NEWS RELEASE - $19.6-million funding renewal awarded to NeuroDevNet

January 13, 2015

National research network dedicated to understanding children’s brain development

[Vancouver – January 13, 2015] – An additional five years of federal funding has been awarded to NeuroDevNet, a BC-led national research network dedicated to understanding children’s brain development, the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Industry, announced today at a Vancouver event.

The Canadian government’s award to NeuroDevNet totals $39.2 million for 2009-2019. Launched in 2009, NeuroDevNet is a network of researchers across Canada focused on early identification of neurodisabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is led by University of British Columbia (UBC) scientists and headquartered at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) on the campus of BC Children’s Hospital,an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

NeuroDevNet researchers from multiple scientific disciplines collaborate with community, industry, government and non-profit partners to understand the genetic and environmental causes of brain disorders in children. The network’s research is the basis for new tools and insights employed by health care professionals, policy makers, caregivers and families to promote earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and optimal outcomes for children today and in the future.

Quick Facts:

• 1/6 children are impacted by neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
• Network researchers published 168 peer reviewed scientific publications between 2010-2014.
• NeuroDevNet has 164 partners, including 80 not-for-profit organizations, 26 network members, 23 industry, 19 universities and research institutes, 9 provincial departments and agencies, 7 federal departments and agencies.
• 36 graduate students and postdoctoral/clinical fellows received support from the network in its first five years.


The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)
“Through our updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research into important aspects of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nation-wide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians.”

The Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry:
“Our Government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including NeuroDevNet, which will develop new tools and processes to detect and treat brain disorders in children. These investments will improve the quality of life of young Canadians and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada.”

André Isabelle, Associate Vice-President, Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada:
“NeuroDevNet’s talented researchers have made major advances in understanding various childhood brain disorders. Renewal of the network’s funding is testimony both to its past achievements and the quality of its research plan for the coming five years. We look forward to seeing the ongoing impact of this work on improving diagnosis and treatment for kids with conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and FASD.”

Professor Arvind Gupta, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor:
“The Networks of Centres of Excellence are working to enhance the social and economic well-being of Canadians. The vital work of NeuroDevNet in understanding the developing brain aligns with UBC's commitment to excellence in neuroscience research and is opening up opportunities to substantially improve the quality of life for children and families affected by neurodevelopmental disorders.”

Dr. Wyeth Wasserman, CFRI Executive Director:
“It is outstanding news that NeuroDevNet will continue to catalyze innovation in research and treatment of brain development disorders for five more years. This national program has made wonderful progress from increased genetic understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders in children to improving their everyday lives through new therapies and interventions. The progress of NeuroDevNet is an inspiration for researchers and clinicians at CFRI.”

Dr. Dan Goldowitz, Scientific Director, NeuroDevNet:
“It is with a huge sense of gratitude and responsibility that we embrace the funding from the federal government’s innovative Network of Centres of Excellence Program. Over the next five years, we will move new diagnostic tools into practice to help identify children with neurodisabilities as early as possible, and launch treatment initiatives focused on achieving the best trajectories for children with autism, cerebral palsy and FASD. Working with our champions and our partners, we will deliver on our promise to make a difference – to improve quality of life for children who live with neurodisabilities – and their families.”

Learn More:


NeuroDevNet is a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence dedicated to understanding brain development and to helping children and their families overcome the challenges of neurodevelopmental disorders. UBC is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. CFRI conducts discovery, translational and clinical research to benefit the health of children and their families, supported by BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and in partnership with UBC, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and its agencies. BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children is a PHSA agency providing expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, including newborns and adolescents. It is an academic health centre affiliated with UBC, Simon Fraser University, and CFRI. Sunny Hill is the provincial facility that offers specialized child development and rehabilitation services to children and youth.

Media Contacts:

Scott French, Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs, Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology), 613.943.6177
Bethany Becker, NeuroDevNet, ; tel. 604.875.2424 ext. 4672
Jennifer Kohm, , tel. 604.875.2401