CAMH’s Research Imaging Centre is one of the few brain imaging centres in the world fully dedicated to research on mental illness and addictions.
Over the past 25 years, our work in PET (positron emission tomography) has had a major global impact in understanding brain chemistry and functioning, which has been applied to clinical treatment and drug development.
Since 2011, we have expanded with MRI (fMRI and DTI), and are combining the use of imaging with genetic markers and behaviour tests. The ground-breaking work conducted under the banner of the original Vivian M. Rakoff PET Centre continues as part of the Research Imaging Centre.
Our team has developed several chemical brain probes (radiotracers) commonly used in PET brain imaging around the world. Using these probes, we have:
• enabled more accurate medication doses for depression and schizophrenia
• identified targets for treatments of illnesses such as post-partum depression
• found chemical brain markers that identify the risk of illnesses such as schizophrenia before they develop
• enabled more effective drug development by pharmaceutical companies and academic centres
Radiochemistry: Amando Garcia
PET Imaging: Pablo Rusjan, Alvina Ng (manager), Terry Bell (systems engineer), Peter Bloomfield (physicist)
MRI Facility: Dr. Nancy Lobaugh (head), Dr. Sofia Chavez, Anusha Ravichandran (technician)
Behavioural Neurobiology Lab: Dr. Jose Nobrega
Clinical Imaging: Dr. Jeff Meyer (mood & anxiety), Dr. Antonio Strafella (neurology), Dr. Romina Mizrahi (schizophrenia), Dr. Isabelle Boileau (addictions)
Human Brain Lab: Dr. Stephen Kish
Kimel Family Imaging Genetics Lab: Dr. Aristotle Voineskos
Facilities and resources
The Research Imaging Centre includes two PET machines, an MRI facilitiy and the Kimel Family Translational Imaging Genetics Lab. To develop radiotracers, the centre also has two cyclotrons and two radiochemistry labs.