Brain imaging centre launched at CAMH
November 15, 2017
TORONTO – The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is home to Canada’s first positron emission tomography (PET) centre dedicated to mental illness research, and has a long-standing track record of pioneering new brain imaging agents. CAMH’s legacy in this field will now be powered through the creation of a new research centre, the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry.
Thanks to a transformational $11-million gift from the Azrieli Foundation, CAMH welcomes Dr. Neil Vasdev (pictured) as the inaugural director of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry.
The announcement was made at an event by Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH president and CEO, alongside Dr. Trevor Young, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Neil Vasdev and the Azrieli Foundation.
The Centre will work toward creating new radiolabeled chemicals to provide a more accurate and complete understanding of several mental illnesses, as well as to aid in the development of new treatments and improve understanding as to why some drugs work better for certain patients.
“Mental health is brain health and, in order to truly understand the brain, we need new imaging techniques. Scientists will now be able to look in the brain and explore non-traditional approaches for drugs and treatments. We are thrilled to enable this exciting work,” said Naomi Azrieli, chair and CEO, the Azrieli Foundation.
Dr. Vasdev most recently served as the Director of Radiochemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.
“Imagine being able to understand the origins of mental illness by visualizing the function of brain cells, their connections and chemicals – and monitoring changes with treatments and supports. Thanks to this gift from the Azrieli Foundation, CAMH will advance research that’s making this possible,” said CAMH’s Dr. Catherine Zahn.
The Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry will be housed within CAMH’s Research Imaging Centre. It will initially employ a research staff of 10, in partnership with additional clinical-research staff of approximately 100, all working toward the next set of breakthroughs in brain science and neuropsychiatry.
About The Azrieli Foundation
For 25 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs on the ground. The Foundation supports scientific and medical research, higher education, Holocaust education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, music and the arts, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit www.azrielifoundation.org.