Biography

Dr. Théberge is a certified Medical Physicist specialized in magnetic resonance. His current work involves providing support to the clinical MRI programs of St. Joseph’s Health Care and LHSC, teaching MRI at the graduate level in the Medical Biophysics program of the University of Western Ontario and conducting MR imaging research within the Lawson Health Research Institute’s Imaging Division.

With a solid background in physics, significant computer programming skills and knowledge and experience of neuropsychiatry, Dr. Théberge has been able to forge several alliances with clinical collaborators that allow him to conduct a wide range of brain imaging research, methodological developments and applications centered around the theme of neuropsychiatric disorders.

His current research in this area includes investigations of progressive changes in brain chemistry in schizophrenia using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, investigations of brain functional connectivity in major depression in youth as well as in individuals with schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder. Most recently, his group is applying functional MRS methods to the study of glutamate dynamics during the performance of a cognitive task in these disorders.

Professional and Academic Experience

I completed my Ph.D. in 2004 and 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 was supervised by Dr. Perry Renshaw and collaborated with several investigators of McLean Hospital. I implemented 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 implemented 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, I was academically promoted to the level of instructor and recommended for fast-track. During my postdoc, I obtained a fellowship award from CIHR 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 work at St. Joseph’s Health Care London as a medical physicist. I am a scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and hold academic appointments in the departments of Medical Imaging, Medical Biophysics and Psychiatry of UWO as associate professor. I continue to actively pursue research in the field of brain imaging and neuropsychiatry.

Profession

Physicist

Appointments

  • Associate  Professor, Medical Imaging, UWO
  • Associate  Professor, Medical Biophysics, UWO
  • Associate  Professor, Psychiatry, UWO

Website

Research Group

Research Interest Area 

Medical imaging and diagnostics
Mental health and behavioural disorders
Central nervous system

Research Overview

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

Publications

Keywords

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, fMRI, fMRS, Human brain, Glutamate

Other Professional Roles and Affiliations

MRI Safety Officer, St. Joseph’s/LHSC