Accolades & awards

Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum receives the 2013 CAN Young Investigator Award

THe Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) awarded Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum, from York University, and adjunct scientist at Baycrest’s RRI, the CAN 2013 Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Morris Moscovitch honoured as a distinguished scientist

Dr. Morris Moscovitch is the 2012 winner of the inaugural Distinguished Career Contributions Award by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS). The award honours senior cognitive neuroscientists for their distinguished career, leadership and mentoring in the field of cognitive neuroscience.  Dr. Moscovitch, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and holds the Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology and Aging.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Moscovitch has built an impressive body of research in the areas of memory, attention, and face-recognition and is currently conducting research on face and object recognition in young and old adults and in people with specific brain injuries that selectively affect their ability to recognize faces, objects or words.

Dr. Sandra Black appointed to the Order of Canada

Rotman Research Institute senior scientist Dr. Sandra Black has been appointed to the Order of Ontario. She was selected for being “one of the world’s pre-eminent cognitive neurologists specializing in stroke and dementia, and the visionary leader behind the Ontario Stroke System, designed to improve stroke care from prevention to rehabilitation and reintegration.” Courtesy: Baycrest Matters (PDF).

Dr. Thecla Damianakis receives honours as an emerging researcher

Dr. Thecla Damianakis, adjunct scientist, received the 2011 University of Windsor Award for Excellence in Research Scholarship, and Creative Activity. Dr. Damianakis won this award in the Emerging Scholar/Researcher category.  Her research initiatives include development and evaluation of interventions which support caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury and Bereavement.

Post-doctoral Fellows receive honours and awards

Congratulations to Dr. Nigel Gopie, post-doctoral fellow alumnus, and Eve Attali, post-doctoral fellow at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute who have recently received professional awards. Dr. Gopie was selected as a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Gopie advanced his research through his training with RRI scientists Drs. Fergus Craik and Lynn Hasher. Dr. Attali was awarded the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowships, supported by a 3-year grant from the European Commission, for her project with RRI scientist Dr. Asaf Gilboa.

Dr. Asaf Gilboa awarded the the 2011 Donald T. Stuss Annual Award for Research Excellence

Dr. Gilboa received this award for his paper, “Rapid neocortical acquisition of long-term arbitrary associations independent of the hippocampus” published in PNAS and co-authored with his student, Tali Sharon and with Dr. Morris Moscovitch.

National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award

Dr. Donald Stuss is the 2011 recipient of the Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions.

Nate Rose and Nigel Gopie receive the Age+ Prize from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Nate Rose received the prize for his paper, “Age and individual differences in prospective memory during a “Virtual Week”: The role of working memory, vigilance, task-regularity, and cue-focality” in. Psychology and Aging by Nate Rose, P. Rendell, M.A. McDaniel, I. Aberle, and M. Kliegel.

Nigel Gopie’s award was based on the publication, “Destination memory impairment in older people,” by Nigel Gopie, Gus Craik, & Lynn Hasher in Psychology and Aging.

Brad Buchsbaum awarded the NARSAD young investigator award

Brad Buchsbaum received a NARSAD young investigator award. The title of the grant is “Auditory-Motor Connectivity During Inner Speech: A Window in to the Neural Basis of Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia”.

Cheryl Grady
Canada Research Chair in Neurocognitive Aging

Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest
Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto

The main focus of Dr. Grady’s work is the study of cognitive aging, specifically age differences in brain activity during cognitive tasks and how these differences are related to differences in behaviour.  This area of research interest includes: face processing during aging; social cognition; the influence of lifelong experiences, such as bilingualism, on the brain; the dynamic mapping of brain networks in older adults and how these networks evolve from simple sensorimotor tasks to more complex attention and memory tasks. This latter area of work is part of a program of research that is examining the nature of brain networks across multiple cognitive domains, and at rest, and how age affects these networks.  One focus is on the default network, which is involved in internally-driven cognitive processes that involve self-reference, and which undergoes a number of changes with age.  Another recent interest in the lab is the variability of brain activity, which is reduced in older adults, and is related to poorer task performance and less stable performance. This research will aid in rehabilitation efforts by identifying the brain mechanisms underlying behavioural difficulties in older adults, as well as those alterations that may compensate for age-related changes in the brain.

Jennifer Ryan
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

Assistant Director and Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest
Associate Professor, Departments of Psychology and Medicine (Psychiatry), University of Toronto

The central focus of Dr. Ryan’s research is the investigation of the nature of representations that are maintained by multiple memory systems and used interactively to guide on-line performance. A converging methodologies approach is used to address questions regarding the type of information maintained in representations formed by working- and long-term memory systems and the role of conscious awareness in the use of such representations in performance.  Her research employs reaction time studies, eye movement paradigms and recently, magnetoecephalography (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.

Recently, Dr. Ryan’s lab provided the first demonstration of simultaneous eye movement and magnetoencephalograpy recordings (Herdman and Ryan, 2007). This combination of techniques is being used to outline the memory systems that support the access of stored information and the comparison of such information with the external environment.  The goal is to understand the neural changes that accompany conscious awareness for stored information and environmental changes.  Ultimately this research will be extended to investigate the underlying changes that culminate in age-related cognitive impairments.

Morris Moscovitch
Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology and Aging, University of Toronto

Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Moscovitch has built an impressive body of research in the areas of memory, attention, and face-recognition. He currently heads the University of Toronto’s Human Neuropsychology and Cognitive Science Lab where scientists study neurologically normal people and those with brain damage related to stroke, head injury and Alzheimer’s disease.

Moscovitch is known specifically for his work on the frontal lobes and a brain structure called the hippocampus which is likely involved in memory and attention. He is currently conducting research on face and object recognition in young and old adults and in people with specific brain injuries that selectively affect their ability to recognize faces, objects or words.

Dr. Moscovitch currently sits on the editorial boards of prominent research journals including Neuropsychologia, Cortex, Cognitive Neuro-psychology, and Brain Research.

Tomáš Paus
Anne and Max Tanenbaum Professor and Chair of Population Neuroscience and Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest

Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Dr. Paus is an expert in mapping the human brain in health and disease using a variety of tools, including positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electro-encephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Over the past five years, Dr. Paus has initiated or joined several large-scale studies of brain maturation and cognitive & behavioural development during adolescence, thus pioneering a new discipline of population neuroscience that operates at an intersection of epidemiology, genetics and neuroscience.
Some of the specific areas of current interest include hormonal influences on the maturation of white matter (axon rather than myelin) during male puberty, effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy and drug experimentation during adolescence, and processing of social cues in faces and bodies in the context of conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Honey & Norman Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work

Ben & Hilda Katz Chair in Gerontological Nursing Research.

Dr. Elsa Marziali awarded Catalyst Grant: eHealth Innovations – 2012

Dr. Elsa Marziali (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Deirdre Dawson, Dr. Kelly Murphy and Dr. Gary Turner (Co-Investigators)

Term of grant: 1 year
Amount : $99,925

Through this project, researchers will develop, evaluate and disseminate an Internet-based technology platform for the delivery of in-home, evidence-based intervention programs to adults with chronic disease and their informal (family) caregivers.

Five RRI scientists awarded 2012-2013 CIHR Operating Grants

Dr. Jean Chen (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Stephen Strother and Dr. Tomas Paus (Co-Investigators)

Term of grant: 4 yrs 0 mth 
Amount : $398,027

This grant will help scientists advance the understanding of resting-state fMRI in the healthy adult population through   improved methods for measuring the resting-state fMRI signal in order to understand brain’s neural connections and advance early identification and detection of disease and degeneration in the brain.

Dr. Morris Moscovitch and Dr. Gordon Winocur (Principal Investigators)
Dr. Cheryl Grady  and Dr. Mary McAndrews (Co-Investigators)

Term of grant: 5 yrs 0 mth 
Amount : $924,841

This research will illuminate how recent and remote memories are formed, retained and retrieved. While creating diagnostic tools to identify memory disorders, this research will increase our understanding of how detailed and schematic memories contribute to language fluency, creativity and problem solving, that are essential components of activities of daily living.

Dr. Tomas Paus and Dr. Suzanne King (Principal Investigators)
Drs. Alain Brunet, Richard Hoge; David Laplante, Melissa  Pangelinan; Jens Pruessner (Co-Investigators)

Term of grant: 5 yrs 0 mth 
Amount : $456,305

This research study will determine the possible effects of maternal stress during pregnancy on adolescent brain maturation, resulting from the 1998 Quebec Ice Storm. The team of investigators will evaluate age-related changes in the connections in the brain during adolescence, and examine whether or not prenatal maternal stress affects normal development of these connections and, in turn, risk of mental health problems. This research will increase our understanding of prenatal factors on brain development and, in turn, individuals’ risk and resilience to psychological problems later in life.

Dr. Bernhard Ross (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Claude Alain (Co-Investigator)

Term of grant: 5 yrs 0 mth 
Amount : $820,855

For elderly people, understanding speech is difficult when others are talking at the same time because the surrounding noise interferes with the speech sound. The research outcomes will provide new knowledge about how the brain processes speech. The results will help to develop and improve assistive technologies and intervention approaches for hearing impaired adults. Moreover, the results will inform us about brain function in general, specifically how brain regions communicate with each other. It will thus inform us about how to help the aging population maintain successful communication and to protect them from social isolation and early cognitive decline.

Dr. Jennifer Ryan (Principal Investigator)
Drs. Malcolm Binns, Randy McIntosh, Jed Meltzer, Bernhard Ross (Co-Investigators)

Term of grant: 5 yrs 0 mth 
Amount : $ 1,065,581

Memory typically declines with age. Research has shown that monitoring eye movements provides a valuable tool to understand memory performance without requiring verbal reports. Researchers will monitor eye movements to understand the influence of aging on the encoding (formation) and retrieval (access) of our memories that describe the personal events in our lives. This foundational research in eye movement monitoring may be an accessible and cost-effective means to understand memory performance in clinical and/or community settings.

CIHR grant for developing interventions to improve performance of older drivers

Rotman Research Institute associate scientist and Baycrest Chief of Medicine, Dr. Gary Naglie (with 13 co-investigators including scientists and clinicians from Canada) received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The award of $562,766 for a term of five years will support research in developing interventions to improve performance of drivers aged 65 years and older with mild cognitive impairment.

CIHR grant for music-supported rehabilitation for stroke patients

Rotman Research Institute scientists Dr. Takako Fujioka and Dr. Deirdre Dawson (with co-investigators from RRI) received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for their research on the impact of music-supported rehabilitation on behavioural and cortical functions in stroke recovery. The award of $461,247 for a term of three years will help improve rehabilitation services for stroke patients in Canada.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team Partnering Grant

The Paus lab was awarded a new 4-year CIHR team grant partnering with a lab in Finland for their application entitled, “Programming the Brain Across Generations: How early environment and genes shape vulnerability to addiction”.

CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund

Brad Buchsbaum was awarded the CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund.