News Posts by Catherine Lebel

Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Neuroimaging/Epigenetics

Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Neuroimaging/Epigenetics                    

Duration: 2 years          

Start date: Spring/summer 2023 or negotiable    

Salary: $55,000/yr + benefits

The Departments of Pediatrics and Radiology at the University of Calgary are accepting applications for a postdoctoral scholar to work with Drs. Gerald Giesbrecht and Catherine Lebel in the area of neuroimaging and epigenetics. This is an interdisciplinary position involving both mouse models of neurodevelopment and human pediatric neuroimaging. Applicants should have experience in neuroimaging and/or neurodevelopment and an interest in fetal environment.

Dr. Giesbrecht is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics who studies stress and child development. Dr. Lebel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology who studies brain development. They co-lead the Pregnancy during the Pandemic (PdP) study, which is studying the impact of maternal prenatal stress during the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s development. The PdP study collected physical and mental health information, as well as life changes in response to COVID-19 in >9000 pregnant individuals across Canada. We continue to follow the children born to these individuals, measuring their development through surveys, biosamples, and neuroimaging. The postdoctoral scholar will work with Drs. Giesbrecht and Lebel to study links between prenatal maternal stress, children’s epigenetic profiles and brain imaging (structural and/or functional MRI).

Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience, medical sciences, psychology, or other relevant discipline, and experience with MR image processing and/or epigenetic analysis. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, graduate transcript, and names and contact information for at least two referees to and

The PDS will be affiliated with the University of Calgary and the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI).  The Owerko Centre is a state-of-the-art research space dedicated to promoting collaborative neurodevelopmental and mental health research across the University of Calgary and its affiliated hospitals. ACHRI brings together over 300 interdisciplinary scientists to find new ways of understanding and treating child behavioural, emotional, 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.

If interested in this position, please apply here:

FASD Awareness Day

September 9th was FASD awareness day. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a brain-based disorder that is very common. It is estimated to affect 4% of Canadians. People with FASD may face a variety of learning, behaviour, and mental health challenges throughout their lives. With the right supports, people with FASD can be very successful.

Our lab works hard to better udnerstand the brain basis of FASD and its links with mental health. Yesterday, we walked in support of FASD Awareness Day.

Check out our projects, or learn more about participating in our research.

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!