About Us The Lab

The Lebel lab is a multidisciplinary environment that is rich in neuropsychology, neuroscience, imaging, language, and child development expertise.

Our laboratory uses different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study brain structure and function in children. These techniques include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), anatomical imaging, quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), and resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI). Specifically, members of our lab are interested in using these techniques to investigate brain plasticity in response to learning, treatment, or intervention, and brain maturation in children with developmental disorders such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The overarching goal of the research in our lab is to provide a better understanding of brain structure, function, and plasticity with the hope of improving, delivering, and monitoring treatment for children with learning and behavioral challenges.

Catherine Lebel, PhD

Principal Investigator

Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

My research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain development in children and adolescents. Using a variety of MRI techniques, I study how brain structure and function change with age, or in response to treatments and interventions. I am specifically interested in how brain maturation and brain plasticity are related to cognition and behaviour, and how these relationships may be different in children with developmental disorders. The aim of my research is to better understand brain changes, with the ultimate goal of providing earlier identification and more effective treatments for children with developmental disorders.

Bryce Geeraert, PhD

Research Program Manager

I am fascinated by the brain and neuroscience. During my PhD, I used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the adolescent brain and how we learn to read. I’ve also found other opportunities to use brain recordings and brain stimulation methods to study the brain. Now, I’m using my broad background to support the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab’s research program, teach new students, and get the kids that participate in our research excited about the brain!

Mary Kate Hapin

Research Coordinator

Though I graduated with a Commerce degree, I have high interests in the psychology and neurology department. I also enjoy working with kids as my current research focus is cognitive development in children.

Kate Cordero, BSc/BA

Research Assistant

I am the newest research assistant in Dr. Lebel’s lab. I was born and raised in Northern Canada but now call Calgary home. I have a BSc in Biological Sciences and BA in Psychology from the University of Calgary. I spent the last few years working in a clinical psychology practice in the city. My focus is the Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Childhood Mental Health research. I enjoy every opportunity to help with MRI scans and cognitive assessments. And my favourite part about the job is connecting with our fantastic participants!

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xiangyu Long, PhD


I began my postdoc training in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab then became a research associate in this lab. I finished my Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany. My research is focusing on the implementation of resting-state fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging on the brain development in preschool children and children with prenatal alcohol exposure, as well as infants who were born during pandemic. Besides work I am a fan of sci-fi movies and badminton.

Kathryn Manning, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. I completed by PhD in the Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University under the supervision of Dr. Ravi S. Menon at the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping at the Robarts Research Institute where I investigated the longitudinal effects of sports-related concussions and impacts. With Dr. Catherine Lebel I aim to explore the development of the young brain using multi-parametric MRI techniques combined with data-driven image analysis approaches. By relating these signatures of brain development with comprehensive clinical scores we aim to isolate differential trajectories that underlie compromised health and disease.

Meaghan Perdue, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I joined the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2021 after completing my PhD in Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut. My dissertation research focused on how the structure, function, and chemistry of the brain relate to reading ability in children. In my current research with Dr. Lebel, I aim to apply advanced neuroimaging techniques in multiple modalities to characterize links between specific properties of brain structure and reading ability. I will also examine patterns of brain development in the preschool and early school years as they relate to the acquisition of reading and related skills. Outside the lab, I enjoy exploring the mountains with my family, running, baking and knitting.

Jordan Chad, PhD


I am a Toronto-based researcher affiliated with the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. My doctoral research examined mathematical modeling approaches to studying brain microstructure with diffusion MRI. With the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab, I am applying my analytical background to tackle questions related to adolescent brain development. I am particularly interested in the puzzle of why the brain's cortical gray matter seems to shrink during adolescence. I am investigating whether the adolescent brain's gray and white matter trajectories are coordinated in a region-dependent manner, in pursuit of devising a holistic model of how the brain changes during this period.

Graduate Students

Ti-Amo Richards, BSc

Masters Student, Neuroscience

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted every aspect of our lives, and the effects on child brain development are no exception. As a Master of Neuroscience student, I am particularly interested in understanding how the pandemic stressors have affected the cognitive, emotional, and social development of children from vulnerable populations. This is not only a crucial area of research in its own right, but it is also a key concern for future public health practitioners working with these populations in the years to come. In my current study, I aim to investigate how the stressors of the pandemic have impacted child brain development and to identify strategies for mitigating these effects to promote healthy growth. With this research, I hope to make a meaningful contribution to the public health field and pave the way for a career working with vulnerable populations.

Aliza Jaffer

Masters Student, Medical Sciences

I am a second-year undergraduate student in Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. My project focuses on identifying resting state functional networks and inter-network connectivity in infants and relating the findings to measures of maternal mental health reported during pregnancy. In my spare time, I love playing basketball, spending time with my friends and family, and travelling!

Mohammad Ghasoub, B.Sc

Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

I am an International MSc student in Neuroscience. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and minor in Biological Sciences from the University of Alberta. My research focuses on white matter correlates of pre-reading abilities in typically developed children as well as children with prenatal alcohol exposure. In my free time, I enjoy traveling to new places, spending time with my friends and family, and listening to music.

Madison Long, M.Sc

Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

I am a PhD student in the Neuroscience program and I use structural MRI to map trajectories of brain development in typically developing children and those prenatally exposed to alcohol. Before coming to Calgary, I received B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon and completed my M.Sc. thesis in Developmental Psychology jointly between Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Science in Leipzig, Germany. Outside of work, you can find me working in my garden or running mountain trails with my dog.

Xinyuan Li, MD

PhD Candidate

I won the DOHaD Trainee Brain Mobility Award, and joined the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab for three months as a visiting student to learn the Diffusion Tensor Imaging analysis. I am a PhD Candidate from Integrated Program in Neurocience, McGill University. My current research is to examine whether amygdala-prefrontal structural connectivity mediates associations between prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) caused by 1998 Quebec Ice Storm and young adults' autism traits and whether, and whether it mediates associations between PNMS from the COVID-19 pandemic and infants' developmental outcomes.

Jamie Roeske, BSc

Masters Student, Biomedical Engineering

I recently graduated with my BSc (Hons) in neuroscience from UCalgary. I am now completing my MSc in biomedical engineering in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. My project uses three imaging modalities to investigate mismatches between the typical developmental rates of brain regions. When I’m not in the lab, you can find me consuming an excessive amount of lattes, working at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, or posting on my book blog.

Sam Miller, BHSc

Masters Student, Medical Sciences

Sam's research explores the relationship between positive parent-child interactions and healthy brain development in infants. Specifically, she is interested in the structural and emotional qualities of parenting and their contribution to optimal white matter connectivity. Sam hopes that the findings of this project may lead to early interventions to help improve parent-child relationships, to optimize brain development in children.

Undergraduate Students

Martina Min

I am an undergraduate student studying Neuroscience at the University of Calgary. I will be completing my honours thesis in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. My research project focuses on maternal mental health during the perinatal period and children’s brain structure and language development. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, crocheting, and volunteering in the community.


Deborah Dewey, PhD.

Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary

Bruce Pike, PhD

Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Frank MacMaster, PhD

Assistant Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary

Signe Bray, PhD.

Assistant Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Ashley Harris, PhD.

Assistant Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Ben Gibbard, MD

Assistant Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary

Carly McMorris, PhD

Assistant Professor | Werklund School of Education | University of Calgary


Bri Adamson

Peter Martin, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jeremy Tynedal

Research Coordinator

Darpal Patel

Curtis Ostertag

Taylor Groulx

Emma Tarasoff

Undergraduate Summer Student

Sunny Guo

Claire Donnici, BHSc

Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

Irene Manalastas

Hannah Rahim

Undergraduate Summer Student

Kassondra Pedenko, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering Program

Jing Zheng, PhD

Daphne Nakhid, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

Ayushi Shukla, PhD

Ashley Ware, PhD

Camila Thieba, B.Sc. M.Sc.

Study Coorinator

Alyssa Mah, MSc

MSc Student

Dmitrii Paniukov, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah Fletcher

Undergraduate Summer Student

Andrea Guedez

Volunteer Student

Candice Parmar​


Mercedes Bagshawe​

Research Coordinator

Iman Musani, B.Sc.

Volunteer Student

Quinn Andre, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Neuroscience Program

Melody Grohs, MSc

PhD Student, Neuroscience Program

Rebecca Hay, B.Sc.

MD Student

Preeti Kar, PhD

PhD Candidate, Medical Science Program

Alina Benischek, MSc

MSc Student

Jessica Reynolds, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tyler Pollock, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow