About Us

Information on The CAN Story, our Steering Committee, The CANdex, and our Staff

The CAN Story

The brain holds the great mysteries of our time.
Neuroscientists devote their lives to improving brain health, because nothing is more destructive and frightening than brain disease. Its emotional and financial costs affect every Albertan.

Thanks to timely and strategic investments, and some of the best researchers in the world, Alberta has three strong university centres for neuroscience: Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Edmonton’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, and Lethbridge’s Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience.

In 2009, scientists from each school agreed “strong” wasn’t good enough. No single university or institute alone could truly tackle brain disease.

But if 250 researchers from three universities worked together, from the ground up, they could accomplish something extraordinary.

They launched Campus Alberta Neuroscience, a catalyst and connector, a way to bring basic researchers, applied scientists and clinicians together. They created a single community, a neuroscience superhighway between Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Working together, Campus Alberta Neuroscience will ask the right questions and seek bold answers to some of our greatest problems. Our work will be more powerful, more effective, more precise.


Our collaborative teams are already advancing the science and searching for new ways to prevent and delay dementia. Campus Alberta Neuroscience currently works in the areas of Depression, Healthy Brain Aging and Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Nervous System Injury and Neuroimaging to increase research capacity in the province and ultimately improve the brain health of Albertans.

Our network will help accelerate new research advances, both of pure discovery and those with the potential for translation into new products and protocols. We will help create in Alberta the world’s best destination for brain scientists. And we will push for new and more ways for students and researchers to work and learn and discover — together.

With the help of partners and government and interested Albertans, new solutions, treatments, products, and companies will be born. We will not only help Albertans who suffer from brain diseases, but help Albertans understand the connections between brain science and the way they live and thrive.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is made up of:

Chair: Dr. Jack Jhamandas



Dr. Jhamandas is Distinguished University Professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta.  He received his MSc in Biophysics from the University of Alberta and his MD from the University of Calgary. He completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine at the Toronto Western Hospital and in Neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University. Dr. Jhamandas’ research program focuses on studying misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s and Prion diseases and aspects of Brain control of cardiovascular function. His research has been funded by the CIHR, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and other national and provincial granting agencies. In recognition of his scholastic endeavors, he has received the Gold Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; a Killam Professorship; the Department of Medicine Research Achievement Award; held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Research, and has been elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the American Neurological Association.

Dr. Trevor Barss



Dr. Barss is currently a post-doctoral fellow working under the supervision of Dr. Dave Collins (University of Alberta) and Dr. Chester Ho (University of Calgary) funded by a fellowship from Campus Alberta Neuroscience. The focus of his post-doctoral research is a multi-institution collaboration which aims to reduce fatigue of electrically-evoked muscle contractions during cycling in individuals with a spinal cord injury. Trevor’s research interest began during his B.Sc. Honours and M.Sc. Degrees in Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Jon Farthing. Trevor then completed his PhD in the Rehabilitation Neuroscience Lab at the University of Victoria under the supervision of Dr. E Paul Zehr where he focused on optimising unilateral resistance training as a post-stroke rehabilitation technique. With these experiences in hand, Trevor aims to improve functional recovery after neurotrauma by using both voluntary and electrically-evoked exercise based rehabilitation strategies.

Dr. Andrew Bulloch



Dr. Bulloch is Deputy Director of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and a PhD is neuroscience from the University of North Wales. His research interests are in psychiatric epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology. On the one hand he is researching the risk factors for major depression and bipolar disorder, while also seeking ways to accurately chart the natural history of these disorders in real time. On the other hand he documents drug recommendations for these disorders in an effort to understand if they truly are under-treated as is so dogmatically believed. Much of this research involves analysis of data from health surveys by Statistics Canada. My teaching interests are in mental disorders and their biopsychosocial causes, and in the history of neuroscience and psychiatry.

Teren Clarke



Ms. Clarke is the Executive Director of Spinal Cord Injury Alberta, formerly the Canadian Paraplegic Association.  She has been focused on chronic health and disability issues for the past 30 years.  She has an appointment to The Alberta Paraplegic Foundation as Executive Director and participates in two national advisory committees related to the care and services provided to people with Spinal Cord Injury and other physical disabilities.

Dr. Aaron Gruber



Dr. Gruber received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, writing his dissertation on computational models of brain function. He then studied machine learning and electrophysiology as a post-doctoral fellow, and joined the faculty in the department of neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge in 2009. Dr. Gruber’s laboratory utilizes a wide array of computational and experimental techniques to study how the brain uses past experience to make good choices. The lab’s overarching aim is to synthesize a coherent theory for role of the neuromodulator dopamine in learning, attention, and memory formation, and how dysfunction of these processes contribute to mental illnesses such as addiction and schizophrenia. The lab’s current focus is to use modern technologies for recording and manipulating large-scale neural activity to study how molecular actions of dopamine receptors affect brain dynamics to influence behaviour.

Michele Mulder



Ms. Mulder joined the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories in August 2015 as their Chief Executive Officer. During her time with the organization, Michele has built new, and strengthened existing partnerships in the health and research fields, and has implemented strategic initiatives focused on the organization’s mission and vision to better serve people with dementia and their care partners, stakeholders, funders and donors. A strong supporter of research to find a cause and cure for dementia, and to promote innovations for those diagnosed with dementia who reside in care, Michele has been working with the Board of Directors to introduce a more strategic approach to supporting both bio-medical and pyscho-social research efforts in Alberta. Michele enjoys music, reading, travel and outdoor activities in all seasons.

Dr. Quentin Pittman



Dr. Pittman is a Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed and invited articles on his work that extends from cellular studies on peptide and other transmitters in brain slices to whole animal studies on the effects of inflammation on the brain. At the University of Calgary, Dr. Pittman has been Chair of the Neuroscience Research Group, Assistant Dean (Medical Science) and Education Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. He has been active in review bodies for many scientific agencies and has been reviewing (assoc) editor for J Neuroendocrinol, J Physiol, American J Physiol-Reg, Integ Comp Physiol and currently for Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Sciences, eNeuro and Brain Behavior & Immunity. He has been President of the Canadian Physiological Society, Councilor of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, International Neuroendocrine Federation and International Union of Physiological Sciences and Treasurer of the International Brain Research Organization.

Dr. Keith Sharkey



Dr. Sharkey is the Deputy Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and a Professor and AIHS Medical Scientist in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary. Dr. Sharkey also holds the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada Chair in IBD Research, for his research program investigating the role of nerves in the gastrointestinal tract in intestinal inflammation.

Dr. Simonetta Sipione



Dr. Sipione is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and a member of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta. She also holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Huntington’s disease. Dr. Sipione received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Catania (Italy) and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Milano (Italy) and at University of Alberta. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying Huntington’s disease and on the role of brain lipids in neurodegeneration.

Dr. Rob Sutherland



Dr. Sutherland is Professor & Chair of the Department of Neuroscience in the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, where he is also an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scientist. His current research investigates the neurobiology of learning, memory and amnesia in rodents and humans.

Dr. Kathryn Todd



Dr. Todd is the Senior Vice President Research for Alberta Health Services, responsible for leading Alberta Health Services’ Health Research and Innovation Strategy. She is also a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta, where she studies cellular mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, and works to identify neuroprotective and/or rescue compounds.

Dr. Ian Winship



Dr. Winship is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He is Director of the Neurochemical Research Unit in the Department of Psychiatry, a member of the Steering Committee for the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta, and Chair of the Campus Alberta Neuroscience Education Committee. He has served on scientific review committees with national agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. His research uses advanced imaging and behavioural assays in models of brain disease to identify novel pathophysiology and innovative therapies for these disorders. Ongoing research in Dr. Winship’s laboratory is currently focused on developing novel treatments to improve blood flow and reduce brain damage during stroke, validating therapies to improve recovery from stroke even long after the brain damage has occurred, and identifying the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Dr. Doug Zochodne



Dr. Zochodne joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta as Divisional Director in Neurology in July 2014. He is also Co-Director of the Neurosciences and Mental Health Institute. Along with his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Zochodne has an extensive research program that has been transplanted to the U of A. He has held independent, peer-reviewed funding for over 20 years, which includes funding from CIHR, NIH, AHFMR, among others. He has published over 230 peer reviewed papers and was the recipient of the 2011 Wolfe Prize from the American Neurological Association for his neuropathy research.

Dr. Zochodne and his research team have made significant contributions in experimental diabetic neuropathy and peripheral nerve regeneration.


The purpose of membership in Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN) is to contribute to and receive the benefits from the work of CAN in achieving its goals. The primary goal is to increase the impact of Alberta neuroscience and mental health research, education, and translation.

Campus Alberta Neuroscience creates value for the community by increasing:

  • Connection through events, information, strategic planning and action
  • Attraction of resources
  • Impact through collaboration and partnerships
Membership provides access to the following benefits:
  • Campus Alberta Neuroscience events, resources and programs
  • Collaborative opportunities and partnerships
  • Discounts at future symposia
  • Current information in Alberta neuroscience and mental health
  • Member profile on the CANdex, a public database of neuroscience and mental health researchers across Alberta.
Membership is automatic for individuals meeting the criteria below:
  • Neuroscience and mental health investigators, trainees and research staff at the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge and other relevant Alberta institutions (subject to Campus Alberta Neuroscience approval), including Alberta Health Services, MacEwan University and Mount Royal University
    • Investigators must have a current, full-time continuing academic (Assistant, Associate or Full professor; Adjunct will be considered) or clinical appointment at one of the affiliated Alberta institutions
    • Eligible trainees include Undergraduate and Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows registered full-time in an affiliated Alberta institution in a health sciences discipline
    • Research staff must be in neuroscience and/or mental health research/ education under the supervision of a full-time, continuing academic investigator who holds an appointment at one of the affiliated Alberta institutions
Visit the CANdex


Campus Alberta Neuroscience is a province-wide team working across three Alberta campuses – the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge – to support and facilitate collaborative research, education and translation in neuroscience and mental health.  By developing new and more ways for students and researchers to work, learn and discover together, we aim to establish Alberta as the world’s leading destination for brain scientists.
For information and all inquiries: [email protected]403-220-2422

Grant McIntyre, PhD


Based at the University of Alberta

Dr. McIntyre received a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Alberta in 2000. Before becoming the Executive Director of Campus Alberta Neuroscience he spent 12 years with the Government of Alberta in the ministries of Enterprise and Advanced Education, and of Health. Much of his work involved the development and funding of provincial research strategies.

Clint Westgard, MA


Based at the University of Calgary

As Partnership Coordinator for Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN), Clint works to identify and build strategic collaborations and partnerships for CAN in the areas of neuroscience and mental health research, education and translation. In particular, his role involves facilitating the development of the Alberta Neuroscience Partnership: Multiple Sclerosis Pilot Project. Clint received an MA in History from the University of British Columbia. Before joining CAN, he spent a number of years working in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary as a practicum coordinator, helping to develop and support placements for educational psychology students across Alberta.

Shannon Wowk


In partnership with the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network (CDRIN)
Based at the University of Alberta

Shannon is the Depression Research Coordinator  working with the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network and Campus Alberta Neuroscience to develop a province wide depression research and intervention strategy. She is currently completing her PhD with Dr. Fred Colbourne at the University of Alberta, studying treatments for stroke. Specifically, she is interested in how therapeutic hypothermia influences mechanisms of secondary degeneration after hemorrhagic stroke as well as any potential side effects.

Jennifer Dotchin


Based at the University of Calgary

Jennifer is the newest member of the Campus Alberta Neuroscience team, working as Project Manager at the University of Calgary. Jennifer manages and oversees the programs and projects at CAN while supporting partnership and network development. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a MA in Political Studies, as well as has training in process improvement and change management. Jennifer has experience in healthcare for over a decade at the local, regulatory, provincial, and national levels. Jennifer can be found in the mountains most weekends and lives in Calgary.

Lucy Escott


Based at the University of Calgary

As Administrative Coordinator, Lucy supports Campus Alberta Neuroscience’s core administrative duties, assists with event coordination, communications and plays a critical role in facilitating network activity.  Originally from the UK, Lucy has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Central England.

Renee Dumas


In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN)
Based at the University of Lethbridge

Renée provides administrative support to Campus Alberta Neuroscience out of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. Her role supports CAN’s mandate to increase the scope, scale, success, and impact of neuroscience and mental health education in Alberta. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Lethbridge in 2015. Her academic interests include the neurodevelopmental pathways to atypical behaviour in children, the neuropsychological effects of brain injury, and the processes of healing in the brain.


There are no current opportunities.