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Western boasts of a massive brain gain

Western welcomed three top minds on the brain to campus from their previous research homes at top British universities.

Tim Bussey and Lisa Saksida, an internationally renowned wife-and husband team of cognitive neuroscientists, joined Western after collaborating on gamechanging research for the past 15 years at the University of Cambridge. The pair specialize in understanding cognition – learning, memory, perception and attention – and developing and discovering new techniques for translating data acquired in pre-clinical trials to the clinic, where the findings can be used to better investigate what happens in the human brain when patients are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Bussey, named Western Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and Saksida were both appointed as professors in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Also serving as core members of Western’s Brain and Mind Institute, they will continue to advance their unique touch-screen systems and any other future software designs at Robarts Research Institute and its Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping.

Jörn Diedrichsen joined Western from University College London, and plans to continue his work developing better treatments for strokes and spinal cord damage in humans.

In his new laboratory, based at Western’s renowned Brain and Mind Institute, Diedrichsen will use robotics to study human movement to develop better treatments for strokes and spinal cord damage in humans.

Diedrichsen, Western Research Chair in Motor Control and Computational Neuroscience, was appointed a professor in the departments of Computer Science and Statistical and Actuarial Sciences. He investigates fine motor control, in part, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at Western’s Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping at Robarts Research Institute.

This article appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Alumni Gazette
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