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May 08, 2015 – Halifax, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Research conducted at the Biomedical Imaging Centre (BIOTIC) has fostered diagnostic advances which have granted medical professionals remarkable insights into what’s happening inside the human brain. BIOTIC is launching two projects intended to affect meaningful change in the treatment of brain disorders and disease as well as train the next generation of neurosurgeons and nurses. The Honourable Peter MacKay today announced Government of Canada support for the initiative.

BIOTIC is a leader in diagnostic imaging and the only facility of its magnitude in Atlantic Canada. The Centre provides researchers with the expertise and equipment needed to take their ideas from theory to commercial success. Government support will better equip BIOTIC for research and development activities as well as allow them to forge valuable private-sector partnerships.

Specialized video-recording equipment and lighting will be installed in the neurosurgical suite of the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s QEII site, which will facilitate the launch of a simulation platform. The platform will give BIOTIC the ability to create neurosurgical teaching simulation apps. Undertaken in partnership with Conquer Mobile of Surrey, British Columbia, the apps will help train the next generation of neurosurgeons and nurses. The new equipment will also allow for the development of additional training initiatives utilizing the latest virtual reality technologies.

A new electroencephalogram (EEG) will also be acquired to support the work of incoming researchers. The EEG will allow BIOTIC to work with, and draw on, the expertise of companies working towards solutions for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

The Government of Canada is contributing $212,500 to the initiative, through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP). The project is also being supported by the QEII Foundation with an investment of $50,000 and an investment of $5,000 from Conquer Mobile

Quick Facts:

  • BIOTIC is a partnership between the IWK Health Centre (IWK) and the QEII Health Sciences Centre (QEII), as well as the region’s life sciences community.
  • The neurosurgical simulation apps component of the project is being led by Dr. David Clarke, Head of Neurosurgery at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Nova Scotia Health Authority.
  • The Centre features a 306-sensor Magnetoencephalography (MEG), high field Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalogram (EEG), Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and pre-clinical Positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET/CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Some projects underway at BIOTIC include early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, determining the cause of epileptic seizures, testing for novel cancer therapeutics, and the invention of proprietary medical devices.

Quotes:

“Our government’s funding in BIOTIC will be able to affect meaningful change in the treatment of brain disorders and disease, as well as train the next generation of neurosurgeons. Advancing this type of technology improves patient care, creates opportunity for members of our local life sciences community, and builds long-term prosperity in our region.”

– The Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

“Funding this critical infrastructure will enable us to continue to lead in developing novel technology-based platforms for training the next generation of surgical teams. The goal is to provide surgical training environments that are both safer for patients and cost-effective for the health care system.”

– Dr. David B. Clarke, Head and Chief, Division of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University and QEII Health Sciences Centre

“The benefits of these technologies are threefold: it brings cutting-edge technology to our researchers to develop innovations that will improve the lives of patients globally. We will bring to market innovations that will create jobs in Nova Scotia. Finally this will create opportunities for trainees to access the tools and techniques necessary to make them exceptional neurosurgeons, clinicians, researchers and teachers.”

– Dr. Patrick McGrath, Vice President of Research, IWK

“BIOTIC is a perfect example of what makes the QEII so special. The QEII Foundation is investing in BIOTIC because their research is working directly with clinicians to improve care for patients today, and on the forefront of technology that will advance care for the future.

– Bill Bean, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation

Ass ociated Links:

Contacts:

Kelsie Corey
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
613-941-7241

Clarissa Lamb
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Alex Smith
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: Alex.Smith@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Everton McLean
Senior Communications Advisor (Media Relations)
Nova Scotia Health Authority
902-478-8681 (cell)
E-mail: everton.mclean@cdha.nshealth.ca

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