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July 27, 2017

Dr. Stephen Strother, senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, will help shape cooperative brain research around the world in his new appointment as a Canadian representative on the Council for Training Science and Infrastructure (CTSI).

The CTSI oversees the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), a global organization established by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which brings together leading scientists who work towards improving sharing and access of neuroscience data among the research community. By creating more institutional collaborations, this work could lead to greater breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of incurable brain disorders.

Dr. Strother, a recognized leader in combining big data analysis with brain study, was selected as one of the country’s first INCF representatives. Canada became an INCF governing member in February. Working with the INCF, Dr. Strother will help guide training and educational initiatives, and technical infrastructure and software developments that will benefit neuroscientists worldwide. 

“The only way we will make rapid progress in understanding and treating diseases in something as complex as the brain is to enhance national and international collaborations and pool resources and data, says Dr. Strother, who is also a professor with the department of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto. “Creating the appropriate infrastructure is the first step towards accelerating scientific discovery.

This position is an extension of Dr. Strother’s work as head of neuroinformatics for the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative, a provincial research collaboration working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders, which supports the largest Canadian study on dementia.

Dr. Strother is also the leader of neuroimaging on an Ontario-wide, centralized brain database set up by the Ontario Brain Institute, which helps hundreds of researchers across the province store, share and analyze brain data.

Most recently, Dr. Strother was instrumental to Baycrest’s launch of Canada’s first cross-institutional memory clinic. He was also appointed the co-chair of the neuroimaging working group for the International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research.

As a cure for dementia remains elusive, sharing data and analysis among researchers and clinicians could provide crucial insight and speed up current scientific discovery. Donate online or call the donations line at 416-785-2875 to support Dr. Strother’s and our scientists’ research.

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