Jean Théberge

J. Théberge

Core Research Themes

NeuroPIL - The NeuroPsychiatry Imaging Lab

The NeuroPIL, lead by Dr. Jean Théberge, is a research group dedicated to the development, implementation and application of brain imaging methodologies in psychiatry research.

Reporting sites (citations, impact, reviews, social media feed)

  1. Google Scholar Citation Report for Dr. Jean Theberge
  2. Thompson Reuters - ResearcherID for Dr. Jean Theberge
  3. ResearchGate - Overview for Dr. Jean Theberge
  4. Sciverse Scopus - Author profile for Dr. Jean Theberge
  5. PubMed Search for Dr. Jean Theberge
  6. ORCID public profile for Dr. Jean Theberge
  7. Mendeley Profile for Dr. Jean Theberge
  8. Frontiers Loop Profile for Dr. Jean Theberge
  9. Publons reviewer profile for Dr. Jean Theberge
  10. Impactstory for Dr. Jean Theberge
  11. KUDOS for Dr. Jean Theberge
  12. Twitter for Dr. Jean Theberge

NeuroPIL Media Appearances

  1. Lawson Health Research video regarding recent publication using machine learning to predict the response of mood disorder patients to medication.
  2. London Free Press videos on YouTube, FEb 23rd 2018.
  3. Lawson Imaging Videos on YouTube, Aug 5th 2016.
  4. Strategic Research Fund Recipients, Lawson Health Research Institute, Apr. 29th 2016
  5. "Imaging breakthrough will boost brain research", De 8th 2015, London Free Press
  6. "Alzheimer: Un chercheur abitibien contribue à développer un outil révolutionnaire`, Dec. 10th 2015, (Canada)
  7. "Invention aids in brain research", Dec. 10th 2015, Windsor Star (Canada)
  8. "Lawson scientist develop commercial imaging product for PET/MRI", Dec. 8th 2015, Medical Business Review (UK)
  9. "World first in Imaging technology developed for PET/MRI", DEc. 8th 2015, Medical Xpress (USA)
  10. "World first in imaging technology developed at Lawson'', Dec. 8th 2015, EurekaAlert! (USA)
  11. "World's first Commercial Imaging Product Available for PET/MRI Scanners", Dec. 8th 2015, Medical Product Outsourcing (USA)
  12. "Schizophrenia: the glutamatergic hypothesis", Aug 31st 2008, Royal College of Psychiatrists CPD Online (UK)
  13. "Longitudinal grey-matter and glutamatergic losses in first-episode schizophrenia", Nov 1st 2007, Podcasts of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK)

Current Research Projects -

Metabolite-selective MRS methodologies

Brief Description: Development, implementation, testing and application of proton MRS sequences isolating signals from specific brain metabolites.
Objective: Obtain signal from human brain metabolites previously not accessible with traditional non-selective MRS methodologies.
Fund: Lawson Internal Research Fund (JT).

Functional MRS in schizophrenia

Brief Description: Development of functional MRS paradigms.
Objective: Examine the dependence of glutamatergic metabolite signals on brain activity in normal controls and patients with schizophrenia.
Fund: OMHF New Investigator Fellowship (JT).
Collaborator: Richard WJ Neufeld (Psychology).

Resting-state fMRI in psychiatric disorders

Brief Description: Development of new functional MRI methodologies and data analysis techniques to explore spontaneous low frequency oscillations in brain activity in the resting state.
Objective: Examine the abnormalities in the resting-state brain activities of the default network in schizophrenia, PTSD and mood disorders.
Collaborators: Robyn Bluhm, Peter Williamson, Ruth Lanius, Elizabeth Osuch (all from Psychiatry).
Funding: Schizophrenia work funded by NARSAD Young Investigator Award.

Evolved MRS data modeling

Brief Description: I am currently spearheading a project aiming to develop an integrated MRS data analysis platform based on tools develop by our group
Objective: Facilitate the transfer of this technology to international research groups as this was a rather painstaking process in the past, usually requiring onsite help. This should have a significant impact on the research in this field as very few groups in the worlds have access to evolved MRS data analysis tools.
Fund: Start-up Fund (JT).

General Research Experience

My interest in medical physics stems from my original interest in numerical physics during my undergraduate degree in physics where I participated to a project developing automated analysis methods for radiographic images of breast calcifications.

I pursued my interest in medical physics embarking in a master's degree from Université de Montréal under the supervision of Gilles Beaudoin, a medical physicist from Notre-Dame Hospital in Montréal. Throughout this project, I gained a solid basis in MR physics and practical aspects of MRI, fMRI and pulse sequence development on a clinical scanner. The core research of my master's degree consisted in the implementation of fast MRI methods for mapping water apparent diffusion coefficients. Concurrently, I received a general formation in medical physics through the core courses of the medical physics graduate program of McGill University (physics of diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation physics).

I then moved on to the University of Western Ontario to pursue a Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics. My supervisors were Dr. Dick Drost and Dr. Peter Williamson, well respected experts in the field of magnetic resonance and psychiatry research. My thesis project involved work with schizophrenia patients and familiarization with spectroscopy (MRS), an entirely different sub-specialty of magnetic resonance, while using the only 4.0 Tesla whole-body MR scanner in Canada at the time. My doctorate work included a clinical application aspect (protocol development, data acquisition and schizophrenia research) and a technical aspect (development of MRS methodology and data processing).

Clinical applications concentrated on the study of various populations of patients with schizophrenia. I conducted five studies and participated to several others. The most unique study certainly is my longitudinal study of first episode patients with schizophrenia studied before antipsychotic treatment, after stabilization with medication and after thirty months of treatment using high field MRS to measure glutamatergic metabolites in candidate brain circuits simultaneously with reductions in gray matter volume. The five studies resulted in publications in American Journal of Psychiatry (2) and in Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging (2). The last study was a multi-year project completed months after the defense of my thesis. This study is currently being submitted to the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The technical work has focused on MRS pulse sequence development aimed at improving the quantification of brain metabolites of interest in mental illnesses. Most of my technical work involved the use of the Stimulated Echo Acquisition Mode (STEAM) pulse sequence, especially its use at very short echo times and small region of interest. I conducted two studies related to this work. This has led to one publication in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and another manuscript still awaiting submission.

I completed my Ph.D. in September 2004 and have then joined the Brain Imaging Center of McLean Hospital (Belmont, MA, USA) as a research fellow in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. I worked under the supervision of Dr. Perry Renshaw and in collaboration with several investigators of McLean Hospital. My research activities have been divided between the implementation of arterial spin labeling MRI methods on a 3.0 Tesla Siemens system to study mood disorders, drug abuse and neurological effects of diabetes and the implementation of proton, fluorine and phosphorus MRS methods on a 4.0 Tesla Varian scanner to study the treatment of depression and schizophrenia.

After a year and half as a postdoctoral fellow at McLean Hospital, I was promoted to the level of instructor and recommended to be fast-tracked to assistant professor level. During my postdoctoral fellowship, I have applied for funding of my own in order to pursue research in schizophrenia and have obtained fellowship award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to design novel MRS techniques to measure brain levels of serine, a naturally occurring amino acid, currently being tested as a supplement (D-serine) to antipsychotic medication which improves negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia by its action on the glutamatergic receptors.

Since November 2006, I have begun work at St. Joseph's Health Care as a medical physicist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine and MR. I have also obtained a research affiliation with the Lawson Health Research Institute as a principal investigator and an academic appointment with the department of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine of UWO. I plan to actively pursue research in the field of magnetic resonance and neuropsychiatry. With the help of graduate students, I will continue to develop medical imaging methodologies that keep our neuropsychiatry research program ahead of the competition.

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