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.

Trainee Retreat

COAST Canmore Hotel
Canmore, Alberta
Next Retreat: October 2017 (TBC)

Retreat Description (2016)

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 are pleased to be partnering with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for the CAN Trainee Retreat this October. The retreat is a formal opportunity to bring together trainees from across the province to explore professional development topics relevant to trainees’ future careers as neuroscience professionals, both inside and outside of academia.

The focus of this retreat will be on the interpersonal and public/professional aspects of communication. These topics have been selected because the ability to work closely with and collaborate with others, and to speak clearly, concisely and persuasively is paramount to success in any career.

The retreat facilitators will make use of the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) to identify participants’ personal strengths and preferences in relating to others when everything is going well and when faced with conflict or tension. The group will use this tool together to think about the similarities and differences in communication preferences and to learn how to adjust messages to successfully communicate with different audiences. Furthermore, participants will explore their personal strengths by testing communication approaches and applying them to communicate ideas, controversies and innovations that are relevant to their field of research or the general science community. Banff Centre’s facilitators excel at engaging participants and making people think outside the box to learn new and innovate ideas in a fun and interactive environment.

Feedback from Trainee Retreat 2015 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.”

“Really enthusiastic and knowledgeable speakers – they did an excellent job presenting the content, regulating the pace of the sessions, knowing exactly when students needed a fresh-air break, creating a positive atmosphere. Katrina and Geoff were fantastic.”

Program

The DRAFT program for the 2016 Trainee Retreat is available here.

Facilitators

Katrina Donald, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Geoff Powter, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Session Highlights

Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI)

A general introduction to the tool and an active exploration of participant results when things are going well. The group will discuss how the results of the SDI can be used to explain – and change – approach or behaviour. Later in the day, the SDI results will be used to explore communication when there is tension or conflict. Focus will be on paying attention to and adapting communication approaches and encouraging consideration of conflict as a constructive force.

Communications Challenge/Opportunity

Learning Partner group work will consist of participants sharing with one another the Communication Challenges / Opportunities they each brought to the program. The Learning Partner group will spend time working together on their individual challenges, as a first step towards getting ready for a presentation back to the other participants on the afternoon of Day 2. Guidelines for the presentation will be provided, with a particular emphasis on grounding the challenge in the communication of a controversy/innovation in science. By Day 2, participants will be able to shape their messages clearly and appropriately by building awareness of how the concepts and central themes of the retreat impact preparation, approach and presentation of communications.

Conflict, Power and Authority

In a large group as well as smaller groups, participants will explore a variety of concepts dealing with conflict, power and authority, giving them opportunity to practice the concepts.

Each of the sessions 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, case studies and debriefs that directly anchor the content to real world experiences.

Cost

A nominal registration fee of $50 will be charged to participants to help defray the on-site costs of the workshop. Payment of this fee must accompany the complete registration form in order to secure your place in the retreat. Meals and refreshment breaks will be provided for the duration of the workshop. Campus Alberta Neuroscience will provide travel and accommodation to participants at no cost. Participants are also welcome to use their own vehicles, but travel expenses will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Registration

Eligibility Criteria
  • Graduate level students (Masters or PhD) and postdoctoral fellows registered full-time in a neuroscience program or a related discipline at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary or University of Lethbridge. Although preference will be given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate students are also welcome to apply.
  • Preference will be given to students who did not participate in the 2015 Trainee Retreat
Registration Process:

Registration is limited to 50 participants. Registration is now closed.

Questions

If you are interested in attending the retreat and require further information, please contact Campus Alberta Neuroscience.

Introductory Workshop on Computational Methods in Neuroscience

Image courtesy of Matt Walton
Next Workshop: May 31 – June 9, 2017
Registration for this workshop is now closed.

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 aims to give students an introduction to the theory and practical application of computational methods for the analysis of neurobiological data. The workshop is composed of lectures, hands-on use of key analysis methods in a computer lab, and a course project. Several data sets will be provided for students’ use. Instruction and exercises will use MATLAB, the most commonly used data analysis and visualization tool for quantitative sciences; however, no prior experience with this software is required. Each student will be asked to complete a project during the workshop. Students can choose to bring their own data for use in the projects or may use data provided by the instructors. The instructors and TAs will provide support at every phase of the project, including selecting an appropriate topic, deciding on analyses, programming, and visualization. Although the course will focus on signals from animal behaviour and electrophysiology, the methods taught in the course are applicable to many other types of signals encountered in neurobiological research.

Format 

This ten-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

2017 Guest Speakers: TBA

 

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.
  • 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.
  • No prior experience with any programming language is required. Students will learn to use the MATLAB computing environment.
  • Students can outline previous experience on the application. Previous experience will be taken into consideration during evaluation.
  • Students are expected to have familiarity with hypothesis testing and basic concepts of neuroscience (e.g. action potentials).
Registration Process:

Registration is limited to 25 students. Priority is given to graduate students who meet the eligibility criteria and are registered in a Campus Alberta Neuroscience partner institution  (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge). Registration will be open from January 25, 2017 to February 22, 2017 at 4pm MST.

To be considered for the workshop, the following must be received by 4PM MST on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017:

  1. Online Application Form
  2. Applicant curriculum vitae (in .pdf format)
  3. A Letter of Supervisor Support

Items 2 and 3 above must be submitted via email to Campus Alberta Neuroscience at [email protected] by the application deadline with the following subject line:

Computational Methods Workshop Application Supporting Documents – [LAST NAME, FIRST NAME]

 

Please note that all application components – including the Online Application Form, applicant CV, and Letter of Supervisor Support – must be received by the application deadline (February 22, 2017, 4pm MST). Failure to receive all components of the application will result in your application being marked as ‘incomplete’ and will not be considered by the reviewers.

Cost

For those invited to attend the workshop, a nominal registration fee of $100 will be charged to help defray the operational costs of the workshop. Meals and accommodations will be provided for the duration of the workshop to Alberta students based outside of Lethbridge.

Alberta undergraduate students may request a fee waiver. If an undergraduate student wishes to receive course credit for this workshop, that student will not be required to pay the nominal registration fee of $100 but will become responsible for the full tuition costs to University of Lethbridge related to this course. These fees can not be waived.

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 Biological Information Processing Program will provide financial support for costs associated with ground transportation and accommodation for Alberta trainees/faculty who are from outside of Lethbridge. 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.

Students from outside of Alberta and those from Alberta who are not registered full-time in a partnered institution will be required to cover all costs associated with the course, including tuition, travel, meals and accommodation.

Application Evaluation

The Computational Neuroscience Committee will review and rank all complete applications. *Applications will be evaluated on merit and on the following criteria:

  • Preference to graduate students working in neuroscience or related discipline
  • Preference to Alberta-based students studying at an albertaneuro partner institution (University of Alberta, Calgary or Lethbridge)
  • Quality of student’s CV
  • Benefit to student’s program of study/project
  • Contribution to Supervisor’s program of neuroscience research

Notice of Decision

  • Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing by Campus Alberta Neuroscience
  • Students accepted into the workshop will be provided with a registration package in advance. The package will include additional details on the workshop content, course credit and fees, travel, meals and accommodation.

Questions

If you are interested in applying to this program and require further information, please contact [email protected]

Previous Workshop Participants

2014 Workshop
2015 Workshop
2016 Workshop
2016 Online Workshop Extension

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 Neuroimaging Techniques for the Study of Brain Activation and Brain Networks

Next Workshop: May 9-10, 2017 – University of Alberta
Registration for the 2017 workshop is scheduled to open in March.
Please check this page regularly for updates.
The information below pertains to the Workshop held in 2015.
An updated description for the 2017 Workshop will be available soon.

Workshop Description (2015)

Purpose

This workshop is aimed at trainees and research staff interested in using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), or electroencephalography (EEG) to study the function and network architecture of the human brain. The workshop will cover the underlying neurophysiology that gives rise to imaging signals, and how to optimize acquisition parameters and perform basic data analysis.  Attendees will also gain hands-on experience in data collection and analysis. The workshop will conclude with a description of how these techniques can be integrated to explore the brain’s network architecture.

Content 

This three-day workshop is comprised of lectures and hands-on data collection and analysis using a variety of neuroimaging techniques

General Topics
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Hands-on data collection and analysis
  • Integration of multiple techniques
Click here to view the 2015 Workshop Schedule
Instructors
  • Brad Goodyear, Faculty, UofC
  • Fil Cortese, Staff, UofC
  • Craig Beers, PhD Student, UofC
  • James Benoit, PhD Student, UofA
  • Signe Bray, Faculty, UofC
  • Helen Carlson, Staff, UofC
  • Darren Clark, Postdoctoral Fellow, UofC
  • Jacquie Hodge, Staff, UofC
  • Catherine Lebel, Faculty, UofC
  • Victoria Mosher, PhD Student, UofC
  • Alireza Sojoudi, PhD Student, UofC
  • Sophia Van Hees, Postdoctoral Fellow, UofC
  • Matt Walton, MSc Student, UofC
  • Rebecca Williams, Postdoctoral Fellow, UofC

 

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligible to Apply

  • 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

Registration

Registration is limited to 50 attendees. Priority is given to registrants 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). Confirmation of registration will be sent via email following the registration deadline.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW CLOSED.

Cost

Campus Alberta Neuroscience will provide financial support for costs associated with ground transportation and accommodation for those who are from outside of Calgary. Meals during the workshop will be provided. 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.

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.