Message from the Director

Message from the Director: Fall 2020

Dear Hotchkiss Brain Institute Trainees, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to the HBI and the 20/21 academic year! Following a spring and summer like no other, I know that together, we are all making an extraordinary effort to move our research and education goals forward as much as possible while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding during a difficult year.

Return to campus 

There are a few changes to be aware of for those of us coming to campus. If you have any questions about the Return to Campus guidelines, please review them here

New members at the HBI

  • Dr. Abdullah Al Maruf, PhD, adjunct assistant professor, Psychiatry, with a research focus on the roles of genes and the environment and their interactions in mental health disorders and psychiatric drug response in children and youth
  • Dr. Camila Aquino, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Clinical Neurosciences, whose research addresses the unmet needs of people living with movement disorders
  • Dr. Julie Kromm, MD, clinical assistant professor, Clinical Neurosciences and Critical Care Medicine, whose research focuses on the utility and logistics of neuromonitoring for critically ill patients; and medical education for healthcare personnel to administer neuromonitoring
  • Dr. Roberto Medeiros de Souza, PhD, assistant professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a research focus on developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to optimize brain magnetic resonance imaging acquisition and reconstruction resulting in faster and more efficient scans  
  • Dr. Kristin von Ranson, PhD, professor of psychology and registered clinical psychologist with expertise in eating disorders and body image

Welcome all, we look forward to working with you!

HBI's research successes

HBI researchers and trainees have not only persevered but have excelled over the past few difficult months in advancing their research. We have some exciting things happening at the HBI that we cannot wait to share with you. Congratulations to our many grant and award recipients! Please check out our September or October Brainworks e-newsletters for more information about these outstanding achievements by your HBI colleagues and trainees.

HBI's events and outreach activities

While we would normally have many upcoming in-person events to tell you about, but in following COVID guidelines, we want to let you know about some online events and seminars. Mark your calendars for:

  • November 18: HBI Town Hall, 1 – 2 pm. Theme: Innovation, and more information here.
  • Our annual Bryan Kolb lecture and Holiday Party will be on hold until we can safely return to in-person events.
  • The Brain and Mental Health International Review, organized by the Office of the VPR and initially planned for November 3-4, 2020, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The review is being rescheduled for spring 2021 (dates TBA), to facilitate in-person lab tours, interviews with trainees, faculty, and community members, and to hold meaningful discussions around Brain and Mental Health research. 
  • We will be holding a Town Hall in early 2021 (invitation to follow at a later date) to share the results of the Brain and Mental Health strategy's self-assessment, as well as communicate the proposed direction for Brain and Mental Health research at UCalgary. 

Communicating with each other

The HBI staff is working hard to maintain our communication and operations efforts. In this regard, I strongly encourage HBI students, faculty and staff to continue keeping us informed about your published papers, awards and research, and any volunteering you are undertaking.

I want to personally thank each of you for your cooperation and continued dedication to advancing research and education at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. You are our priority and we are here to support you and continue helping you advance your work and celebrate your successes. Feel free to contact any one of us to discuss your work, your challenges, and your achievements.  

Dr. David Park, Director

Dr. Richard Frayne, Deputy Director

Dr. Sarah McFarlane, Education Director

Dr. Deborah Kurrasch, Director, International Strategy

Dr. Lawrence Korngut, Director, Innovation and Commercialization

Warm regards,

Image removed.


David Park, PhD, FRSC
Director, Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Lead, Brain and Mental Health research strategy 
Professor, Depts. of Clinical Neurosciences
and Cell Biology & Anatomy
University of Calgary
(Mobile) 403-680-9632
(Office) 403-220-3994