Education

Campus Alberta Neuroscience works to improve an already strong neuroscience educational landscape. This work focuses on increased sharing of neuroscience education across the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge (and to include other campuses over time). This will improve access for Alberta’s neuroscience students to expertise and resources beyond the boundaries of a single campus.  We are currently piloting approaches to sharing courses and identifying future shared courses in the neuroscience discipline to deliver across the three campuses.

N2:  A Neurology/Neuroscience Training and Collaboration Meeting

Next Workshop:
Fall 2018

Workshop Description

The N2 Workshop is a province-wide collaborative learning event among Neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and clinical Neurology/Neurosurgery residents. The goal of the workshop is to establish a learning dialogue among future researchers and clinicians involved in the understanding and development of new solutions for Neuroscience problems and the care of people with Neurological disease.

Purpose

  • To expose Neurology and Neurosurgery residents to concepts in fundamental Neurosciences and how these may relate to the clinical problems they encounter during their training.
  • To broaden the exposure of Neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to clinical problems in Neurology and Neurosurgery and the research questions that evolve from these problems.
  • To connect graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with clinical trainees in Neurology to explore common goals, ideas and thoughts around what career collaboration might look like.
  • To explore grant planning and writing in clinical and basic Neurosciences.

Format

The N2 Workshop will focus on the basic science and clinical perspectives of five major neuroscience health areas:

  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Peripheral Nerve Disease
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation

Within each session, participants will be presented with a clinical case followed by the fundamental neuroscience concepts underlying the case. Groups of neuroscience trainees and neurology/neurosurgery residents will then work together to formulate ideas and research questions to address the challenges of the case. The workshop will also include a session on grant writing to explore how best to communicate your research ideas.

The primary objectives of the sessions will be:

  1. For Neurology and Neurosurgery residents to explore basic concepts that underpin five basic clinical Neurological and Neurosurgical problems.
  2. For Neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to learn of how common Neurological and Neurosurgical problems present to clinicians and what challenges they bring with them.
  3. To develop specific research questions around each of the main themes of the meeting.
  4. To explore principles of grant preparation and writing: how to get your idea funded!

Location and Dates

  • Location TBD
  • Fall 2018

Travel, Meals and Accommodations

Travel, meals and accommodations  will be included in the registration fee. Workshop participants will be provided with shared accommodations at the  chosen venue. Meals will be provided throughout the workshop. Bus travel will be made available from the University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge. More information will be provided once registration has closed.

Program

A draft high-level program for the N2 Workshop is available here and is subject to change.

Registration

Eligibility Criteria
  • Full-time Neuroscience graduate students (MSc or PhD) in at least the second year of training and postdoctoral fellows at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge and University of Saskatchewan
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery residents at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Saskatchewan

Please note that space for this Workshop is limited.

Registration Process

Space in this workshop is limited and registration is done on a first come, first served basis. To register, you must complete both the online application form AND submit payment of the registration fee (details below). Your registration is not considered complete until both items are submitted.

Registration will open late summer
Registration Fee

A fee of $100 must accompany your registration from in order to reserve a space in the workshop. This fee helps to offset the operational costs of the event, including accommodations, meals and travel for participants. The link to the fee payment page is provided in the registration form.

Questions

For information, please contact [email protected]

Trainee Retreat

Recent Retreat:
DESIGNING YOUR FUTURE
Held April 28 – 29, 2018
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, Alberta

Retreat Description

Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN) was created to deliver positive, measurable and lasting impact in neuroscience and mental health research, education and translation and to establish Alberta as a hub for innovation and excellence. We were pleased to partner with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for the CAN Trainee Professional Development Retreat. The retreat was a formal opportunity to bring together trainees from across the province to explore professional development topics relevant to trainees’ future careers, both inside and outside of academia.

The Trainee Professional Development Retreat is a series of three events:

  1. Collaborative Communication: took place September 30-October 1, 2017 – click here to see an overview of this event
  2. Leadership Purpose: took place January 20-21, 2018 – click here to see an overview of this event
  3. Designing your Future: took place April 28-29, 2018 – see below for more information

All three of the retreats will incorporate the use of interactive and engaging exercises, such as:

  • Experiential Learning: problem-solving tasks and live experiences to animate the ideas of the program. These are engaging and challenging activities that allow people to see the principles discussed in live action, and help non-verbal learners engage with the ideas discussed
  • Role-Plays and Case Studies: where appropriate, the content of the program will be animated through role-plays, personal experiences and debriefs that directly anchor the content to real world application
  • Collaboration & Networking: A chance to connect with other trainees across Alberta
Feedback from Previous Trainee Retreat Participants

“It was a great way to network with other trainees. The tasks and activities of the retreat made it really easy to converse with the other trainees about material other than our research projects (as what tends to happen at conferences). They pushed you out of your comfort zone but not so much as to make you feel totally exposed.”

Interesting insights into group dynamics, communication and leadership [and an] awesome way to get to know some other trainees.”

Session Highlights – Designing Your Future

This retreat builds on previous concepts such as collaboration, communicating with others, personal leadership style and strengths by asking trainees to look ahead in their own personal career transition and shape the future they want to work towards. Whether you’ve taken previous programs, or are joining us for the first time, you’ll benefit from your time in Banff. We’ll examine how your current skills might be applied towards the future, who will best support those aspirations, and steps to get there. Trainees will map out their personal network and identify sponsors and potential gaps that might be required to further their vision. In addition, you’ll complete a strengths assessment to communicate your skills with more confidence.

Activities at the Retreat will help trainees to:

  • Gain clarity in communicating their personal and professional strengths and skills
  • Map their personal network to identify support systems and gaps
  • Identify behaviours that have brought success and what is needed to take them forward
  • Practice conveying their strengths with concrete examples from current experience
  • Create a plan for next steps and set actionable milestones

Program

A draft high-level program for the Designing Your Future Retreat is available here.

Facilitators

Elaine Broe, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Katrina Donald, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Questions

For information, please contact Renee Dumas at [email protected]

Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience

Image courtesy of Matt Walton
2018 Workshop
Held May 31 – June 8, 2018

Workshop Description

Purpose

Contemporary neurobiological experiments often generate complex data sets with many dependent variables collected continuously through time. Appropriate analysis tools are needed to uncover relationships among signals and allow for a better understanding of the underlying biological processes. This workshop aimed to give students an introduction to the theory and practical application of computational methods for the analysis of neurobiological data. The workshop composed of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods in a computer lab, and a course project. Several data sets were provided for students’ use. Instruction and exercises used MATLAB, the most commonly used data analysis and visualization tool for quantitative sciences; however, no prior experience with this software was required. Each student was asked to complete a project during the workshop. Students had the option to bring their own data for use in the projects or could use data provided by the instructors. The instructors and TAs provided support at every phase of the project, including selecting an appropriate topic, deciding on analyses, programming, and visualization. Although the course focused on signals from animal behaviour and electrophysiology, the methods taught in the course were highly applicable to many other types of signals encountered in neurobiological research.

Format 

This nine-day workshop is comprised of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods in a computer lab, and a course project.

General Topics
  • Introduction to MATLAB
  • Data visualization
  • Overview of analysis methods for neurobiological signals
  • Fundamental concepts in signal processing
  • Working with discrete data (action potentials, behavioural events, etc.)
  • Methods for working with multiple simultaneous signals (e.g. EEG signals)
  • Analysis of imaging data
Instructors

David Euston, Aaron Gruber, Artur Luczak, Majid Mohajerani, Masami Tatsuno, Bruce McNaughton (Director of the Polaris Brain Dynamics research group).

Bios of the CCBN faculty members can be found at: www.uleth.ca/artsci/neuroscience/our-faculty

 

Previous Workshop Participants

2014 Workshop
2015 Workshop
2016 Workshop
2016 Online Workshop Extension
2017 Workshop

Advanced Workshop on Emerging Technologies and Concepts in Medical Imaging

Next Workshop: TBA
Registration is closed. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Workshop Description (2016)

Purpose

This workshop is aimed at graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in exploring advanced topics in medical imaging, with a particular focus on the brain. The workshop will cover a number of emerging technologies and concepts including optical imaging, CT/PET/MR, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, machine learning and large scale imaging trials. The sessions will include lectures and interactive learning focused on theory, concepts, animal models and clinical applications as well as a hands-on component. The workshop will also include guest lectures by medical imaging experts from across Canada.

Content

This three-day workshop is comprised of lectures and hands-on analysis and visualization sessions on the latest technologies and concepts in medical imaging, with a particular focus on the brain. See below for a description of each workshop session:

Optical Imaging, Dr. Majid Mohajerani, University of Lethbridge

Neuroimaging has developed rapidly in recent years, and has had a profound effect on how we understand the nervous system. In this seminar, we aimed to provide trainees with a comprehensive overview of the optical imaging techniques that are currently used in neuroscience research. In addition, we will discuss how optical neuroimaging methods can advance our understanding of healthy brain function and neuropsychiatric and neurologic disorders. The session will end with a short hands-on tutorial on optical imaging data analysis.

Quantitative CT, PET, MRI, Dr. Alan Wilman, University of Alberta

This seminar will entail three 40 minute talks from experts in three imaging modalities: Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The focus of the talks will be on delivering basic imaging and analysis concepts to understand specific emerging quantitative imaging methods.  There will also be a hands-on session to examine quantitative imaging data. The main objective is to gain an understanding of the ability of each method to quantify biologically important parameters.

Introduction to Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), Dr. Ashley Harris, University of Calgary

This seminar will include talks from three experts to provide an overview of the fundamentals of 1H-MR spectroscopy, the metabolites that can be measured with this technique and a brief introduction to editing – a more advanced MRS method. A hands-on component will provide attendees some experience with looking at data and evaluating data quality. The main objective is to provide an overview of MRS methodology and its application.

Introduction to Machine Learning in Imaging, Dr. Richard Frayne, University of Calgary

This seminar will provide an introduction to machine learning in imaging and its applications in clinical and research settings.  The session will conclude with a hands-on component.

Imaging Processing of Structural MRI and Large-Scale Imaging Trials, Fil Cortese, University of Calgary

This seminar will concentrate on structural MRI cortical surface segmentation, using tools such as CIVET and Freesurfer, to allow for volumetric functions such as cortical thickness, cortical surface area, and cortical volume. We will also discuss how to perform large-scale studies using unique computational methods. This module will include a hands-on session to familiarize the participant with current software tools.

The Workshop Schedule is available here and is subject to change.

Instructors

See workshop schedule above

Guest Speakers

Frank Prato, Western University

Alex MacKay, University of British Columbia

Registration

Eligibility Criteria
  • Graduate level students (Masters or PhD) and postdoctoral fellows registered full-time in a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline
    • Although preference will be given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, faculty and staff are also welcome to apply.
  • Prerequisite: Introductory graduate level medical imaging course or equivalent knowledge/experience.  Students can outline equivalent experience on the application.
Registration Process:

Registration is limited to 50 participants. Priority is given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who meet the eligibility criteria and are registered in a Campus Alberta Neuroscience partner institution  (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge).

Applications are to be submitted online via the form available here. Note that submission of this form does not guarantee participation in the workshop. All applications will be reviewed by the planning committee. Invitations to participate in the workshop will be sent soon after the registration deadline.

Cost

A nominal registration fee of $50 will be charged to participants to help defray the costs of the workshop. Lunches and refreshment break will be provided for the duration of the workshop, as well as a workshop dinner on June 21.

Campus Alberta Neuroscience and the CREATE I3T Program will provide financial support for costs associated with ground transportation and accommodation for Alberta trainees/faculty who are from outside of Calgary. Expenses related to ground transportation and accommodation are covered only if the workshop is attended in full. Only costs related to this workshop will be reimbursed and are at the discretion of the sponsors.

Non-Alberta based attendees will be required to cover all costs associated with the workshop, including travel, meals and accommodation.

Notice of Decision

Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision via email by Campus Alberta Neuroscience. Those accepted into the workshop will be provided with additional information in advance of the workshop. The package will include additional details on the workshop content, fees, travel, meals and accommodation.

Questions

If you are interested in applying to this program and require further information, please contact Michelle Mather.

Introductory Workshop on Functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Brain

Next Workshop: TBA
Registration is now closed.

Workshop Description

Purpose

The goal of the workshop is to introduce participants to the fundamentals of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to two core imaging sequences used in neuroscience research: functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). fMRI can measure changes in blood oxygenation that reflect neuronal activation during specific tasks or even in the resting state. DTI can virtually identify white matter tracts and provide metrics indicative of the axonal micro-structure. The workshop will consist of introductory lectures on basics and applications, software demonstrations, MRI-centre tour, and hands on analysis sessions.

General Topics

The two-day workshop will consist of introductory lectures on basics and applications, software demonstrations, MRI-centre tour, and hands on analysis sessions. General topics are as follows:

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Clinical and neuroscience applications
  • Interactive data collection and analysis
Click here to view the workshop schedule (subject to change)
Instructors

Workshop Organizers:

  • Christian Beaulieu, Faculty, UofA
  • Brad Goodyear, Faculty, UofC

Guest Instructors:

  • Helen Carlson, Staff, UofC
  • Fil Cortese, Staff, UofC
  • Alexandru Hanganu, Postdoctoral Fellow, UofC
  • Stan Hrybouski, Trainee, UofA
  • Stefan Lang, Trainee, UofC
  • Catherine Lebel, Faculty, UofC
  • Nikolai Malykhin, Faculty, UofA
  • Daniel Pittman, Trainee, UofC
  • Sarah Treit, Staff, UofA

Eligibility

The workshop is open to trainees (including senior undergraduates, graduate students, and Postdoctoral Fellows), staff, and faculty who are interested in using neuroimaging techniques to study the function and network architecture of the human brain. No prior neuroimaging experience is required. Attendees are expected to have familiarity with basic concepts of neuroscience.

The following are eligible to apply to the workshop:
  • Graduate level students (Masters or PhD) and Postdoctoral fellows registered full-time in a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline
  • Undergraduate students registered full-time in a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline, involved in a research project and sponsored by an academic faculty member.
  • Faculty or staff from a post-secondary institution working in neuroscience or a related discipline

Application and Registration

The workshop can accommodate 50 attendees. Priority is given to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and are registered in/employed at a Campus Alberta Neuroscience partner institution (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge).

To apply for the workshop, please complete the following form:

  • Introductory Workshop Application

Registration for this workshop is now closed

Note that completing the application form does not guarantee a place in the workshop.

After the application period has ended, all applications will be reviewed and invitations to attend the workshop will be sent via email. Those invited to attend the workshop will be required to complete a confirmation of attendance form and pay the workshop registration fee to confirm their place in the workshop. Instructions for completion of these two items will be sent via email.

Following the workshop, attendees may request a Certificate of Participation to confirm their completion of the workshop.

Cost

For those invited to attend the workshop, payment of a $40 registration fee will be required to help defray the operational costs of the workshop. Meals will be provided during the workshop and up to two nights’ accommodation (nights of May 8 and 9) will be organized for Alberta-based participants from outside of Edmonton.

No fees are due at the time of application. If you are invited to attend the workshop, more information will be provided to you on how to pay your registration fee.

Campus Alberta Neuroscience and the NSERC CREATE I3T Program are providing financial support for this workshop. Bus transportation or fuel expenses are eligible for reimbursement, which is at the discretion of the workshop organizers. More information on how to request reimbursement will be provided after the workshop has ended. 

Non-Alberta based attendees will be required to cover all costs associated with the workshop, including travel, meals and accommodation.

Questions

If you are interested in applying to this program and require further information, please contact Jen Kamps.

Shared Seminars

Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN) facilitates increased sharing of neuroscience research and education activities across the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge.  CAN works to improve an already strong neuroscience educational landscape and has developed an approach to share neuroscience seminars across campuses.  Individual seminars and seminar series of higher profile speakers and of significant interest to multiple campuses are being identified and shared across the three campuses. By sharing, Alberta’s neuroscience community has access to the expertise of local and international scholars of prominence.  The shared seminars also enhance knowledge and strengthen the linkages among Alberta’s single neuroscience community.

Broadcasting Seminars

CAN can facilitate the sharing of seminars, guest speakers and colloquia to all three campuses by videoconference technology.  If you have a presentation that would be of interest to the Alberta neuroscience community and would like to have it broadcasted, please contact [email protected] for more information. Please allow 2-3 weeks prior to the seminar date for planning purposes.