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For a better look at subsurface changes and brain activity

September 11, 2017 | Gisèle Bolduc

Update : November 11, 2020

Two INRS professors have been awarded grants under the Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). This new funding will allow professors Bernard Giroux of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre and Jinyang Liang of the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre to further their research in geoscience and in neuroscience imaging. Their projects are noted for their originality and great potential for driving scientific and technological innovation.  

From geophysical monitoring…

Geological storage and the extraction of natural resources pose risks to the environment and populations. Geophysical monitoring plays an important role in mitigating those risks, which tend to hamper public acceptance of these activities. But today’s geophysical techniques have their limits. Professor Bernard Giroux’s goal is to develop more robust monitoring tools and facilitate the interpretation of results so we can better understand the processes involved. He and his team will work on developing an inexpensive, compact system based on the use of augmented reality glasses reworked for earth sciences applications. 

…to real-time brain imaging

Optical imaging has emerged as the ideal solution for measuring brain activity, but real-time brain imaging poses a number of challenges—the focus of Professor Jinyang Liang’s research efforts. He and his team will work to develop advanced real-time imaging techniques to study membrane dynamics in neurons. This ultrafast, ultrasensitive imaging mechanism will have applications in material sciences and optical physics in addition to neuroscience. Another key aspect of Professor Liang’s project is training highly qualified individuals in the fields of imaging, signal processing, and neuroscience. 

Eleven other INRS professors obtained NSERC funding for projects to study stress in fish, characterize local and regional aquifer systems, decipher communication between mitochondria and lysosomes, assess bacterial resistance and radiosensitivity, and develop a smart platform for detection systems, among other areas. In all, INRS was awarded over $2.36 million to pursue this research work.