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Current Year Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH announces new Chief Radiochemist and Canada Research Chair in Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine

TORONTO, July 5, 2017 – CAMH is pleased to announce that Dr. Neil Vasdev, who received a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine, has been appointed Chief Radiochemist and Associate Director of the Research Imaging Centre and Preclinical Research in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute.

“Dr. Vasdev has had an outstanding scientific career, and his expertise in developing chemical brain imaging tools has led to high-impact research that has influenced how psychiatric medications are developed, and increased our understanding of the brain,” says Dr. Bruce G. Pollock, Vice President of Research at CAMH.

Dr. Neil Vasdev
Dr. Neil Vasdev

Dr. Vasdev was recruited from the U.S., where he was Director of Radiochemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. His research career began at CAMH’s Research Imaging Centre, where he will now oversee the development of new chemical brain probes, or radiotracers, which are used in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. 

“It’s a great opportunity to return to Canada as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Radiochemistry and Nuclear Medicine and join the leadership at CAMH to advance clinical PET neuroimaging studies,” he says. “The Research Imaging Centre has a long-term productive track record for first-in-human studies of brain imaging agents.”

His research program is focused on developing and translating new PET imaging agents to use in various brain-based illnesses. Current targets under investigation are the tau protein, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, brain inflammation in mental illnesses, and cell signaling pathways. 

Dr. Vasdev has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and received numerous scholarly awards throughout his career. He received his PhD from McMaster University and completed a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)-supported postdoctoral fellowship at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.

He will take up his new role at CAMH in November, 2017.

“I’m excited to reunite with my former colleagues and to start new collaborations within CAMH,” says Dr. Vasdev.  “I plan to form a bridging relationship between Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and CAMH to take advantage of the strengths of both sites.”

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world-leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit camh.ca or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.   

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