A Neuroengineering Lens into Treatment of Youth Mental Health and Addiction

With Dr. Faranak Farzan

It is estimated that one in every five North American youths is affected by a mental illness. Surpassed only by injuries, mental illness in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada. Unfortunately, current treatments are not as effective or cause side effects in a large minority, particularly in youth. Furthermore, across all age groups, treatment prescription is too often a trial-and-error process leading to years of untreated conditions, such as depression, before an effective therapy is identified. To tackle these challenges, in this talk, Dr. Farzan will describe how her team is combining engineering and neuroscience disciplines to study the human brain as a circuit. She will then review how by doing so, her team has begun developing novel diagnostic and treatment solutions for debilitating mental illnesses such as youth depression and addiction.


Dr. Farzan is the Chair in Technology Innovations for Youth Addiction Recovery and Mental Health at the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at SFU. Dr. Farzan is the founder and Scientific Director of Centre for Engineering-Led Brain Research at SFU. She has obtained her Bachelor in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from McMaster University, her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Science from University of Toronto, and her Postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neurology from Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining SFU, she was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Toronto, and Independent Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Farzan leads a unique research program at the cross section of Engineering and Neuroscience. The program is aimed at development and practical implementation of neurotechnology and computational approaches for studying human brain health and function, and for diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Farzan has authored over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, and her work has received funding from prestigious agencies such as CIHR, NSERC, CFI, CIHR, NIMH, NARSAD, Brain Canada, Kids Brain Health Network, and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


Registration Disclaimer

As this event is free, and free events routinely have a high number of no-shows, it is our policy to overbook. In case of a full event, registration may not guarantee entry. Seating is limited and will be available to registered attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Venue Accessiblity

Getting There

SFU Surrey Campus is located at 250-13450 102 Ave, and is located a brief walk from Surrey Central station and numerous bus stops.

Parking & Bike Racks

Bike stalls are available outside the main entrance. Nearby parking is available at the mall and in front of the campus.

Wheelchair Accessibility 

All floors of the campus have wheelchair access.

Gender-Neutral Washrooms

Accessible, private bathrooms and gender-neutral washroom stalls are available on every floor.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility, feel free to connect with us at psqevent@sfu.ca. If you require ASL or other language interpretation please submit this request no later than 3 weeks in advance.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

6:00 PM

Registration opens at 5:30 PM


SFU Sustainable Energy Building
10285 University Drive, Theatre, Room 1002
Surrey, BC 

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo First Nations.