Whittingstall, Kevin, Ph.D.

Canada Research Chair In Neurovascular Coupling

Assistant Professor     
Department of Diagnostic Radiology
Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel - CHUS

Contact

Email: Kevin.Whittingstall@USherbrooke.ca
Phone : 819 820-6868, ext: 14647
Fax: 819 829-3238

Research Relevance

To decode brain signals  

Every second, we are flooded by input from a multitude of sources: sight, sound and touch to name a few. In order to organize and efficiently process this constant avalanche of data, our brain is made up of approximately 100 billion nerve cells or neurons, which communicate via small electric impulses in order to properly decode this information.  This remarkable effort is maintained by a constant supply of fresh blood which keeps the neurons well-nourished and prepared to quickly respond to the next task at hand.  

How exactly does the brain achieve this delicate balance between neural activity and cerebral blood supply (neurovascular coupling)?  How are disruptions in this balance related to diseases of the brain?  These are some of the questions Pr. Kevin Whittingstall, Canada Research Chair in Neurovascular coupling, wants to answer.

The goal of Pr. Whittingstall’s research is to reliably detect even the most subtle changes in neurovascular coupling.  For this, he and his colleagues are developing methods that can simultaneously track neural activity (EEG) and blood flow (IRMF) in the brain with great spatial and temporal precision.  Importantly, these measures are non-invasive and can be safely repeated without any adverse effects to the individual.  

The tools developed in Dr. Whitingstall’s laboratory will help in better understanding how neurovascular coupling behaves in healthy brains, as well as how it is affected in patients with neurological disorders (e.g. brain tumours).  In collaboration with neurosurgeons and neurologists, this will lead to safer and more accurate measures for the detection and treatment of neurological disorders in the brain.

Representative Achievements

  • Canada Research Chair in Neurovascular Coupling (2011-2016).
  • NSERC Discovery Grant (2012-2017)
  • Co-applicant on a 2M$ CFI Leader grant for a 3T MRI scanner (w/ M. Lepage and M. Descoteaux)

Know-How & Opportunities for Collaboration

  • Expert in electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • EEG/Imaging in small animals, Cancer imaging