Mr. Joseph Rotman passed away on January 27, 2015, a short period after his 80th birthday. Amongst his many current activities, he was founding chair of the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI).
Ontario Brain Institute Blog
By Bryan Jenkins, OBI Intern, Research Programs
At the end of 2014, many of us – with the help of certain social media websites – were reflecting upon the past year of our lives. It was a big year for neuroscience and brain health, following from our proclaimed ‘Year of the Brain’. In this post for Alzheimer’s Awareness month we will reflect upon some of the most influential discoveries of 2014 related to Alzheimer’s research, and from this assess the current and future state of this ever-progressing field.
By: Stephanie Todorovski, Operations Intern, Ontario Brain Institute
Team leads, senior management personnel, and executive positions are just some of the potential job opportunities that exist in the business world. To be successful within these roles, it goes without saying that all three require one key component: strong leadership skills. Working towards the development of this type of person requires one to be well equipped with the tools for leadership. In addressing this topic, the Ontario Brain Institute organized an educational session for recent graduates working within the three training and education opportunities available at OBI this past year, including the OBI entrepreneurs program, management fellowships program and internships program. The workshop focused on one of the fundamental elements for successful leadership: communication.
Understanding who you are, deciding how you behave, experiencing love and laughter — the brain is key to these behaviours. Perhaps the most important brain region underlying these functions is the frontal lobes, the area of the brain most closely tied to these highest functions.
A large part of what OBI does involves story-telling, making research accessible, and creating a strong sense of community across the neuroscience landscape. OBI is focused on making Ontario a world leader in brain research, commercialization, and care. And since Ontario was already home to top-notch neuroscience researchers and facilities long before OBI was founded, its mission has been to get diverse groups working together in new ways that were never before possible.
As a research institute dedicated to maximize Ontario’s neuroscience excellence, OBI has reached out across Ontario to connect scientists, clinicians, industry representatives and patient advocacy groups, who are focused on similar challenges. To better achieve their shared goals, five Integrated Discovery programs were established for cerebral palsy, depression, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
One of OBI’s major goals is to facilitate collaboration between patients and their advocates, researchers, clinicians, and industry to improve outcomes for those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. One of the best ways to do this is simply to bring people together which is one of the reasons why OBI’s Integrated Discovery program, the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Network, held a parent information day on May 3, 2014 to engage in dialogue with the parents and family members of children participating in POND.“I now know many of the researchers involved in POND very well.
We live in a world of big data which can serve as a particularly useful tool for health systems to gain a better understanding of patients and their needs across large populations. With appropriate use, big data has the potential to advance health research and help healthcare providers personalize care; however, this has been largely unrealized because of the challenges associated with connecting, processing, and analyzing large data sets to produce meaningful conclusions.
Three years ago the Ontario Brain Institute and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) partnered to accelerate the development of a neurotechnology cluster in Ontario. Since then, the program, named NeuroTech Ontario, has fostered the development of game-changing technologies including devices, diagnostics, and health applications to improve the lives of people living with brain disorders.