Urs Ribary

New chair to unravel the brain's mysteries

November 29, 2007

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Urs Ribary has joined the psychology department as the Leadership Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience in Childhood Health and Development. He was previously director of the Center for Neuromagnetism at New York University Medical Center.

As the leadership chair, Ribary will establish provincial, national and international research networks aimed at creating new techniques for understanding the structure and function of the brain. Their goal is to develop new behavioural modifications, drugs and surgical treatments for a wide variety of cognitive disabilities and neurological and psychiatric illnesses.

Ribary, whose research focuses on imaging and understanding the synchronization of different areas within the brain, is conducting some of his research at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, where he has access to Western Canada’s only magneto-encephalography (MEG) system. He is also collaborating with the Child and Family Research Institute at B.C. Children’s Hospital and at UBC.

A first step for Ribary’s research program is to coordinate teams of researchers to integrate the latest multimodal signal-processing technologies with brain-imaging research. This will connect neurobiologists, psychologists, medical practitioners, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians.

SFU raised $2.25 million for the chair, matched by the Province’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund to create a $4.5-million BC Leadership Chair endowment.

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