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History of Our Program

Creating bench-to-bedside research capacity in brain and mental health disorders

As the largest tertiary care hospital in the province, the Winnipeg Health Science Centre (HSC) is Manitoba’s Hospital. The Winnipeg HSC has a rich history of commitment to research excellence in integrative patient care. Supported by the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and a $25 million donation by Hubert and Bernice Kleysen, the 80,000 square foot Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine (KIAM) opened in 2012 as a state-of-the-art patient-oriented research facility on the HSC campus.

A major part of the KIAM vision is to drive innovative advances in diagnosis and treatment of brain and mental health disorders. In 2013, the Winnipeg HSC partnered with the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences to build the first phase of an advanced neuroscience research unit on the KIAM fourth level. Originally called the Neuroscience Research Program, this joint initiative brought together 3 existing University of Manitoba principal investigators of neurosciences and created an opportunity to recruit 5 additional team members. The result was a cohesive 8-member research team dedicated to making new fundamental discoveries that can be translated from bench-to-bedside and ultimately advance patient care in brain and mental health disorders. 

In 2023, the team opened an innovative live cell imaging platform, which integrates leading-edge microscopy technologies, allowing detailed precision research on brain structure and function. Also in 2023, the team re-branded as the PrairieNeuro Research Centre to reflect its growth and evolution as a large regional hub for excellence in brain and mental health research in Canada’s prairies. PrairieNeuro now integrates the research activities of 11 principal investigators and over 50 talented staff and trainees who provide expertise spanning a wide array of neurosciences disciplines. 

Research overview

  • 11 principal researchers coming to Manitoba from 7 countries over 4 continents
  • Multidisciplinary expertise in molecular, behavioral and computational neuroscience, neuropharmacology, biomedical engineering, vascular neurobiology, neuroradiology, neuroimmunology and neurogenomics
  • Over $3 million in annual research funding from national and international granting agencies
  • Advancements in dementia, stroke, brain trauma, neurodevelopmental disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors

Vision + Mission

Addressing an urgent societal need

Neurological and psychiatric disorders account for more years of life lost due to early death and years lived with disability than cancer and heart disease, combined (World Health Organization). Moreover, the yearly cost of acute care for these conditions represents the highest portion of the overall financial burden of all disease in Canada. Despite a clear need, development of new treatments for brain disorders has lagged behind advances in cancer and cardiac care.


The PrairieNeuro vision is to reduce the societal impact of brain and mental health disorders by developing innovative diagnostic and treatment tools.


The PrairieNeuro mission is to cultivate an integrative, multidisciplinary research environment that allows the impact of disease and trauma on brain function to be examined comprehensively in humans and in complementary cell, tissue and animal models. Patient-derived information fuels creation of better models of brain and mental health disorders. Detailed mechanistic modelling, informed by human data, then leads to better design of novel reporters of brain function and avenues for therapeutic intervention in humans.

Our Values

Pursuing research excellence in a sustainably collaborative and inclusive environment

In executing the PrairieNeuro mission, faculty, trainees and staff are committee to the following cross-cutting values:

Innovation and Excellence

PrairieNeuro values innovative, collaborative research across disciplines, resulting in high-impact scholarly activity, generation of intellectual property and advancement of patient care in brain and mental health disorders.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

PrairieNeuro members are proudly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its research and training activities, in alignment with the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences EDI Policy. Using the Policy as a guide, PrairieNeuro aims to promote and support a community that embraces EDI, provides for equality of opportunity and recognizes the dignity of all people.

Integrity and Ethics

PrairieNeuro is driven to create a transparent, respectful, safe and accountable workplace, as a path to fostering a community in which all can thrive. PrairieNeuro is also committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct in research and is proud to adhere to the University of Manitoba’s Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research.

Outreach and Service

PrairieNeuro values its role in the local community. Members strive to be attentive to the community they serve and engage in the spirit of partnership and commitment to respect of public funds and charitable donations that help sustain PrairieNeuro. PrairieNeuro also recognizes that contributions to research excellence and associated social imperatives do not stop with the current generation but must be cultivated with community members. Engagement with the next generation of neuroscience trainees is vital to growing the impact of brain and mental health research originating in Manitoba.

High-quality Training

PrairieNeuro strives to mentor the next generation of leaders in neuroscience by teaching knowledge and innovative skills that will allow trainees to contribute to excellence in scientific discover and prepare them for a diverse array of neuroscience-related career paths.

Our Network

Read our Scientist Profiles