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2023 Message from the President & Scientific Director

"Brain-CODE – OBI’s ground-breaking neuroinformatics and analytics platform – ten years in the making, has made a significant impact on global research across a diverse range of brain disorders with 4 clinical and 2 open data releases. So far, we have seen nearly 300 requests for this data from several countries."

Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President & Scientific Director

On an evening in the fall of 2022, there was an unmistakable energy that filled the room where our networks, and our champions, had gathered to celebrate the Ontario Brain Institute’s Decennial. After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recognition event allowed us to finally bring everyone together to reflect on OBI’s origins and map out the next steps of what is next to achieve.

Our story began in 2010, when OBI was founded to address a growing concern – the immense societal and individual cost of brain disorders.

Led by a vision for doing science with impact, the late Dr. Donald Stuss, OBI’s Founding President and Scientific Director and the late Mr. Joseph Rotman, OBI’s Founding Board Chair, developed and launched a groundbreaking, collaborative approach to brain research with the goal of harnessing Ontario’s world-class talent in research, clinical care, and commercial development.

Into our second decade, OBI is laser-focused on expanding our reach, growing the neurotech cluster, leveraging Brain-CODE to create data-driven patient impact, and uniting all aspects of brain health care.

These targets are ambitious – set with an overarching commitment to strengthen our networks while never losing focus on why we do what we do; improving everyday life for patients while blazing a path with them to deliver actionable knowledge, personalized supports, and effective treatments.

The metrics and stories you will read in this Year in Review are proof positive that we are well positioned to lean in even more.

You’ll learn about a new study being launched that provides researchers and clinicians with a standardized method for collecting health data from individuals with a range of mood disorder symptoms. You’ll read about how we have facilitated the deployment of technology that uses retinal scans to measure amyloid proteins, a key marker of Alzheimer’s found in blood vessels of the eye. And you’ll be assured that our promise to never lose our connection with community remains paramount – with continued initiatives like the Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Translation (also known as GEEK) Program, where we support incredible partners doing impressive work within their communities to enhance and support brain health.

We have now marked over ten years of brain health excellence; honouring the work our community has accomplished; bringing lab to life. Together.

Henry Ford, businessman extraordinaire once remarked on how you can be certain that collaboration has been truly effective, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” The brain health community in Ontario stands united, as global leaders, determined more than ever to pave the way for continued advancements in research, treatment and technology to support the one in three Canadians living with brain disorders, along with the families, caregivers and supporters.