Montréal leads the way in neuroscience breakthroughs 🧠

published on February 18, 2020
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With the largest number of research centres in the country, Montréal is Canada’s research and education capital, and neuroscience is in the top tier of local expertise. Québec is home to more than 800 neuroscience professionals – with over 240 active in the Montréal area alone – and 39 companies related to neuroscience, positioning the city as an international leader for development and innovation in the field.

When it comes to education, Montréal is also a leader with 36 neuroscience-related University research chairs in Québec, not to mention home base for the world-renowned Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (AKA the Neuro). All four of the city’s world-class universities – McGill, ranked the 35th best institution in the world, Concordia, UQAM and Université de Montréal – offer programs in neuroscience studies, and McGill’s Brain@McGill is one of the world’s largest organizations focused on structural and functional brain imaging.

Furthermore, McGill’s Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN) is the largest graduate program in the Faculty of Medicine and one of the largest neurosciene graduate programs in North America, while the Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives project has been designated as a World Center of Excellence focused on accelerating international transfer of information to improve brain health across the globe.

Last but not least, UdeM’s CHUM hospital is one of the largest hospital centre in North America and an international reference center in health.


Montréal’s place at the forefront of neuroscience comes with a history of recent important developments first discovered here. A quick rundown of some of Montréal’s proudest neurological moments:

The city even has a neurological operation named after it: Wilder Penfield’s revolutionary technique for Epilepsy neurosurgery became known as the “Montréal procedure.”


January 2020 | McGill University, The Neuro and Fuzionaire Diagnostics to Develop Radiopharmaceuticals for use in detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

December 2019 | A McGill study identifies a new role of major genetic risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease, with added potential of dementia.

November 2019 | Concordia University’s Cristian Zaelzer-Perez won the Society for Neuroscience Science Educator Award for his project the Convergence Initiative, which aims to bring together the artistic and neuroscience communities.

November 2019 | Researchers at the Montréal’s Jewish General Hospital, the McGill University Health Centre, and the Hospital for Sick Children have identified the cellular origins of pediatric brain tumors.

March 2019 | Montréal researchers developed an Optogenetic Kindling Model of Neocortical Epilepsy, giving new insight into Epileptogenesis.

February 2019 | The Neuro receives Canada’s first 7T MRI Scanner: Capable of full-body scans, the 7-Tesla will allow McGill students to see the human nervous system in close-up detail down to minute scales of mere tenths of a millimetre.

June 2018 | McGill University and joined forces to develop neuroinformatics tools enabling researchers to conduct high-intensity computational research on the brain in order to gain unprecedented insights into brain development and disorders.

February 2018 | The Neuro (Montréal Neurological Institute-Hospital) introduced an “Open Science” model that allows researchers to share results and samples in developing treatments for Neurodegenerative disorders.

Read this next: Montréal is a world leader in the video game industry

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