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Brain bank receives $2M gift to upgrade and expand


Montreal, QC – Bell Canada has provided a $2 million gift to the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, enabling the institute to improve the facilities of its brain bank while expanding its recruitment and research activities.

Part of Bell’s “Let’s talk mental health” initiative, the gift represents one of the largest donations ever made in Québec to a university-affiliated mental health institute. Said to be the oldest and only brain bank of its kind in Canada and one of a select few worldwide, the facility will be called the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank.

Established in 1980 and holding an archive of close to 3,000 brains, ithe brain bank operates around the clock, with each brain supporting dozens of research projects. It provides high-quality brain tissue samples to scientists across Canada and in countries such as Japan, France, and the United States.

“Mental health research has made great strides in recent decades. Much work, however, remains to be done. This Bell donation will allow us to take another great leap forward in gaining a better understanding of mental illnesses, and how to treat and prevent them. It will also allow us to further strengthen our leadership role in mental health research.” says Lynne McVey, inf, MSc, director general, Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

The $2 million funding will also be used to create a Bell senior research fellowship in mental health; upgrade existing technology and purchasing state-of-art equipment; and improve and expand laboratories and storage facilities.