News Posts by Catherine Lebel

Hiring a Research Coordinator

We are hiring a research coordinator! Looking for someone who is keen on working with children and families to oversee multiple research projects in the lab related to brain development, mental health, and reading. This is a full time position renewable annually. Apply here:

World Mental Health Day

Most mental health problems emerge in adolescence. Understanding the early roots of mental health problems may help to identify them early and provide more effective interventions.  

In our lab, we study mental health from the prenatal period to early adulthood. For example, see our Pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic study, which is looking at how mental health is affected in pregnancy during the pandemic and the resulting impacts on children. We also study links between internalizing and externalizing behavior in adolescence.  

Currently we are extending this work to understand brain alterations in children and youth with prenatal exposures, most of whom experience mental health challenges. 

Stay tuned for more exciting work on brain and mental health coming out of the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab!! 

The FASD Success Show- With Jeff Noble and Guest Dr. Lebel!!

Dr. Lebel was a guest on Jeff Noble’s FASD success show where they chatted about brain development and how the brains of neuro-typical individuals may be different from those who have experienced prenatal alcohol exposure.  

They dove right into the following questions,

-Is it necessary, important or even helpful to get an MRI for an individual with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
-Can the FASD brain grow?
-Can you re-write an FASD brain like you can with other brain injuries?
-Is there a catch up period in development with individuals with FASD?
-Is there any good research about supplements helping the FASD brain?
-Do therapy’s like neuro-feedback have any noticeable and long term effects?

Click the link below for the full episode!

Happy New Year!

Over the holiday season the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab took the time to come together and connect with our community by volunteering for the Calgary Food Bank!

Peak Scholar 2019

Today Catherine Lebel Ph.D. accepted a Peak Scholar Award from the University of Calgary for our lab’s innovative and collaborative research. Using creative strategies such as a children’s book about a rocketship adventure, our lab makes MRI scanning fun for young children. This has enabled critical research into early childhood development. Also, in collaboration with Child Life and other departments at the Children’s Hospital, these strategies are helping to improve clinical care by enabling children to undergo clinical MRI scans without sedation.

Additional MRI Resources:


Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Neuroscience

Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Neuroscience

Duration: 2-3 years    

Start date: Early 2020 or negotiable    

Salary: $50,000/yr + benefits

The Department of Radiology at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a postdoctoral scholar to work with Dr. Catherine Lebel in the area of developmental neuroimaging. Dr. Lebel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology with extensive experience investigating structural and functional brain development in childhood and brain abnormalities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

The postdoctoral scholar will work with Dr. Lebel to study brain development in children and/or adoelscents, and links between brain development, cognition, behaviour, and/or environment. The specific focus area of the project is flexible. We have active projects in the area of early childhood development, white matter changes in adolescence, and brain alterations in children with prenatal exposures.

Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, medical sciences, or other relevant discipline, and experience with MR image processing and analysis. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, graduate transcript(s), and names and contact information for at least two references to

The PDS will be affiliated with the University of Calgary, the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI). The Owerko Centre is a $10M state-of-the-art research space dedicated to promoting collaborative neurodevelopmental and metnal health research across the University of Calgary and its affiliated hospitals. ACHRI brings together over 180 inter-disciplinary scientists to find new ways of understanding and treating child behavioural, meotional, cognitive, and physical health. 

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

Named a cultural capital of Canada and one of the best places to live in the world, Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the majestic Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.


World Mental Health Day 2019!!

Most mental health problems emerge in adolescence. Due to this the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab decided to examine internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors in adolescences in relation to brain structure.

Our results concluded that there are altered connections to the limbic brain area when related to sub-clinical internalizing and externalizing behavior.  

Currently we are extending this work further to understand brain structures of children and youth with prenatal exposures, most of whom experience mental health challenges.

Stay tuned for more exciting work on brain and mental health coming out of the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab!!