About Us The Lab

The Lebel lab is a multidisciplinary environment that is rich in neuropsychology, neuroscience, imaging, language, and child development expertise.

Our laboratory uses different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study brain structure and function in children. These techniques include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), anatomical imaging, quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), and resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI). Specifically, members of our lab are interested in using these techniques to investigate brain plasticity in response to learning, treatment, or intervention, and brain maturation in children with developmental disorders such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The overarching goal of the research in our lab is to provide a better understanding of brain structure, function, and plasticity with the hope of improving, delivering, and monitoring treatment for children with learning and behavioral challenges.

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Dr. Catherine Lebel - Headshot

Catherine Lebel, PhD

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

My research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain development in children and adolescents. Using a variety of MRI techniques, I study how brain structure and function change with age, or in response to treatments and interventions. I am specifically interested in how brain maturation and brain plasticity are related to cognition and behaviour, and how these relationships may be different in children with developmental disorders. The aim of my research is to better understand brain changes, with the ultimate goal of providing earlier identification and more effective treatments for children with developmental disorders.

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Camilia Thieba, B.Sc. M.Sc.

Camila Thieba, B.Sc. M.Sc.

Preschool Imaging Study Coordinator

I completed an Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Moncton, a Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a Graduate diploma in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management from the University of Ottawa. My current research focuses on understanding the effect of multilingualism on children's brain development. When I'm not working, I sing and write, travel and advocate for the wellbeing communities here in Calgary and in Burkina Faso.

Glenda Maru

Administrative Assistant

Postdoctoral Fellows

Tyler Pollock, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Lebel and Dr. Deborah Kurrasch. I completed my doctoral studies in the field of behavioural endocrinology and toxicology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Denys deCatanzaro. My current research focuses on the impacts of environmental chemicals on neurodevelopment in humans and mice. Specifically, we are investigating how maternal exposure to bisphenol A, a chemical found in many plastic consumer products, affects brain structure and function throughout development in human children and mouse offspring.

Jessica Reynolds, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiangyu Long, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab of Dr. Catherine Lebel. I obtained my Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany under the supervision of Prof. Arno Villringer and Dr. Daniel Margulies. Now my present research is focusing on the implementation of resting-state fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging on the typical development and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder effects on children’s brain, such as which brain areas that typically develop with age and which brain areas could be used as bio-markers for the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Graduate Students

Alina Benischek, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Science Program

I am a Master’s student in the Department of Medical Sciences studying language and reading in children. I am applying structural and functional MRI brain imaging techniques to gain insight into the neural correlates underlying reading-related language abilities in preschoolers and reading skills in school-aged children with developmental dyslexia. When I am not working in the lab, I enjoy spending my time in the mountains skiing, hiking and climbing, as well as, dancing ballet and playing piano.

Bryce Geeraert, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering Program

I'm originally from Saskatoon in the prairies of SK where I obtained a BSc Psychology degree. A Biomedical Engineering Graduate student, I'm looking at brain development in childhood and adolescence using MRI. Outside of work I enjoy outdoor sports, hiking, photography, and board games.

Preeti Kar, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Science Program

I am a Master's student in Medical Science. My project involves neuroimaging in preschool children with prenatal alcohol exposure. In my spare time, I love to dance, play the piano and travel.

Rebecca Hay, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Student at the University of Calgary

I am currently a first year medical student at the University of Calgary, and previously graduated from Neuroscience at Carleton University. My current project is examining the relationship between prenatal depression, and behavioural and brain structure outcomes in children. Outside of school I love hiking, photography and painting.

Melody Grohs, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Neuroscience Program

Quinn Andre, B.Sc.

Graduate Student, Medical Neuroscience Program

Undergraduate Students

Iman Musani, B.Sc.

Volunteer Student

I recently graduated with my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Western University but I am back home in Calgary for the short-term (enjoying the mountains and pretending to enjoy the extended winter season). My primary research interest is in developmental psychopathology and I hope to pursue this in graduate school in the future. In my free time, I love scoping new restaurants and coffee shops wherever I am!

Mercedes Bagshawe​

VOLUNTEER STUDENT

I have completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary. My research interests are in the areas of health psychology, Psychobiology and Neuropsychology with a focus on child populations. In my free time I volunteer at a social work agency and try to get out to the mountains to hike, ski and bike as much as possible.

Candice Parmar​

VOLUNTEER STUDENT

I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. I'm interested in any research related to neurodevelopmental disorders. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, baking and playing soccer​.

Andrea Guedez

Volunteer Student

I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences with a double major in Physiology and Pharmacology from Western University. I am interested in research relating to childhood development, and the relationship between maternal factors and fetal/adult development. In my spare time I like to hike, spend time with friends and try new things!

Sarah Fletcher

Volunteer Student

I am currently a third year Bachelor of Health Sciences student at the University of Calgary. I'm interested in most all research related to children, and especially research into developmental disorders. In my free time, I love spending time with my friends and family (and our two dogs!), volunteering with children, and reading!

Collaborators

Deborah Dewey, PhD.

Collaborator

Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary

Bruce Pike, PhD

Collaborators

Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Frank MacMaster, PhD

Collaborator

Assistant Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary

Signe Bray, PhD.

Collaborator

Assistant Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Ashley Harris, PhD.

Collaborator

Assistant Professor | Department of Radiology | University of Calgary

Ben Gibbard, PhD.

Collaborator

Assistant Professor | Department of Paediatrics | University of Calgary