The Neuroimaging and Surgical Technology (NIST) Lab at the Montreal Neurological Institute

by Ian J. Gerard

Over the last 17 years, the Neuroimaging and Surgical Technology (NIST) lab (formerly IPL) has been active in numerous research fields including medical image processing, image-guided surgery, human-computer interactions, and neurological disease detection – specifically Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The lab is led by Professor D. Louis Collins, who holds appointments in a diverse number of departments across McGill University and has fostered strong collaborative relationships amongst experts in a variety of disciplines. This has created a highly attractive environment for graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, many of whom now hold highly prestigious positions in academia, medicine, and industry around the globe. The strong collaborative efforts between industrial partners, researchers, and clinicians has enabled cutting-edge science to be quickly developed and tested from lab to clinic. The unique environment of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, where NIST is located, allows students and researchers to create clinically meaningful innovations that have the opportunity to make an immediate medical impact. In addition, the NIST lab has an open lab work setting with students and postdocs working in related fields all sitting together, further promoting collaborative efforts, with the opportunity for constructive criticism across projects.

The group consists of approximately 20 members from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds that contribute to a variety of enriching social activities. Typical activities include joint lunches, dinners, as well as birthday and holiday gatherings amongst other events oriented at celebrating individual and group successes and achievements. The lab is located in beautiful Montréal, one of the most exciting cities in Canada, offering almost any cultural, artistic, or gastronomic experience your heart may desire. The social scene is second to none with a plethora of microbreweries, concerts, professional sports, nightlife and the home of the best poutines and smoked meat sandwiches in the world. No matter how far out, modern, or traditional your interests may be, the city has something you will find exciting. Dr. Collins is always eager for new Master’s and PhD students as well as Postdoctoral fellows from all disciplines. Check out our Facebook page ( and website ( for more information!

Ian J. Gerard is currently a PhD student in the NIST Lab at McGill University.

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