Director / Principal Investigator
Dr. Amanpreet Badhwar is an Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, and a Principal Investigator at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM). She is a member of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). She is also actively engaged in several committees of the International Organization for Human Brain Mapping.
From the undergraduate to postdoctoral level, Dr. Badhwar’s path has been to study neurological disease by combining different data types, starting with small-scale genetics and brain imaging early in her career, and progressively moving to “big data” in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dr. Badhwar’s multi-institutional PhD work under the supervision of Professor Edith Hamel at McGill University combined the themes of multimodal research (neuroimaging, proteomics, and measures of neurovascular coupling), to tease apart the contributions of neuronal and cerebrovascular damage on cognitive dysfunction in AD, and the impact of drug treatment on these components.
Elements of Dr. Badhwar’s postdoctoral work with Professor Pierre Bellec sought to characterize the heterogeneity in AD cohorts using resting-state functional MRI connectivity, an emerging biomarker of synaptic or network dysfunction in AD. These investigations contributed to the understanding of connectivity measures in AD from three different perspectives: group-level connectivity, connectivity subtypes, and individual connectivity fingerprint.
Another important aspect of Dr. Badhwar’s postdoctoral work was focused on establishing a biomarker roadmap for the Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging, where she and her colleagues proposed an analytic framework for generating multiomics biomarkers from imaging, genomics, metabolomics and other modalities.
Dr. Badhwar has held several prestigious scholarships over the years, and was recently awarded the Chercheur-boursier Junior 1 from the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Natasha joins Dr Badhwar’s MIND Lab from the UK, where she originally studied Psychology at Cardiff University and was awarded a Masters with Distinction from Swansea University. She is soon to complete her PhD at St George’s University of London, where she used machine learning to find novel signatures of early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in spoken language, adding to the growing evidence base supporting computational assessment of speech as a biomarker test for disease.
Prior to this Natasha worked clinically and in research, including two years training as a Memory Clinic Psychologist at the Research Institute for the Care of Older People, Bath, UK. A previous winner of the Medical Research Council Max Perutz Science Writing award, Natasha is passionate about science communication. Her research at the MIND lab will use data-driven approaches to study multiomics in AD and other dementias, as a window to understanding and detecting disease.
Flavie is finishing her baccalauréat in Cognitive Neuroscience (option neuropsychology) at the University of Montreal. She is passionate about conducting research in aging, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. She is also interested in using neuroimaging techniques to answer relevant biomedical questions. Flavie joins Professor Badhwar's lab as an intern during the winter session, but hopes to continue as a MSc student under her supervision.
Prior to this, Flavie was a volunteer researcher in the laboratory of Professor Jean Gagnon (Laboratoire d'Électrophysiologie en Neuroscience Sociale). She also continues to volunteer with Parkinson UdeM Committee, where she is putting together vulgarization videos about the disease for their YouTube channel. Flavie is also an Associate Editor for the fourteenth volume of the Journal of Interpersonal Relations, Intergroup Relations and Identity (JIRIRI), a role that allows her to gain experience with the peer review process, as well as the review and editing of scientific manuscripts
Ali completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa. He initially moved to Montreal to help hospital staff during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the CIUSSS at the Jewish General Hospital before discovering The Badhwar Mind Lab.
Ali has always had a passion for neuroscience, both in the lab and with clinical programs. He worked in clinical research focusing on Alzheimer’s disease at the Bruyère Research Institute and completed an undergraduate thesis with the Neural Regeneration Laboratory (NRL) at the University of Ottawa. Working with transgenic Alzheimer’s mice, he sought to correlate disease-associated lipidomic biomarkers with the phenotypic conversion to learning and memory deficits.
Ali devotes extra time to community service initiatives, such as working with long-term care patients, children with autism, low-income and homeless individuals. Overall, Ali is strongly interested in improving patient care outcomes, health advocacy and teamwork. He hopes to use all his experiences to contribute to the success of his new team at the Badhwar Mind Lab.
Steven is a student at the Engineering School of Centrale of Lyon in Machine Learning, Robotic, Probabilities and Statistics and Optimization. In parallel, he obtained his Licence in Mathematics at Claude Bernard University in Lyon, especially on Linear Algebra and Functional Analysis. He also took courses on the architecture and evolution of eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes at Ecole Normale Supérieure of Lyon.
Recently, Steven also completed an internship at INSERM, on the study of a heterogeneous body by ultrasound echography by measuring delay aberrations. Thanks to the Mitacs Globalink scholarship, he joins Dr. Badhwar’s team during his gap year.
Sabrina Loudjani is an undergraduate student at the University of Montreal, doing a major in biomedical sciences. She is very interested in conducting research in brain diseases, such as Alzheimer disease. Since 2018, Sabrina has conducted multiple internships under the supervision of Dr. Badhwar. With great passion and enthusiasm, she hopes to continue growing as a scientist in this field.
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Active or Long-term Collaborators
Antonio Nanci, Université de Montréal, Montréal
Arsalan Haqqani, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa
Danica Stanimirovic, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa
Danilo Bzdok, McGill University, Montréal
David Rudko, Montréal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal
Edith Hamel, Montréal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal
Howard Chertkow, Baycrest Health Sciences and the Rotman Research Institute, Toronto
Jamie Near, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal
Louis Collins, Montréal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal
Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa
Natasha Rajah, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal
Pedro Rosa-Neto, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal
Pierre Bellec, CRIUGM, Université de Montréal, Montréal
Pierre Haddad, Université de Montréal, Montréal
Ravi Rungta, Université de Montréal, Montréal
Roger Dixon, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Simon Duchesne, Université Laval, Quebec City
Simona Brambati, CRIUGM, Université de Montréal, Montréal
Serge Gauthier, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal
Sridar Narayanan, Montréal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal
Steffany Bennet, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
Athina Tzovara, University of Bern, Switzerland
Dan Lloyd, Trinity College, USA
Daniel Margulies, Institut de Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière-Paris, France
Felix Hoffstaedter, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
Hien Nguyen, La Trobe University, Australia
Lucina Uddin, University of Miami, USA
Thomas Hinault, Inserm, France