Transforming the future through brain science

Neuroscience is entering a new era of discovery that could yield dramatic advances in our understanding of the human brain, and our treatment of neurological and mental health disorders. Success will depend on forging a new model of global neuroscience. The Canadian Brain Research Strategy can provide a roadmap to getting there. It draws on our rich scientific history, robust research talent and collaborative culture to transform the future through brain science.

The Challenge: Understanding the Brain

Understanding the brain is one of the greatest—and most urgent— scientific challenges of our time. The massive burden of brain disorders such as autism, neurodegenerative diseases, depression and addiction is acute and growing.

1 in 3 Canadians – will be affected by a brain or nervous system illness, disorder or injury in their lifetime.

$61 Billion annually – Total cost of neurological and mental health disorders to the Canadian economy.

At the same time, technology is rapidly changing every facet of the way we live, including how we learn, communicate and perhaps even think. Only through advances in brain research will these challenges be addressed.  

The Opportunity: A New Era for Neuroscience

NeuronsThere is ample reason for optimism. A revolution in neuroscience is underway, yielding new insights into how the brain works. But much more needs to be done. 

Scientists know more about the universe than they do about the human brain, which has more internal connections than there are stars in the Milky Way. Unravelling this complexity will not be done by individual scientists working harder alone. Instead, spurred by this grand challenge, multidisciplinary teams of brain researchers should come together to discover how the brain gives rise to a rich tapestry of thoughts, feelings and actions. The benefits would be profound.

Beyond improving human health, a coordinated effort to understand the brain will fuel innovations that can be applied to the understanding of any complex system. Such an effort will also expand the boundaries of technology, driving the development of new tools to benefit science and society, such as next-generation machines and generalized artificial intelligence. 

 

 

News

August 24, 2020 – Meeting of CBRS Leadership & NHCC Governing Council

Read the meeting notes here

August 15, 2020 – Judy Illes discusses back to school in COVID-19 times

“It is like sitting on a cliff,” says Dr. Judy Illes, Canada Research Chair in neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. “For parents, it revolves around the central question: Am I doing the right thing? What is the right thing for you when the ground is a long way down or shifting under you constantly?” Read the full article in the National Post: ‘It is like sitting on a cliff’: September, schools and pre-traumatic stress disorder in COVID times

July 30, 2020 – Meeting of the CBRS leaders

Read the meeting notes here

July 23, 2020 – Updates

  • The CBRS is now in motion and hiring for the Executive Director is actively underway. Other key positions are: Knowledge Translation Specialist and Research Assistant.
  • CBRS has launched a series of initial meetings involving leaders, early career researchers, and patient and stakeholders. Summaries of the meetings will be posted as they occur.
  • A retreat is being planned for the Fall. Keep an eye out for details.

June 18, 2020 – $1.5 million to develop a Canadian brain research strategy

A pan-Canadian team of researchers has secured a $1.5 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to develop a strategy to position the advancement of knowledge about the brain as a national research priority and support the creation of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy Network. This network will coordinate Canada’s participation in the International Brain Initiative, which brings together the world’s major brain research projects.