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

Assistant 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.

Glenda Maru

Administrative Assistant

Glenda is Admin Assistant to the whole CAIR team and “Lab Mom” when needed! I have BA in Sociology and Political Science. I worked in front line social work for many years. Now I enjoy working at the Med. School helping research and supporting students. I hope to speak Neuroscience one day!

Mercedes Bagshawe​

Study Coordinator

I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary. My research interests are in the areas of health psychology, psychobiology and neuropsychology with a focus on child development.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Jessica Reynolds, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am from Perth, Western Australia, and I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. I obtained my PhD at the University of Western Australia, where I investigated differences in brain structure and function in children with developmental coordination disorder. My current research focuses on structural brain development across the preschool period in healthy children through the use of MRI. Outside of work I enjoy going to the mountains, hiking, sport, photography, and going to the beach.

Xiangyu Long, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab of Dr. Catherine Lebel. I obtained my Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany under the supervision of Prof. Arno Villringer and Dr. Daniel Margulies. Now my present research is focusing on the implementation of resting-state fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging on the typical development and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder effects on children’s brain, such as which brain areas that typically develop with age and which brain areas could be used as bio-markers for the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Dmitrii Paniukov, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. I got my Ph.D. at Texas Tech University, USA, where I studied Experimental Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) and did my research on Category Learning and Memory Systems in the brain. In my current research, I merge cutting-edge advances in Cognitive Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, and Computational Modeling to understand children's brain with different MRI modalities. My research aims to not only advance theoretical understanding of how the brain works, which is extremely important on its own, but also help diagnose mental illness and open up windows for future interventions.

Ashley Ware, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am from Wilmington, North Carolina, and I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab. I obtained my PhD at the University of Houston, where I investigated differences in brain structure and function in children with neurodevelopmental disorders and in individuals with acquired brain injury. My current research focuses on structural brain development across the lifespan in children with acquired brain injury through the use of MRI. Outside of work I enjoy going to the mountains, skiing, pilates, traveling, and going to the beach.

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.

Graduate Students

Bryce Geeraert, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering Program

I'm originally from Saskatoon in the prairies of SK where I obtained a BSc Psychology degree. A Biomedical Engineering Graduate student, I'm looking at brain development in childhood and adolescence using MRI. Outside of work I enjoy outdoor sports, hiking, photography, and board games.

Preeti Kar, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Science Program

I am a PhD student in Medical Science. My project involves neuroimaging in preschool children with prenatal alcohol exposure. In my spare time, I love to dance, play the piano and travel.

Rebecca Hay, B.Sc.

Medical Student

I am currently a second year medical student at the University of Calgary, and previously graduated from Neuroscience at Carleton University. My current project is examining the relationship between prenatal depression, and behavioural and brain structure outcomes in children. Outside of school I love hiking, photography and painting.

Quinn Andre, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Neuroscience Program

I am a Master's student in medical science, specializing in medical imaging. I obtained my BSc. in neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge in 2015. Currently, my research involves MRI structural imaging to understand brain-behaviour interactions related to mental health and childhood adversity. On my free time I can be found rock climbing, hiking, and sneaking in some travel whenever possible.

Ayushi Shukla, MSc

PhD Candidate

I’m a PhD student from New Delhi, India. After completing my MSc in Neuroimaging from King’s College, London where I used neuroimaging techniques to investigate the neural correlates of pain in individuals suffering from Chronic Widespread Pain and fibromyalgia, I worked as a research assistant at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, India. My current project investigates effects of mild traumatic brain injury on brain structure and function in the paediatric population. When I’m not working or being a bookworm, I enjoy bouldering, running, hiking and escaping to the mountains.

Undergraduate Students

Iman Musani, B.Sc.

Volunteer Student

I recently graduated with my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Western University but I am back home in Calgary for the short-term (enjoying the mountains and pretending to enjoy the extended winter season). My primary research interest is in developmental psychopathology and I hope to pursue this in graduate school in the future. In my free time, I love scoping new restaurants and coffee shops wherever I am!

Andrea Guedez

Volunteer Student

I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences with a double major in Physiology and Pharmacology from Western University. I am interested in research relating to childhood development, and the relationship between maternal factors and fetal/adult development. In my spare time I like to hike, spend time with friends and try new things!

Daphne Nakhid

Student Volunteer

I graduated with a BSc. Double Major in Psychology and Biology from Dalhousie University. At the moment I am an open studies student at the University of Calgary looking into graduate studies. My research interests include neurodevelopment and behavioural neuroscience. In my spare time you can find me teaching spin at YYC Cycle, running, or reading a book.

Collaborators

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

Alumni

Camila Thieba, B.Sc. M.Sc.

Study Coorinator

Tyler Pollock, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alina Benischek, MSc

MSc Student

Melody Grohs, MSc

PhD Student, Neuroscience Program

Candice Parmar​

VOLUNTEER STUDENT

Sarah Fletcher

Volunteer Student

Alyssa Mah, MSc

MSc Student

Bri Adamson