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Mouse Imaging Centre
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Katie Polanic
Mouse Imaging Centre
The Hospital for Sick Children
25 Orde Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3H7
Tel: 416-813-7654 ext 309536
Fax: 647-837-5832
Email: katie.polanic@sickkids.ca


Primary Investigators

R. Mark Henkelman, Ph.D. is a University Professor of the University of Toronto and holder of a Canada Research Chair and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010, he was awarded the Killam Prize in Health Science by the Canada Council. He is the director of the Mouse Imaging Centre (MICe) and a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. At MICe, his research focus is on providing a comprehensive assessment of mice using various imaging modalities as a critical resource for genomic research. He is a co-author on more than 350 publications and over 620 abstracts. He is regularly invited worldwide to speak about mouse imaging. As an antidote to these academic pursuits, he likes to go canoeing and kayaking whenever possible.

Jason P. Lerch, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and an Associate Professor in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. Jason joined MICe in August 2005 as a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Dr. Mark Henkelman and Dr. John Sled. Prior to MICe, he completed his Ph.D. in 2005 in the department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. He received his B.A. in 1999 in Anthropology and Social Studies of Medicine from McGill University. His Ph.D. research was on in-vivo measurements of cortical thickness from MRI. While at MICe, his research focus is on detecting neuroanatomical changes due to behavioural and genetic manipulations in tightly controlled mouse models and to relate these findings to sadly not so well controlled human subjects.

Brian J. Nieman, Ph.D. is a Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Mouse Imaging Centre and a Level 2 Investigator with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Brian completed his B.Sc. in 2001 from the department of Physics at the University of Waterloo. He received his Ph.D. in 2006 from the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. In his Ph.D. work, he developed tools for MR imaging and neuroanatomical screening of mice under the supervision of Dr. R. Mark Henkelman. He subsequently continued his studies with a postdoctoral fellowship at the Skirball Institute of the New York University School of Medicine with Dr. Daniel H. Turnbull. While in New York, he developed methods for MR imaging of mice in early developmental stages and applied cellular imaging methods to characterize neural progenitor cell migration dynamics. Brian's current research interests include brain development, cancer treatment and cellular imaging.

John G. Sled, Ph.D. is a Professor in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. His current research interests include the genetic and environmental determinants of vascular patterning and the development of quantitative imaging techniques for assessing morphology and function. John received an M.Eng. in 1997 from the department of Biomedical Engineering at McGill University for his work on the causes and remedies of intensity non-uniformity artifacts in MRI. He received his Ph.D. from the department of Electrical Engineering at McGill University in 2001 for his work on quantitative magnetization transfer imaging. From 2001-2003, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Imaging Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with Dr. Mark Henkelman. During that period, he investigated the use of micro-computed tomography for characterizing the microvasculature of whole organs.


Mouse Imaging Centre Personnel

Rylan Allemang-Grand is a Ph.D. student in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He joined MICe in 2011 to work with Dr. Jason Lerch and reclassified to a Ph.D. program in July 2013. Rylan received an Honours B.Sc. with a specialization in psychology from the University of Ottawa in 2011. His research focuses on rescuing behaviour and neuroanatomical phenotypes in mouse models of Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Aidin Arbabi, Ph.D. joined MICe as a Research Fellow in November 2015. Aidin received his first M.Sc. degree in Biomechanics Engineering in 2005 at Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Iran. He got his second M.Sc. degree at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in 2009, Sweden, in the field of Medical Imaging. He received his P.hD. in Physics at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, in 2015, while working on Magnetic Resonance Study of Two-Phase Gas-Liquid Systems: Acoustic Cavitation and Vertical Bubbly Flow under the supervision of Dr. I. V. Mastikhin. Before joining us, Aidin also worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UNB MRI centre for March-July 2015 working on MRI of sprays.

Kiran Beera is a M.Sc. student at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics. He joined MICe in August 2013 and is working with Dr. Brian Nieman. Kiran holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in the Human Biology specialist program from the University of Toronto. His previous research focused on using computational methods to simulate relaxivity of novel T1 MRI contrast agents. His current research focuses on analyzing differences in developmental outcomes of pediatric focal brain irradiation to neural stem cell niches using MR imaging.

Jonathan Bishop, Ph.D. has been a Senior Research Engineer at the Mouse Imaging Centre since 2002, responsible for supporting the spectrometer hardware and software. His research focuses on methods for cardiac imaging of multiple mice. Prior to joining MICe, Jonathan worked at Colorado Medtech for two years. Jonathan received his Ph.D. from the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto in 1997.

Lindsay Cahill, Ph.D. joined the Mouse Imaging Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow in June 2009 and then as a Research Associate starting in 2012. Her current research focuses on mouse models of neurodegenerative disease using MR and micro-CT, quantitative MR methods for spine imaging, understanding how the cerebral vascular networks reorganize with exercise and studying the vascular response of the fetal brain during hypoxia. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Gillian Goward. From 2008-09, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Physics with Dr. Mark Smith at the University of Warwick, UK.

Benjamin Darwin is a programmer/analyst reporting to Dr. Jason Lerch. He currently focuses on developing image processing pipelines and encompasses improving registration performance, grid computing, and development of convenient abstractions for specifying pipelines. He holds a diploma in music performance (and an honors BSc in physics) from UWO.

Jun Dazai is a Mechanical Engineer at the Mouse Imaging Centre and graduated from the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Toronto in 2001. His major research focus at MICe is to design and implement a multiple-mouse coil array that allows for rapid and reproducible loading of anaesthetized mice and multiple-specimen coil array for high-resolution anatomical imaging of fixed specimens.

Elizabeth de Guzman is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics. She joined MICe in September 2011 after completing a B.A.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC and she reclassified to a Ph.D. program in June 2013. Her research, under the supervision of Dr. Brian Nieman, focuses on neuroanatomical late effects resulting from pediatric brain irradiation.

Jacob Ellegood, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Mouse Imaging Centre. Jacob joined MICe in January 2008 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He received his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta in 2002. The current focus of his research is Autism. Since Autism has a strong genetic basis, his research project examines a number of genetically altered mouse models relevant to Autism, and uses advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques to measure and compare volume and micro-structural changes in the brain related to the genetic modification.

Darren Fernandes is a Ph.D student at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics, supervised by Dr. Jason Lerch. Darren holds a B.Sc. from McMaster University, having graduated in 2013 from the honours integrated science program with a concentration in Physics. At McMaster, Darren conducted research in Astrobiology regarding amino acid synthesis in equilibrium conditions on pre-biotic Earth and planetesimals. As a graduate student, Darren's current research focus is on neuroanatomy of social behaviour. Darren joined MICe in January 2014.

Sahar Ghanavati is a Ph.D. student in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She joined MICe in September 2010. Sahar completed her M.Sc. in 2010 at Queen's University, Kingston, ON and her B.Sc. in 2008 in Electrical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, Iran. Her research focuses on imaging and analysis of cerebral vascular morphology using in-vivo MRA-TOF and contrast-enhanced ex-vivo micro-CT and utilizing machine learning algorithms.

Colin Gram is a M.Sc. student at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics, and he joined MICe in 2012 to work with Dr. Brian Nieman. Colin received a B.Sc. in Nanoscience from the University of Guelph in 2012. His research is currently focused on neurovascular and neuroanatomical response during development after irradiation.

Christopher Hammill is a Programmer/Analyst at MICe working on neuroimaging of children with neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and OCD for the POND project. He completed his Masters in Statistical Ecology at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he focused on using machine learning and simulation modelling to solve species coexistence problems.

Christine Laliberté joined the Mouse Imaging Centre in April 2008 as a Laboratory Research Project Manager. Christine received her diploma in Bio-Chemistry in 1990 from College Ahuntsic in Montréal, Québec. From 1990-1996, she worked in two different laboratories as a Research Technologist at the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. There, the research focused on the study of neurological conditions following cerebral stroke and the regulation of neurotransmitters involved in Parkinson's disease, both in rats. In 1996, she became a Laboratory Manager at the Brain Tumor Research Centre at Montreal Neurological Institute with Dr. David R. Kaplan. In 2002, she began working at the Hospital for Sick Children when Dr. Kaplan moved his laboratory to SickKids. With the Kaplan lab, the research focused on the investigation of motor and cognitive functional deficits that are associated with age- or Alzheimer's Disease-related neurodegeneration in addition to her management responsibilities. At MICe, her responsibilities include live and fixed imaging of the mouse brain at high resolution.

Sharon Portnoy is a Ph.D. Student in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She completed her M.Sc. degree in Medical Biophysics in 2006 and her B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto in 2003. After working for several years in both industrial and academic environments, Sharon has decided to pursue a Ph.D. Sharon joined MICe in September 2013. Her research will focus on the development of magnetic resonance imaging methods for the study of fetal hemodynamics.

Lily Qiu is a M.Sc. student in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She joined MICe in September 2013 and is co-supervised by Drs. Jason Lerch and Mark Palmert. She received her H.B.Sc at the University of Toronto in 2012, with a double major in Neuroscience and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Psychology. Her current research uses in vivo manganese enhanced MRI to study the development of structural sex differences in the brain.

Anum Rahman is a M.Sc student in the Department of Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto, where she is supervised by Dr. John G. Sled. She obtained her B.Sc. in Human Biology and Psychology from University of Toronto in 2013. Her research is focused on analyzing umbilical artery wave mechanics as a way to detect placental pathologies. Specifically, she is developing a noninvasive method to measure, quantify and compare umbilical artery wave reflections in mouse models of healthy and pathological placental morphologies, and determining if the patterns of wave reflection observed can be a marker for abnormal placental function. Anum joined MICe as a M.Sc student in January 2014.

Monique Rennie, Ph.D. joined the Mouse Imaging Centre in October 2013 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her B.Sc. in Biology from Mount Allison University in 2004 before joining the Mouse Imaging Centre from 2004-2011 for her Ph.D. studies in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. Under the supervision of John G. Sled and S. Lee Adamson, she investigated the use of micro-computed tomography for visualizing and quantifying the placental microvasculature in mice. From 2011-2013, Monique was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Heart Research Center of Oregon Health and Science University, under the supervision of Kent Thornburg and Sandra Rugonyi, studying the effect of blood flow perturbations on embryonic heart tissue. She uses a range of imaging techniques to study placental vascular development, how placental vascular defects in growth restricted mouse models alter hemodynamics, and how placental blood flow shapes fetal heart development.

Anthony Salerno is a M.Sc. student at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics. He joined MICe in September 2014 and is working under Dr. Brian Nieman. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Sciece from York University in Biophysics. His previous researched involved looking at spontaneous and evoked otoacoustic emissions (sound coming from the ear) both experimentally and using computational simulations. His current research focuses on the use of Compressed Sensing in diffusion imaging.

Jan Scholz, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mouse Imaging Centre who joined in March 2011. Jan received a M.Sc. in cognitive neuroscience in 2006 at the Radboud Universiteit, The Netherlands, where he also was a founding editor of "Nijmegen CNS". He received his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford in 2010. While at Oxford, his work under Heidi Johansen-Berg included MR imaging of experience-related structural changes in humans and animals. At MICe, he will continue this work and explore cellular changes in response to experience and learning. Contact: jan.scholz@mouseimaging.ca

Leigh Spencer Noakes, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mouse Imaging Centre who joined in January 2013. Following a B.Sc. in Physics and Chemistry at the University of Toronto, Leigh received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2013 from McMaster University. There, her research focused on solid-state NMR studies of materials for lithium ion batteries. Currently under the supervision of Brian Nieman at MICe, Leigh has transitioned into using MRI to investigate the neurological side effects of common chemotherapy agents used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia in children.

Shoshana Spring is a Laboratory Research Project Manager at the Mouse Imaging Centre. She graduated in 2002 with an honours B.Sc. in Immunology from the University of Toronto. She then received her M.Sc. degree in Microbiology from the University of Guelph in 2005. Shoshana joined the Mouse Imaging Centre in June 2005 and is responsible for various collaborative and in-house projects involving optical projection tomography (OPT) and live and fixed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Joe Steinman is a Ph.D. student in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. Joe joined MICe in September 2010 as a master student to work with Dr. John Sled. Joe received his B.Sc. in chemical physics from Trent University. His research focuses on the impact of concussions on the cerebral microvasculature of mice. In particular, to what extent is the vasculature damaged, how does it repair itself, and how does its 3D structure impact blood flow? To answer these questions, Joe employs advanced in vivo (ASL MRI) and ex vivo (Serial 2-Photon Tomography) techniques combined with image analysis tools to quantify brain microvascular changes in three dimensions pre- and post-concussion.

Matthijs van Eede joined the Mouse Imaging Centre as a programmer/analyst in January 2007 to work with Dr. John Sled and Dr. Jason Lerch. Matthijs received a B.A.Sc. in Computer Science in 2004 and his M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering specializing in visualization in 2008 from the Eindhoven University of Technology in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He is a lab manager responsible for software development (design and implementation) to facilitate medical image processing with the main focus on image registration. He is also resonsible for statistical data analysis as part of various collaborations.

Dulcie Vousden is a Ph.D. student in the department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto where she is working with Dr. Jason Lerch. She received her B.Sc. in Physiology and Cognitive Science from the University of Toronto in 2011. Her research is focused on the relationship between structural and cellular brain changes following learning.

Yohan Yee is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics, supervised by Dr. Jason Lerch. Yohan holds a B.Sc. from McMaster University, having graduated in 2013 from the Honours Integrated Science program with a Concentration (major) in Physics. At McMaster, Yohan conducted research in mathematics and physics, which culminated with an undergraduate thesis on the dynamics and thermalization of quantum systems. As a graduate student, Yohan's current research focus is on autism and its relation to brain network connectivity. Yohan joined MICe in August 2013.

Lisa Yu is Research Technologist at the Mouse Imaging Centre working with the Micro-CT scanner. She joined MICe in February 2004. Lisa received her MD in 1983 from the Medical School of Shihezi, China. Prior to MICe, Lisa was a research technologist in Dr. Henkelman's lab in Imaging Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Xiaoli Zhang is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in medical biophysics. Xiaoli received a B.Eng. and an M.Eng. in engineering physics from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He completed a M.Sc. in medical physics and applied radiation sciences from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 2006. Xiaoli joined MICe in October 2006 to work with Dr. Mark Henkelman. His research focuses on the relationship between hemodynamic wall shear (using phase contrast MRI, Doppler ultrasound, micro-CT and computational fluid dynamics) and atherosclerotic plaque (with optical projection tomography) in the aorta of aortic regurgitation mice.

Yuqing Zhou, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Mouse Imaging Centre. He joined MICe in September 2002 as a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Mark Henkelman at MICe and Dr. Stuart Foster at Imaging Research, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The major focus of his research is the development of high frequency ultrasound imaging and new applications for ultrasound biomicroscopy in biological research. His specific research projects focus on cardiovascular physiology using various micro-imaging technologies in genetic models of human disease such as atherosclerosis, embryonic/fetal development, as well as molecular imaging. Yuqing received his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bergen, Norway in 1996.

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