News Posts by Catherine Lebel

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!!

World Mental Health Day

October 10th is World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organization states that half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most go unnoticed or untreated. Among adolescents, depression is the third leading disease burden and suicide is the second leading cause of death. With our adolescents and young adults facing such challenges much can be done to help build mental resilience from a young age to help prevent mental distress and illness.

As a lab we support research in the mental health field with a focus on child and adolescent mental health risk factors and how these effect development and changes they may have on young peoples brains.

The WHO has made young people and mental health in a changing world the focus of this years World Mental Health Day, to find out more check out their page.

FASD Awareness Day

September 9th is FASD Awareness Day (9th day of the 9th month, to represent 9 months of pregnancy). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is far more common than most people realize, affecting ~4% of Canadians. To celebrate FASD Awareness Day, our lab (in conjunction with Carly McMorris’ lab) hosted a mocktail making contest.

The assorted mocktails:

The winner:


We also attended CFAN’s FASD Breakfast on Sep. 9. We had tons of fun, and even discovered some hidden talents among the lab.