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  • Globally recognized neuroscientist joins Holl...
  • September 17, 2018

    Globally recognized neuroscientist joins Holland Bloorview to establish world-class paediatric imaging research program

    Dr. Tomáš Paus will explore brain development in children and youth with disabilities, centering his work on population neuroscience, mental health and Ontario’s first fully-accessible child-friendly research MRI to transform lives globally.

    TORONTO, ON (September 17, 2018) – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) is excited to announce that Dr. Tomáš Paus has joined Holland Bloorview’s research institute (the Bloorview Research Institute) as a distinguished senior scientist, and director of Population Neuroscience & Developmental Neuroimaging. This critical new role supports Holland Bloorview as the future home of Ontario’s first, fully-accessible child-friendly research MRI and further establishes itself as a premier international centre for the study of child and youth brains.

    “I am thrilled about joining forces with new colleagues at Holland Bloorview to advance knowledge of pathways shaping vulnerability and resilience to adversity during brain development. Learning about the brain “under pressure” is essential for informing personalized approaches to removing boundaries faced by individuals growing up with disabilities,” says Paus.

    Over the past 15 years, Paus’ work has focused on brain maturation, particularly in adolescence. His interest in population neuroscience – the “big data” approach to studying how brain structure and function is shaped by the interaction of genes and our environment – is vital to the Bloorview Research Institute’s growth strategy, which includes state-of-the-art discovery hubs in machine learning and artificial intelligence, imaging, and neuromodulation.

    The Bloorview Research Institute is the research arm of Holland Bloorview, an academic health science centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

    “I am absolutely thrilled about the recruitment of Tomáš to Holland Bloorview. Our research institute is at a critical juncture of development – emerging from our foundational ’childhood’ years – to rapidly cement a permanent and stable foundation for childhood disability research on the world stage,” says Dr. Tom Chau, Holland Bloorview’s vice-president of research. “Tomáš arrives at the perfect time. His solid international scientific reputation and expansive networks will accelerate growth in the domains of developmental neuroimaging and population neuroscience. He is already playing a pivotal role in the design of our new imaging facility and I have no doubt that his expertise, wisdom and mentorship will catalyze many new collaborations.”

    Paus previously established a population neuroscience laboratory at Baycrest where it became a hub for innovative international research with data from across Canada, Europe and Brazil. Over the years, his work has revolutionized the neuroscience field, including the introduction of several innovations for studying the human brain including: Computational analysis of structural brain images (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/283/5409/1908), combining brain stimulation and imaging (http://www.jneurosci.org/content/17/9/3178.short), and the integration of epidemiology, genetics and brain imaging (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hbm.21069).

    Perspectives on Tomáš Paus:

    • “The addition of Tomáš to the Bloorview Research Institute reflects the significant developments in the emerging field of population neuroscience. He has played a seminal role in the development of this new field; in part because of his infectious enthusiasm that has brought together diverse researchers across the world,” says Dr. Bryan Kolb, world-renowned Canadian behavioural neuroscientist, researcher, and academic. “Not only is he one of Canada’s most cited neuroscientists, he has played a major role in stimulating research using a multidisciplinary approach that includes noninvasive neural imaging, genetics, and epidemiology. This work has important implications for child and adolescent mental health, but more broadly, for laying the foundation for social justice across society.”
    • “Tomáš is a highly recognized leader in population neuroscience who has made longstanding significant contributions to our understanding of brain development and psychopathology,” says Dr. Beatriz Luna, Staunton Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “His high-level approaches using multimodal neuroimaging techniques and genetics have changed how the field views typical and impaired development. He has a keen eye for pursuing what others have not yet envisioned and thus making leaps into new areas of our field. He is also a committed mentor who instills the highest level of scientific inquiry.”

    At Holland Bloorview, Paus will focus on population neuroscience and large-scale studies of brain development in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities. He will also focus on factors influencing vulnerability and resilience to adversity during brain development, which is critical to understanding physical and mental health pathways from childhood to adulthood. For more information about his work, visit the Population Neuroscience & Developmental Neuroimaging Program.

    Holland Bloorview promotes innovative care and improved quality of life of children and youth with disabilities. In Canada, there are at least 400,000 children and youth with disabilities. Fifteen per cent of the worldwide population lives with a disability, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). This expansion of Holland Bloorview’s research institute will generate new scientific and clinical knowledge to improve the lives of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, concussion and acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, mental illness, muscular dystrophy, amputation, epilepsy, and other developmental disabilities – in Canada and worldwide.

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    About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

    Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital creates a world of possibility by supporting children and youth living with disability, medical complexity, illness and injury. Holland Bloorview is a top 40 Canadian research hospital that is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and serves 7,500 families annually. Providing both inpatient and outpatient services, Holland Bloorview is renowned for its expertise in partnering with clients and families to provide exceptional care. Holland Bloorview is the only organization to ever achieve 100 per cent in two successive quality surveys by Accreditation Canada.

    For more information or to donate, please visit hollandbloorview.ca or connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and our parent-blog BLOOM.

    Media contact:
    Sonia Prashar
    spPR Inc.
    soniaprashar@sppublicrelations.com
    (416) 560-6753