Brain Canada is pleased to announce the awarding of a $3,326,912 2019 Platform Support Grant (PSG) to Dr. Sheena Josselyn and team at the Hospital for Sick Children for the SLAP-CAN In Vivo Imaging FacilityThis funding will go towards building a platform that will use emerging imaging technologies to allow researchers to achieve a better understanding of brain and spinal cord function, collectively the central nervous system (CNS). 

Brain Canada’s Platform Support Grants are awarded to teams that are creating and/or enhancing centralized shared resources to increase access to equipment, expertise, data, and protocols across research networks. Brain Canada will announce additional Platform Support Grants in the coming weeks, as part of a more than $25 million investment in brain research this year. 

A recent innovation, Scanned Line Angular Projection microscopy (SLAP), has allowed neuroscientists to visualize and capture CNS activity with unprecedented speed and accuracy by enabling cells to light up each time an electrical signal is fired. The SLAP-CAN In Vivo Imaging Facility will provide shared access to the tools developed that make use of these new imaging developments to better understand, interpret, and analyze activity in animal modelsBy using these microscopes, neuroscientists will be able to answer fundamental questions about brain and spinal cord disorders. 

New and efficient treatments, and possibly even cures, for disorders from autism to Alzheimer’s disease may only be possible by better understanding the CNS,” says Dr. Josselyn, Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children“By uniting research across Canada, our goal is to build foundational knowledge of CNS function and dysfunction that will enable the development of better therapeutics for all people in Canada.” 

The SLAP-CAN In Vivo Imaging Facility aims to serve as a resource to a myriad of investigators across all fields of neuroscience and will provide researchers across Canada with the knowledge required to apply these techniques to their own research questionsPlatforms like these are important enablers of capacity building and cost-effective means of accessing the latest technology and services beyond what any researcher could achieve on their own.  

Investing in shared research resources not only supports wider access to cutting-edge equipment, but also fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, Brain Canada President and CEO. “These are all critical components in addressing the evolving needs of high-impact research.”  

This Project has been made possible with the financial support of Health Canada, through the Canada Brain Research Fund, an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada, and The Hospital for Sick Children. 

Learn more about this project in Brain Canada’s directory of funded researchers.