Research > Core Neuroimaging Platform Lab
The Core neuroimaging platform laboratory is based at Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and University of Manitoba (UofM). Research in this lab focuses on studying brain structure and function in healthy controls and neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Traumatic Brain Injury) using multimodal neuroimaging technologies.

The lab has been established in 2015 with the Manitoba Neuroimaging Platform (MNP) support grant from Brain Canada. The platform is designed to be a central resource to facilitate both small animal and human neuroimaging research. It’s mission is to provide: standardized policies, procedures and templates for subject screening, image acquisition, and analysis; information about neuroimaging study design, protocol optimization, and data analysis through hands-on sessions and formal lectures and symposia; provide imaging expertise though imaging collaborations and support to clinical investigators; and physical resources (e.g., desk space, computers/workstations, software: MATLAB, SPM, FSL, MIPAV, ImageJ, MRIStudio, Olea, and SPSS) for new investigators to acquire and analyze pilot neuroimaging data.

The MNP provides expertise in a range of imaging techniques including structural MRI, functional MRI, positron emission tomography (PET), small animal MRI, computer tomography (CT) and PET-MRI. For human neuroimaging, platform components include an intra-operative 3T IMRIS/Siemens MRI system which is located at Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine (KIAM). It is based on the Siemens Verio platform (including the high-performance VQ-Engine gradient set and 18 receiver channels), has all routine pulse sequences and several research sequences (including the Advanced Diffusion Package, BOLD and ASL fMRI sequences, and a custom 3D Myelin Water Imaging GRASE sequence), and is fully equipped with ancillary equipment for fMRI experiments (including an MRI-compatible LCD visual display, response monitoring buttons, etc.). This facility is located immediately adjacent to an operating theatre, which the magnet can be moved into, and is also less than 100 feet from the Intensive Care Unit, providing direct access to critically ill patients. An additional human platform facility is a 3T Siemens Tim Trio MRI system that has been reopened at former National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Biodiagnostics in Winnipeg. This system is equipped with a 32-channel head coil for advanced neuroimaging applications, has all of the pulse sequences mentioned above for the intra-operative, plus the latest simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) BOLD, pCASL and Diffusion sequences that were developed for the Human Connectome Project, and is also fully equipped with ancillary equipment for audio-visual displays and response monitoring during fMRI experiments.

Platform components used for neuroimaging of small animals include the Small Animal and Materials Imaging Core in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. This is a core facility, located in Central Animal Care Services at the University of Manitoba, joined by interior basement corridors over a distance of less than 100 metres from KIAM, and includes centralized capabilities in small animal CT (SkyScan 1176 high resolution micro- computed tomography), PET (Siemens P4 micro-positron emission tomography) and live animal optical imaging (IVIS Spectrum bioluminescence/fluorescence). The MNP also includes a 7T small bore MRI for animals at the University of Manitoba, and a two-photon microscopy (TPLSM) system for real time imaging of brain cell function in awake animals.

Overall, using these tools and physical resources, the MNP provides centralized image post-processing analysis capabilities that will empower users across multiple heath research pillars to produce modelling, diagnostic and treatment deliverables they would not otherwise be able to individually achieve. The long-term goal is to create an innovative image post-processing core facility that is sustained by users.

Brain Canada Platform Principal Investigators

chris anderson Chris Anderson, PhD
Professor and Director
Manitoba Neuroscience Research Program
Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine
Manitoba Research Chair in Neurodegeneration
Research Area: Neurodegenerative disorders
marco essig Marco Essig, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Professor & Head, Department of Radiology
Director of Diagnostic Imaging, WRHA
Research area: Neuroimaging, Oncology, Neurodegenerative disease, Brain tumor, Traumatic brain injury

Platform Leaders

Chase R. Figley Chase R. Figley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
Research Area: MRI, Tractography, Brain connectivity
Figley Lab
Jennifer Kornelsen Jennifer Kornelsen, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
Research Area: Brain and spinal cord fMRI, Brain connectivity

Platform Users

Ji Hyun Ko Ji Hyun Ko, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science
Research Area: PET-MRI, functional MRI, animal model, neurodegenerative disorders
The Ko Lab
Lawrence Ryner Lawrence Ryner, PhD
Medical Physicist, CancerCare Manitoba
Adjunct Professor, Physics and Astronomy, University of Manitoba
Research Area: MRI method development, MR in oncology, MR of concussion, MR spectroscopy, perfusion MRI
Teresa Figley Teresa Figley, MSc
Research Coordinator, Department of Radiology
Research Area: Functional MRI, Brain connectivity
Stella Choi Stella Choi, BSc
Research Assistant
Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science
Research Area: Neurodegenerative disorders

Research Collaborators

Ruth Ann Marrie Ruth Ann Marrie, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine & Community Health Sciences
Research Area: multiple sclerosis, epidemiology, comorbidity, outcomes
  Ronak Patel, PhD
Assistant professor, Department of Clinical Health Psychology
Research Area: Neuropsychology, cognition and neuroimaging, neurological and psychiatric disorders
Melanie Martin Melanie Martin, PhD
Professor of Physics, University of Winnipeg
Director of the Magnetic Resonance Microscopy Centre
Research Area: Small animal MRI and hybrid PET/MRI
Experimental MRI Physics Group
Kant Matsuda Kant Matsuda, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Research Area: Radiology-pathology correlation
Andrew Goertzen Andrew Goertzen, PhD, FCCPM
Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
Research Area: Positron emission tomography, X-ray computed tomography, Preclinical imaging


Abrar F Alhindi, MD
MSc Student
Research Area: Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s disease, functional MRI
Supervisor: Ji Hyun Ko
Tiffany Kolesar Tiffany Kolesar
PhD Candidate
Supervisor: Jennifer Kornelsen & Chase Figley
Research Area: Brain and spinal cord fMRI
Salina Khan Salina Khan
MSc Student
Supervisor: Chase Figley
Research Area: Structural and functional MRI, Multiple Sclerosis
Behnoush Mortazavi Moghadam Behnoush Mortazavi Moghadam, MD
Radiology Resident
Supervisor: Chase Figley
Research Area: functional MRI

Past Trainees

Anwar Shahadat Shatil Anwar Shahadat Shatil
MSc Student
Research Area: White matter MRI methods, Ex vivo imaging, fMRI
Sohail Younas Sohail Younas
MSc Student
Supervisor: Chase Figley & Melanie Martin
Research Area: MRI software development
Kevin Solar Kevin Solar
MSc Student
Supervisor: Chase Figley & Jennifer Kornelsen
Research Area: Structural and functional connectivity of the human brain
Elena Bilevicius Elena Bilevicius
MSc Student
Supervisor: Jennifer Kornelsen
Research Area: Mindfulness and resting state networks,
Navdeep Bhullar, MD
Radiology Resident
Supervisor: Chase Figley
Research Area: functional MRI


Understanding MRI
MRI History
MRI Safety
MRI Procedure

Recent Publications


Uddin MN, Figley TD, and Figley CR, Effect of echo time and T2-weighting on GRASE-based T1w/T2w ratio measurements at 3T, Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2018

Younas S, Figley CR, Development, Implementation and Validation of an Automatic Centerline Extraction Algorithm for Complex 3D Objects, Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2018

Shatil AS, Uddin MN, Matsuda KM, Figley CR, Quantitative ex vivo MRI changes due to progressive formalin fixation in whole human brain specimens: Longitudinal characterization of diffusion, relaxometry, and myelin water fraction measurements at 3T. Frontiers in Medicine 2018


Uddin, M.N., Figley, T.D., Marrie, R.A. and Figley, C.R., 2018. Can T1w/T2w ratio be used as a myelin‐specific measure in subcortical structures? Comparisons between FSE‐based T1w/T2w ratios, GRASE‐based T1w/T2w ratios and multi‐echo GRASE‐based myelin water fractions. NMR in Biomedicine 2018

Uddin MN, Courtney SM, and Figley CR, Direct comparisons between quantitative magnetic resonance imaging measures in the human brain, Organization for human brain mapping, (OHBM): 3484, 2017

Uddin MN, Courtney SM, and Figley CR, Echo time optimization for T1-weighted/T2-weighted ratio mapping in the human brain at 3 T, Organization for human brain mapping, (OHBM): 3536, 2017

Solar KG, Courtney SM, Figley CR, and Korneslen J. Does structural connectivity really predict functional connectivity in resting state brain networks? Organization for human brain mapping, (OHBM): 1643, 2017

Younas S, Courtney SM, Martin M, and Figley CR. Quantitative Tract Integrity Profiles (QTIPs): A novel neuroimaging toolbox for evaluating along-tract white matter integrity. CMBES Proceedings, Volume 40, 2017

Shatil AS, Matsuda K, and Figley CR. Effects of formalin fixation on myelin water fraction MRI measurements in human white matter: A novel ex vivo study. CMBES Proceedings, Volume 40, 2017

Uddin MN, Figley TD, Marie RA, Figley CR, Comparison of fast spin echo (FSE) and gradient and spin echo (GRASE) sequence for T1w/T2w MRI ratio mapping, CMBES Proceedings, Volume 40, 2017

Figley, Teresa D., Behnoush Mortazavi Moghadam, Navdeep Bhullar, Jennifer Kornelsen, Susan Courtney, and Chase R. Figley. "Probabilistic white matter atlases of human auditory, basal ganglia, language, precuneus, sensorimotor, visual, and visuospatial networks." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11 (2017): 306.

Ma, Ashley Y., Rita C. Vitorino, Seyed-Parsa Hojjat, Alannah D. Mulholland, Liying Zhang, Liesly Lee, Timothy J. Carroll, Charles G. Cantrell, Chase R. Figley, and Richard I. Aviv. "The relationship between white matter fiber damage and gray matter perfusion in large-scale functionally defined networks in multiple sclerosis." Multiple Sclerosis Journal (2017): 1352458517691149.

Ko, Ji Hyun, Audrey Katako, Maram Aljuaid, Andrew L. Goertzen, Andrew Borys, Douglas E. Hobson, Seok Min Kim, and Chong Sik Lee. "Distinct brain metabolic patterns separately associated with cognition, motor function, and aging in Parkinson's disease dementia." Neurobiology of aging 60 (2017): 81-91.

Bilevicius, Elena, Stephen D. Smith, and Jennifer Kornelsen. "Resting state network functional connectivity patterns associated with the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale." Brain connectivity ja (2017).

Kolesar, Tiffany A., Elena Bilevicius, and Jennifer Kornelsen. "Salience, central executive, and sensorimotor network functional connectivity alterations in failed back surgery syndrome." Scandinavian Journal of Pain 16 (2017): 10-14.

Smith, Stephen D., Jennifer Kornelsen, and Theresa A. McIver. "Generating facial expressions of disgust activates neurons in the thoracic spinal cord: a spinal fMRI study." Social Neuroscience (2017): 1-5.

Kolesar, Tiffany A., Jennifer Kornelsen, and Stephen D. Smith. "Separating neural activity associated with emotion and implied motion: An fMRI study." Emotion 17, no. 1 (2017): 131.


AS Shatil, KM Matsuda, and CR Figley (2016). "A method for whole brain ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging with minimal susceptibility artifacts" Frontiers in Neurology 7(208) 1-10

CR Figley, JSA Asem, EL Levenbaum, and SM Courtney (2016). "Effects of body mass index and body fat percent on default mode, executive control, and salience network structure and function" Frontiers in Neuroscience 10(234) 1-23

Kolesar, T., Kornelsen, J., Smith, S. (2016) Separating Neural Activity Associated With Emotion and Implied Motion: An fMRI Study. Emotion, 2016 Aug 8. [in press]

Smith, S., Fredborg, K., Kornelsen, J. (2016) An examination of the default mode network in individuals with autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). Social Neuroscience, May 31:1-5.

Bilevicius, E*., Kolesar, T.A.*, Kornelsen, J. (2016) Altered neural activity associated with mindfulness during nociception: A systematic review of functional MRI. Brain Sciences, 6, 14; *equal contribution

TD Figley, N Bhullar, SM Courtney, and CR Figley (2015). "Probabilistic atlases of default mode, executive control and salience network white matter tracts: an fMRI-guided diffusion tensor imaging and tractography study" Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9(585) 1-20

Laboratory Location and Mailing Address
Room MS-795
Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3A 1R9