About OBI

Who we are

We are a provincially-funded, not-for-profit research centre maximizing the impact of neuroscience and establishing Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care.

Our Vision

Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care.

We realize this through convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

What we do

Our collaborative approach to research aims to:

  • Enhance the neuroscience research system

  • Grow the Ontario neurotechnology cluster

  • Improve brain health for Ontarians

Team Science

Our goal is to improve the lives of Ontarians living with a brain disorder. Our research either goes to commercialization or to impacting how people with brain disorders receive care. We create seamless connections between research discovery, patient care and commercialization. We do this by connecting researchers, patients, companies, and policy makers to form a learning healthcare system. These networks form what we call Integrated Discovery Programs.

International Collaboration

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and OBI entered a data federation partnership in 2015. This will allow scientists from both organizations to mine a large and diverse data set of behavioural, brain imaging, and other research data to study similarities and differences across persons with autism spectrum disorder and determine biomarkers related to diagnosis and treatment.

Creating Partnerships Between Researchers and Entrepreneurs

Avertus Epilepsy Technologies’ CEO, Dr. Ron Gonzalez, started as an OBI intern. Through OBI’s EpLink research program he met Dr. Peter Carlen and Dr. Michael Berg who had an idea to develop a system to detect and stop seizures. We funded Dr. Gonzalez through the ONtrepreneurs program to become a full-time entrepreneur and provided opportunities for business growth, partnerships, and investment. Now, Avertus has developed a headset that can continuously monitor seizure activity and could potentially be used to deliver seizure-stopping brain stimulation in the future.

Enhancing Patient-Care Through Evidence Based Practice

Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinics

We were one of the first organizations to fund the training of primary care clinicians to increase their capacity to manage memory disorders within their practice.   To date we have supported 33 Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinics across Ontario through Dr. Linda Lee's training program. Support for these memory clinics is helping to reduce wait times and build capacity for dementia care among Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres, and Family Health Organizations. In this setting the majority of patients are seen within one month of referral (compared to 6-12 months), and only 10% of patients are referred to a specialist for treatment (compared to 82%).

Bringing Brain Science to the Public

Brain: The Inside Story

We partnered with the Ontario Science Centre as Knowledge Sponsor for the exhibition “Brain: The Inside Story” from November 2014 to March 2015. The exhibit had 164,000 visitors including tens of thousands of Ontario students and teachers. To complement the exhibition, we provided an extensive series of programs and events which added richness to the public’s understanding of the brain and brain disorders, as well as showcasing the world-class neuroscience and new technologies being developed to understand, diagnose, and treat brain disorders.

Bringing Brain Science to the Public

OBI Public Talks

We have held 11 public talks, highlighting research, clinical, and patient perspectives related to brain disorders. These events have drawn over 3,500 people, 90% of whom have reported an increase of knowledge after then event. Through these talks, we have also engaged numerous charities and community organizations at these events, providing opportunities for these groups to meet the public and create awareness around their programs and services.

Impact Stories

Team Science

Our goal is to improve the lives of Ontarians living with a brain disorder. Our research either goes to commercialization or to impacting how people with brain disorders receive care. We create seamless connections between research discovery, patient care and commercialization. We do this by connecting researchers, patients, companies, and policy makers to form a learning healthcare system. These networks form what we call Integrated Discovery Programs.

Our principles

  • Excellence

    We have the best advisors in science, industry, advocacy, informatics analytics, and evaluation. The bar we hold ourselves to is “best in the world”. 

  • Integration and collaboration

    We can only compete globally if we harness strengths from across the province. This means integrating talent and efforts across institutions, stakeholders, and disciplines, as well as collaboration and data sharing within and across research programs. 

  • Standardization and open science

    We ensure that data are standardized within and across all of our research programs. Our open science mentality respects the highest standards of privacy and security to maximize the use of research data, give hope to those living with disorders, and respect to those who have participated in research studies.

  • Impact-driven

    Everything we support either goes toward improving care or commercialization. We provide the infrastructure that allows for discovery, validation, and evaluation of impacts. 

  • Sustainability

    Our work is built on existing investments and relies on partnership. We leverage more than 2:1 on Ontario’s investment in us. 

Financial Accountability and Transparency

We are committed to the principles of accountability and transparency in accordance with the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010. We strive to be open and transparent with our stakeholders and the general public about our expenses.