neurological and psychiatric diseases.” — M. Gazzaniga (Dartmouth College), H-J. Heinze (Otto-v-Guericke University Magdeburg), M. Posner (University of Oregon), R. Knight (University of California-Berkeley) & D. Park (Beckman Institute)

The Multiple Auditory Steady-State Response (M.A.S.T.E.R.) Technique is validated as Cutting-Edge in its Applicability to Auditory Screening Programs for Newborns and the Elderly

The technique was invented in 1995 by RRI scientists Dr. Terence Picton and Dr. Sasha John to test frequency-specific hearing abilities in newborns and the elderly by monitoring brain activity that occurs in response to sound. This method eliminates the necessity of the individual to verbally respond; thus the objectivity of the technique enhances early and accurate detection and will greatly improve treatment outcomes. This FDA approved technique is currently utilized in hundreds of hospitals internationally. M.A.S.T.E.R. is also the first research success in technology transfer.

New Alliances Lead to Innovative Directives

CIHR New Emerging Team (Dr. Anthony R. McIntosh) (Baycrest, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, and the University of Toronto)

This is a consortium of cognitive neuroscientists, imaging physicists and computer scientists with a mandate to develop a research program that merges human and animal neuroscience studies through computational models.

New Collaborations Lead to Progressive Research

CIHR New Emerging Team (Dr. Paula Rochon) (Baycrest, Institution for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), University of Massachusetts, University of Toronto)

Dr. Paula Rochon leads this multidisciplinary research team with research, clinical and policy expertise to study the real-world impact of drug therapies in older adults with chronic disease (focusing on cardiovascular, diabetes, and kidney disease) using large provincial databases with the goal of optimizing the health of our population.

The Katz Foundation Sponsors the Development of Research in Gerontological Nursing

Support from the Katz Foundation enabled the recruitment of Dr. Dorothy Pringle, whose illustrious career as a nurse researcher and academic administrator including 11 years as the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, is instrumental in establishing the framework for gerontological nursing research at KLARU.

Research Moves Upward…to a New Location

As the Research Division continues to flourish at Baycrest, more space becomes essential and they make the four upper floors of The Abe and Elsie Posluns Building their new home.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Technology at RRI

The addition of MEG technology to the array of sophisticated neuroimaging technology already available to the researchers at Baycrest is an exciting development providing another means to determining which regions of the brain are active as an individual engages in particular tasks. Combined with the data from ERP, PET (CAMH) and MRI (Sunnybrook), increasingly comprehensive study of cognitive function is made possible. Only a few institutions may boast of readily available access to this spectrum of cutting-edge neuroimaging technology.

Reva James Leeds Chair in Neuroscience and Research Leadership

This chair, associated with the Directorship of the RRI, recognizes and supports outstanding leadership in neuroscience development at the RRI as well as individual research. It is funded by an endowment and charitable bequest from the estate of Ms. Reva James Leeds.

The first appointee, Dr. Donald Stuss, is a leading neuropsychologist who studies frontal lobe function and cognitive rehabilitation at the RRI.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC)

A Tier 1 CRC is a prestigious appointment of an outstanding researcher acknowledged by their peers as a world leader in their field.

Dr. Christo Pantev is recruited from Germany as the first CRC at Baycrest. As the Canada Research Chair of Human Cortical Plasticity, Dr. Pantev utilizes state-of-the-art magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology (based at RRI as a result of FIRN) to study how the brain is functionally organized, how it changes over the lifespan, and how brain plasticity may be important in brain recovery and rehabilitation after stroke.

Behavioural Research And Imaging Network (BRAIN)

(RRI, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Brain-Body Institute of St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Robarts Research Institute, Queen’s University, the Ottawa Health Research Institute, McMaster University, the Lawson Health Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Brock University and the University Health Network)

RRI scientist and assistant director, Dr. Randy McIntosh leads this province-wide network of neuroimaging experts. The consortium focuses on the development of validated imaging hardware and software to optimize imaging analysis in the study of normal and abnormal brain processes. It is a key demonstration of the leading role research at Baycrest plays in shaping the future of brain research.

Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work

The chair is a joint appointment of Baycrest and the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto made possible by generous donations from Joseph and Sandra Rotman, J. Richard Schiff and family and the University of Toronto. It is named in honour of Norman and Honey Schipper, who are long-time supporters of Baycrest. The chair functions within the Katz Centre for Gerontological Social Work.

As the first appointee, Dr. Elsa Marziali is recognized as a leading researcher promoting the advancement of knowledge about innovative and effective social service programs to address the needs of the elderly.

Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Neuropsychiatry

The Sandra A. Rotman Chair and Program in Neuropsychiatry is a joint appointment with the University of Toronto and Rotman Research Institute resulting from a gift from benefactor Sandra A. Rotman.

The first incumbent, Dr. Helen Mayberg, is a world-renowned American neurologist for her studies of the pathophysiology and treatment of depression. Her research was done in collaboration with scientists at the PET Centre at CAMH. Her appointment as the chair attests to the caliber of research undertaken at RRI, and to the ability to recruit scientists internationally.

Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit (KLARU) Established!

KLARU is formally established with the appointment of the first Director, Dr. David Streiner, as the applied arm of research at Baycrest. KLARU focuses on implementation of evidence-based practice, translation of research to care and establishment of practice benchmarks as a basis for evaluation. This initiative is supported by a gift from the Lunenfeld Foundation, and named in honour of Sybil Kunin (nee Lunenfeld) and Mitchell Kunin.

CIHR Brain and Aging Group is Formed

The Brain and Aging Group is an alliance of researchers studying cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, brain imaging and rehabilitation, within RRI who have joined forces to decode the changes in behaviour and the brain as it relates to age-related disorders. This focus on aging was rewarded by the Institutes first group grant from the (then) Medical Research Council of Canada.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Network (Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, U.K., and U.S.A.)

The significance of the work in rehabilitation undertaken by this multidisciplinary, multinational group, spearheaded by RRI, led to the following development: Three institutions worldwide, of which the RRI at Baycrest was one, were awarded the 21st Century Collaborative Activity Award by the James S. McDonnell Foundation to support research to advance rehabilitation techniques for individuals suffering from neurological disorders and brain injury.

Functional Imaging Research Network (FIRN)

[RRI (MEG and ERP), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (structural and functional MRI), The Hospital for Sick Children, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (PET), and the University Health Network (MRI)]

The sophisticated neuroimaging technology, techniques and expertise in the five university-affiliated academic centres are used to obtain an infrastructure grant to develop a comprehensive program in functional imaging that would be applicable to brain, cardiovascular, and cancer research. The focus for three of the partners (Baycrest, CAMH, and Sunnybrook) is the interrelationships between the brain, cognition and emotion. By integrating behavioural studies with neuroimaging techniques the network aims to determine the anatomy, pathways, and timing of brain activity and how these change with age, or in dementias and other cognitive disorders. As a key component and lead in this network, RRI demonstrates its national stature. The use of a combination of imaging techniques provides a more comprehensive view of the active brain providing an edge to the institutions in the international sphere.

Second External Review – Rotman Research Institute

“The Rotman Research Institute has attained international stature as a centre for cognitive neuroscience.” — M. Mesulam (Northwestern University), R. Knight (University of California – Davis), S. Peterson (Washington University), A. Shimamura (University of California-Berkeley).

Baycrest Aligns with the University of Toronto

Baycrest becomes a fully-affiliated teaching hospital with the University of Toronto, a beneficial symbiosis promoting research, clinical care and education. As a teaching hospital, Baycrest commits to mentoring future researchers and clinicians, while the University in turn commits to providing essential services and resources.

Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit (KLARU)

On the advice of the (then) Director of ICES, Dr. David Naylor, the CRU and CEEU amalgamate as the initial step in developing KLARU. A search is initiated for the Director.

Frontal Temporal Dementia Network (Canada, France, U.K. & U.S.A)

Initiated by the RRI, the formation of this group of multinational, multidisciplinary experts promotes the development of common standards for the investigation and assessment of frontal temporal dementia. Their work resulted in the establishment of a set of international diagnostic criteria for the disorder, thereby ensuring that individuals with this form of dementia are detected early and treatment made available.

Ben and Hilda Katz Centre in Gerontological Social Work

The Katz Centre, a joint venture between Baycrest and the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, is the result of a gift by long-time Baycrest supporters, Ben and Hilda Katz.

In the field of gerontological social work, the Katz Centre is unique in Canada, and possibly all of North America, because it is based in a multi-service practice setting and shares with the other disciplines at Baycrest a strong focus on clinical research.

Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology

A $1 million endowment provided by philanthropist Dr. Max Glassman and his wife Gianna, which was matched by the University of Toronto, inaugurated the Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology held jointly at the University of Toronto Department of Psychology and the RRI at Baycrest. The chair aims to advance research in the effects of aging on cognitive functioning.

The first appointee was Dr. Fergus Craik, a senior scientist at RRI and a world-renowned expert in memory and normal aging.

Second Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience

The Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair Program in Biomedical Research stems from a $10 million gift from philanthropist Dr. Anne Tanenbaum in 1996 to honour her late husband Max. The program includes the creation of six endowed chairs dedicated to research in neuroscience and molecular medicine, one of which is at Baycrest.

The appointee of the second chair was Dr. Terence Picton, a senior scientist at RRI and expert in the use of event-related potentials (ERP) technology to assess changes in the brain’s electrical activity. The appointment recognizes Dr. Picton’s expertise in the application of ERP and MEG technology to understand cognitive function.

Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation Unit (CEEU)

With the encouragement of President and CEO, Stephen Herbert, Baycrest’s research activities expand to include the CEEU to evaluate clinical programs and conduct long-term studies on health issues affecting older adults. This development represents the second facet of Baycrest’s commitment to improving the quality of life of the elderly through research.

Creation of the Nursing Collaborative Research Program: Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care

(Baycrest, Bridgepoint Health, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto)

The consortium promotes collaboration to build knowledge through practice-based research grounded in the experiences of clients and staff of Long-Term Care, Complex Continuing Care & Rehabilitation settings with the goal of developing innovative mechanisms to enhance quality of life for the elderly.

Event-Related Potentials (ERP) Technology

The availability of ERP technology at Baycrest is an exciting development that enables scientists to study neural activity in the brain during complex psychological processes such as attending to certain aspects of the environment while ignoring others, making decisions about stimuli, understanding speech, and learning new things.

RRI and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) – Structural and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Scientists at SHSC, one of the major imaging groups in the world specializing in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and RRI combine expertise and resources to investigate structural and functional information about brain regions involved in learning, memory, and emotion in normal individuals and patients with traumatic brain injury or dementia.

First External Review – Rotman Research Institute

“The scientific staff is of the highest caliber and includes senior scientists who have an international reputation as leaders in their fields of research.” – M. Mesulam (Harvard University), S. Kosslyn (Harvard University) & M. Gazzaniga (University of California – Davis)

Development of a Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is the Next Logical Step

Baycrest recognizes the importance of translating basic research to clinical application. As a result, a clinical research unit is deemed essential for the goal of promoting evidence-based practice. It is considered the first step towards integrating research with care.

RRI Partners with Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) – Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

The research partnership with CAMH establishes a long lasting collaboration between scientists in both institutions studying diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and depression. This collaboration is enhanced by the availability of state-of-the-art PET technology at CAMH, a functional imaging tool that serves to improve clinical diagnosis and disease evaluation. Basic cognitive research using the PET led to highly significant advances in understanding how memory functions in the brain. The availability of this technology strengthens the international roles of the two institutions in normal cognition and psychiatric PET research.

First Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience

As the first incumbent of the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, Dr. Endel Tulving is recognized as a leader in memory research. He is most well known for his work in memory pertaining to personal experience (episodic memory) and continues to be a major influence in memory research.

New President and Chief Executive Officer Actively Promotes Greater Role for Research and Education at Baycrest

Newly appointed President and CEO, Stephen Herbert, emphasizes as part of his mandate the importance of research and education in addition to Baycrest’s excellence in care.

A Vision to Integrate Basic Research with Clinical Application

With the increase in scope of research, Dr. Donald Stuss becomes Vice-President of Research as well as Director of the RRI. Together, S. Herbert (CEO) and D. Stuss (VP Research) formulate the creation of a clinical research unit to function alongside the basic research conducted at the RRI.

Rotman Research Institute (RRI) Established!

The RRI is formally established with the appointment of the Director of Research, Dr. Donald Stuss. Equipped with the conviction “to promote effective care and improved quality of life of the elderly through research into behavioural changes associated with the aging process,” RRI sets out to make a difference in the lives of the elderly.

Baycrest Establishes an Important Association with the University of Toronto

With the support of the Deans of Medicine and Arts & Science, Dr. John Dirks and Dr. Robin Armstrong, who are impressed with the programs, teaching and research activities at Baycrest, the groundwork is laid for a formal partial affiliation with the University of Toronto. It is a development that attests to the caliber of research potential at Baycrest.

Research Leads to Progress

Baycrest decides that the establishment of a formal research program is a progressive and necessary step in evolving as an institution offering cutting edge services to clients and the community.

1983 – Baycrest as an Academic Centre

The Baycrest Board of Directors recognizes the increasing role of Baycrest as an academic centre.
This leads to the revision of the mission statement to include “research and education in aging and in finding better ways to meet the needs of the aged,” as a key means of achieving the overall goal of providing leadership in the development and delivery of the highest calibre of services to the elderly.