Join me in this podcast where we travel with Dr Lea T. Grinberg, a professor at the University of California San Francisco, to Brazil to explore her career and her path towards creating the Brazilian Aging Brain Study Group in São Paulo and her own laboratory. Dr Grinberg dives into the hardships and the rewards involved with creating a brain bank and sharing brain tissues. This initiative had a great impact on research opportunities in Brazil and research output from Brazil because it was the first community-based autopsy service, which allowed them to observe and examine people’s brain at different stages of dementia. Today, many groups around the globe work and study the Brazil brain bank!
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, often referred to as MRI, is a term you’ve probably come across before, but the inner workings of this advanced medical technology might seem like a puzzle. With roughly 30 million MRI scans performed every year in the United States, MRI is the third most commonly used imaging technique after X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, and the second most used neuroimaging technique after electroencephalography (EEG). Don’t let these jargon-heavy terms intimidate you – by the end of this blog post, you will have a better understanding of how MRI works. So bear with me and think of me as your friendly guide in unraveling this captivating yet intricate subject.
For our fifth episode of the QBIN podcast (in French), Professor Mathieu Roy, a researcher and professor at McGill University, joins us to talk about bio-imaging and pain. Through our discussion, we explore how bio-imaging has helped researchers like himself to better understand pain, which is complex and hard to treat. More specifically, bio-imaging techniques like MRI can help us find patterns in the brain that are associated with pain. We also explored different types of pain such as suffering, which is considered more psychological, as well as sharp and chronic pain. Finally, we ended the podcast by talking about potential differences between men and women when they experience pain, and in the effects of music on pain management.
From the sudden agony of stepping on a Lego block to persistent aching from chronic conditions, everyone experiences pain. Sometimes we know the pain will subside quickly and we can just tough it out, but other times it’s more than we can (or want to) handle on our own. The quest for pain relief has led humans to explore a vast array of treatments, from traditional painkillers to alternative therapies like massages and ice packs. Pain is an essential evolutionary mechanism, serving to ensure our survival and reproduction. Even so, I’m sure most people would opt to take an Advil to stop a headache rather than worrying about the growth of our family tree.
On the fourth episode of the QBIN podcast I had the opportunity to talk with our 2023 William Feindel Lecturer, Dr. Sandra Black. Through this podcast we explored Dr. Black’s career of many decades, and her views on research and patient care. Along the conversation we also talked about what it meant and what it currently means to be a woman in research, and about the changes in research due to the pandemic. We ended by talking about Dr. Black’s passion for piano and music, and her tips and tricks to have a better cardiovascular health.
At the conclusion of this year’s scientific day, attendees gathered for a cocktail reception to network and discuss their research. I was able to interview a few participants, capturing their insights on the event. Additionally, I took this opportunity to inquire about their own experiences and gather valuable advice for aspiring young research students. Read on to get a glimpse of some of the remarks shared during these conversations!
In this third episode of the QBIN podcast (in French), we talk about sleep and neuroimaging with postdoctoral researchers Claire André and Valentin Ourry. Through this conversation we explore how sleep is related to different physical, emotional, and cognitive processes. We also discussed how positron emission tomography scans (PET), magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) and electroencephalograms have helped us understand sleep and its relation to overall health and the processes of aging. André and Ourry teach us what it means to have good sleep and how that can have positive impacts in our lives. We also discuss how sleep deprivation is glamorized in society and how that can impair our performance.
For our second episode of the QBIN podcast (in French), I discussed with this year’s recipient of the Rising Star in Bio-imaging in Quebec Award, Doctor Matthieu Pelletier-Galarneau. We talked about Doctor Pelletier-Galarneau’s career and his mentors along the way. We continued with a discussion on important themes in academia, such as failing and the future challenges of science. Finally, we ended by exploring unique and fun characteristics of Doctor Pelletier-Galarneau, and tips to promote cardiovascular health.
In our everyday lives, we all process and recognize hundreds of different objects (colors, shapes, animals, faces…), and although we may not think about it, developing this ability is actually an intricate learning process. Much like people, machines can be taught object recognition by mimicking the learning process of the human brain. This process, called Deep Learning, is an application of artificial intelligence that, although designed to learn through a specific set of data at first, can continue to learn on its own and improve from experience, without being explicitly programmed to do so.