Volume 95, Issue 32

Tuesday, October 30, 2001
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'Oh my god - he's whacking off'

Protesters say goodbye to Mike

Who'll cry for Peter Pumpkinhead?

The coppers are hogging all the sweet weed!

Critics care little for zero tolerance

New BRAIN program targets the noggin

Car thieves on the loose at UWO

The world at war

New BRAIN program targets the noggin

By Judie Larracey
Gazette Writer

A brainy new research project will benefit the London community by linking Western with advanced studies of the brain.

BRAIN (Behavioural Research And Imaging Network) will bring scientists and special imaging equipment together to speed-up brain research progress during a five-year project, said Ravi Menon, director of an imaging facility at Western's John P. Robarts Research Institute and the Canada Research Chair in Functional Neuro-Imaging

The project is sponsored by the Ontario Research Development Corporation Fund, which involves researchers from 11 different institutions in Ontario.

Along with Western, other participants in the project include McMaster University, Queen's University and the University of Toronto.

"The goal is to get researchers who study the brain together in order to look at some major diseases and problems, such as strokes and psychiatric disorders," Menon said.

Robarts Institute will focus on adult brains, in particular people who have had strokes and mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, he said.

London's Lawson Health Research Institute will focus on children's brains and the developing brain of premature infants, he added.

In total, $50 million of funding has been committed to the project and will attract approximately 10 scientists and provide employment for 80 post-doctoral and technical staff, Menon confirmed.

"This project will hire a large number of highly trained, highly skilled professionals – it will give Londoners access to new imaging technologies they would not have had access to and will hopefully create a number of spin-off companies," he said.

Terry Thompson, scientist and principal investigator for BRAIN from LHRI, said the project makes an important contribution to the London area.

"This is an advantage for patients in London and the surrounding area and will provide care for three million people," he said.

Andrew Parrent, assistant professor of clinical neurological sciences at Western said the project relates to work in his own field.

"We use CAT scans and MRIs in day-to-day clinical management of people with disorders," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001