Past Events

For more information on cluster activities and events, please email Jeff LeDue at

Brain Clearing workshops, July 12 2017 Oct 23, 2017

Pictured: cleared mouse brain, presented by Dr. Kwanghun Chung at Neurofutures 2017. Image credit: Dr. Jason Snyder. 

NeuroFutures 2017 Oct 19, 2017

A partnership of the Allen Insitute for Brain Science, Oregon Health & Science University, University of Washington, and the University of British Columbia, NeuroFutures is an annual conference that brings together experts from across the field of neuroscience for a series of stimulating talks and posters highlighting innovations in neuroscience and neurotechnology. The 2017 conference was held at the University of British Columbia.

Girl in school paying attention.
New research demonstrates complexity underlying the 'simplest form of learning' Oct 19, 2017

“We thought we were studying the simplest form of learning,” says Dr. Catharine Rankin. “But it turns out the ‘simplest form of learning’ is not so simple after all.” 

The Beautiful Brain, Cajal Exhibit, Fall 2017 Oct 19, 2017

The Beautiful Brain is the first North American museum exhibition to present the extraordinary drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934), a Spanish pathologist, histologist and neuroscientist renowned for his discovery of neuron cells and their structure, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1906. Known as the father of modern neuroscience, Cajal was also an exceptional artist. He combined scientific and artistic skills to produce arresting drawings with extraordinary scientific and aesthetic qualities.

Infrastructure grants from Canadian government fund brain, spinal cord research Oct 13, 2017

The Faculty of Medicine received a total of $31.2 million in the latest round of CFI funding, announced today at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH). The eight projects represent the majority of the 15 grants, totaling $52.2 million, awarded to UBC. Three of these were awarded to DMCBH members.

Canadian flags at Parliament
UBC researchers promote the Fundamental Science Review on Parliament Hill Sep 21, 2017

“Based on data from a survey we produced last year, 80 per cent of Canadian Principal Investigators (PIs) have indicated plans to slow their research programs,” says Dr. Liisa Galea. “They’re worried about how they’re going to support new trainees, and funding is their primary concern.”

Troy McDiarmid
Troy McDiarmid worms into the intricacies of genetic risk in ASD Sep 15, 2017

To understand how gene mutations affect neurodevelopment and learning in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), PhD candidate Troy McDiarmid is looking at microscopic worms. McDiarmid, a graduate student in Dr. Catharine Rankin’s lab, was recently awarded a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award from the CIHR for his proposal to characterize ASD-associated gene mutations in worm models of the disorder.

Amyloid plaques in the brain.
Steering an enzyme’s “scissors” shows potential for stopping Alzheimer’s disease Jul 19, 2017

The old real estate adage about “location, location, location” might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.

Scientists at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health have identified a couple of crucial steps in the formation a protein called amyloid beta, which accumulates in clumps, or “plaques,” in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Those discoveries inspired efforts at disrupting the biochemical carving of amyloid beta’s precursor protein into its final, toxic shape.

What artificial intelligence can learn from the human brain
What AI can learn from the brain and vice-versa: An evening with Dr. Gary Marcus Jun 9, 2017

According to Dr. Gary Marcus, world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist, bestselling author, and Founder of Geometric Intelligence, recently acquired by Uber, the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is tied to innovations in neuroscience. As our understanding of the brain evolves over the next decade or more, so will our ability to digitally reverse-engineer the brain.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal, injured Purkinje neurons, 1914, ink and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Instituto Cajal (CSIC).
Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal to be shown at UBC Apr 13, 2017

Pictured: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, injured Purkinje neurons, 1914, ink and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Instituto Cajal (CSIC).