Brain imaging laboratory opened in Halifax
HALIFAX – Atlantic Canada will
strengthen its position as a world-leading hub for medical imaging and
see new jobs created with the opening of a new brain imaging lab at the
IWK Health Centre in Halifax.
The Clinical Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Lab will be used to diagnose
brain disease such as epilepsy and brain tumours, especially in
children, and was announced by Senator Stephen Greene on behalf of the
Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology.
“Our government is investing in science and research to create jobs,
strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,”
said Senator Greene. “This new brain imaging centre will offer earlier
and better treatments for children and others with neurological
conditions. It will attract some of the world’s best researchers to
Halifax and create new products that can be marketed to other hospitals
and research centres in Canada and beyond.”
The centre is a partnership between the National Research Council of
Canada, IWK Health Centre, and the proponent of the MEG technology,
Elekta Neuromag. MEG is a completely non-invasive and risk-free
neuroimaging technique, and is well suited for a wide range of patients
The lab represents a critical link between basic science and real-world
clinical problems. It will bring medical doctors and scientists
together, serving as a focal point for specialists from all disciplines.
At the present time, this group is attracting brain imaging experts from
around the world and includes more than 20 local collaborators.
In the last seven years, Halifax has seen unprecedented growth in
neuroscience and biomedical imaging. To support this leading-edge
medical devices sector, the National Research Council has been working
closely with the IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University and the Capital
District Health Authority to develop a large-scale collaborative
partnership in the biomedical imaging of brain disorders.
Dr. Roman Szumski, NRC Vice President for Life Sciences, noted that the
MEG lab will increase the competitiveness of Halifax’s life sciences
technology cluster. “It is the critical mass of expertise in the Halifax
cluster that has attracted Elekta’s direct investment in the city. The
investment in the MEG lab puts Halifax in an excellent position to
further stimulate growth both in the medical devices sector and research
in the early detection of disease.”
“Halifax is emerging as a centre of expertise on the human brain and
this facility will be used collaboratively by doctors and researchers
from around the globe,” said Dr. Patrick McGrath, Vice President
Research at the IWK Health Centre. “The MEG lab will allow us to conduct
important research in areas such as the assessment of consciousness in
persons with brain injuries, neurocognitive function, developmental
disorders and altered awareness.”
Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada’s National
Research Council is a leader in developing an innovative,
knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.
The IWK Health Centre provides quality care to women, children, youth
and families in the Maritimes and beyond. The IWK is engaged in
leading-edge research, works to promote healthy lifestyles for families,
and supports education opportunities for health professionals and other
Elekta AB (founded in Sweden, 1972) is an international medical device
and human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical
solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. Elekta products are
used in over 5,000 hospitals globally.
Posted March 25, 2010