McGill University

Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives

The central vision of the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative is to create a global centre for excellence, establish a hub for neuroinformatics and big data analysis, and accelerate translational discoveries that will improve brain health in Canada and around the world. The core of this effort will be the creation of a novel, advanced analytic platform for brain research—NeuroHub—which will lead to the development of new models to elucidate normal brain development, enhance classification of neurological and mental disorders, and better understand clinical outcomes for individuals.

NeuroHub will accomplish these goals through the integration of large-scale, complex data sets, state-of-the-art mathematical and computational modeling methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration between world-class experts in neuroscience, computer science, mathematics, clinical medicine and social science.

NeuroHub will advance research across four themes:

  1. neuroinformatics;
  2. mechanistic models of neurodegenerative diseases;
  3. applied cognitive neuroscience of brain plasticity; and
  4. population neuroscience and brain health.

The HBHL funding program will span four domains:

  1. research, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary teams and innovative ideas;
  2. talent, supporting students, faculty recruitment, and visiting fellows;
  3. innovation, including a neuroinnovation fund to support early-stage commercialization and knowledge mobilization; and
  4. research infrastructure, as support for technology platforms and core facilities.

HBHL will create long-term economic advantages for Canada by:

  1. revitalizing the life sciences industry in Canada;
  2. improving brain and mental health diagnosis and treatment with new, precise biomarkers, diagnostic tests, therapeutic drugs, social interventions, and policies;
  3. training and recruiting a new generation of skilled, interdisciplinary leaders in critically important research and innovation areas;
  4. stimulating groundbreaking science and knowledge translation, leading to new software, information technology services, novel algorithms, analytic platforms, apps and other tools; and
  5. positioning Canada as a global innovation leader.