The Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS) is a grass-roots initiative launched by leading Canadian neuroscientists, in partnership with representatives of the Neurological Health Charities of Canada (NHCC) to respond to a growing need for concerted efforts to understand the brain.

The CBRS is not aimed at seeking funding as an independent entity but rather to inspire decision makers and funders to further invest in programs that foster collaborative, transdisciplinary and open approaches to move Canada toward a big-science model for brain research.


Meeting of leading Canadian Neuroscientists
Most recent meeting of leading Canadian Neuroscientists to discuss the CBRS in Halifax, September 2018


Following a series of consensus workshops initiated by Tony Phillips (Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health – University of British Columbia) in 2015, the vision, pillars and guiding principles of the CBRS were elaborated under the leadership of Professors Sheena Josselyn (SickKids Hospital – University of Toronto) and Sam Weiss (Hotchkiss Brain Institute – University of Calgary) in 2017 with the help of a team of scientists

 and through a consultation process with neuroscientists across the country, as well as representatives of the NHCC.  A timeline of the development of the CBRS and list of contributors at each step is available here:


After the nomination of Professor Sam Weiss as head of the Institute for Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR-INMHA) in July 2017, professors Yves De Koninck (CERVO Brain Research Centre – Université Laval) and Judy Illes (Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health – University of British Columbia) have taken leadership roles in the development of the CBRS, helped by a  Steering committee.

Participants - in-person consultations, since 2015 - Click to view
Adrian Owen
Alain Beaudet
Alan Bernstein
Alan Evans
Alan Fine
Alanna Watt
Allison Sekuler
André Longtin
Annette Majnemer
Anthony Phillips
Beverley Heim-Myers
Brian MacVicar
Brigitte Kieffer
Chris Anderson
Chris Eliasmith
Dan Goldowitz
David Kaplan
David Park
Deborah Kurrasch
Donald Weaver
Doug Crawford
Doug Muñoz
Douglas Crawford
Douglas Zochodne
Elizabeth Simpson
Elizabeth Theriault
Eric Marcotte
Francisco Cayabyab
Franco J. Vaccarino
Freda Miller
Gabrielle Boulianne
Glenda MacQueen
Gustavo Turecki
Guy Rouleau
Helen Loughrey
Inez Jabalpurwala
Jacques Drouin
Jaideep Bains
James Kennedy
Jane Aubin
Jane Roskams
Jean-Baptiste Poline
Jean-Francois Boivin
Jehannine Austin
John Hepburn
John Mattick
John Vincent
Judy Illes
Julie Carrier
Keith Murai
Kurt Haas
Lara O’Donnell
Lesley Fellows
Lisa Saksida
Lynn Raymond
Maria Hudspith
Marla Sokolowski
Max Cynader
Melvyn Goodale
Michael Kobor
Michael Salter
Michiru Hirasawa
Naser Muja
Pascal Vincent
Patricia Conrod
Paul Lasko
Paul Moayyedi
Pierre Drapeau
Rachel Tyndale
Randy McIntosh
Ravi Menon
Remi Quirion
Robert McDonald
Robert McMaster
Robert Sutherland
Samuel Weiss
Sheena Josselyn
Stephen Robbins
Terry Snutch
Trina Foster
Victor Rafuse
Vincent Castellucci
Yoshua Bengio
Yves De Koninck
Yves Joanette
Zhong-Ping Feng



Neurological Health Charities of Canada
Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) is a coalition of organizations that represent people with brain diseases, disorders and injuries in Canada. NHCC provides leadership in evaluating and advancing new opportunities for collaboration specific to advocacy, education and research to improve the quality of life for people affected by brain conditions.


The NHCC has been involved in the development of the CBRS because we believe brain research is the foundation on which new treatments and cures for the hundreds of diseases and conditions that affect the brain can be discovered.

Deanna Groetzinger, Manager, Public Affairs & Partnerships at Neurological Health Charities Canada


“Directly or indirectly, every Canadian is affected by conditions such as dementia or stroke and by the mental and behavioural health challenges. That burden is growing steadily. With improved coordination of research and stringent peer-review of funding decisions by Canada’s respected research councils, Canadian taxpayers and donors can be assured that urgently-needed investments in brain and mental health will achieve maximal value. With a unified effort and a meaningful investment in brain science, Canada’s researchers, clinicians and decision-makers in all walks of life will be far better equipped to respond to the urgent needs of 36 million fellow citizens.”

Joyce Gordon, Chair of Neurological Health Charities Canada, CEO of Parkinson Canada
(with Dr. Lynn Raymond, Professor at the University of British Columbia & President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience 2018,  in The Globe and Mail, February 2018)

Canadian Association for Neuroscience
Canadian Association for Neuroscience
The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is the largest association of scientist working in all fields of neuroscience in Canada

The Canadian Brain Research Strategy is an opportunity to bring together the full diversity of Canada’s strength in neuroscience research to have a meaningful impact on brain diseases and disorders that affect so many Canadians. By working together, researchers with complementary expertise will maximise the reach of each individual’s contribution to our understanding of the brain.
Scientists from across Canada have come together to propose a strategy that includes three initial initiatives that focus on training, sharing technologies, and open data. We believe all Canadian neuroscientists will benefit from these initiatives.

Dr. Jaideep Bains, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience.