Welcome to the Villeneuve Lab

The Villeneuve Lab is interested in how the brain ages with a specific focus on the factors that modify the association between brain lesions and cognitive performances. Our research is motivated by the fact that more than 25% of older adults are considered cognitively normal despite the presence of beta-amyloid in their brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. This fact suggests that other factors interact with beta-amyloid to trigger the expression of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. It also suggests that actions can be taken to prevent or postpone the expression of disease-related symptoms. The main focus of The Villeneuve Lab’s research is therefore to examine the factors that protect (or worse) the development of cognitive deficits in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. We use a multi-tier approach that includes molecular PET imaging, MRI imaging, neuropsychological testing, and genetics.

Visit our research page to learn more about our ongoing projects.


Recent News


Dr. William Klunk lecture at MNI
15 October 2018

Dr. Villeneuve alongside Julie, Alexa, and Morteza attended Dr. William E. Klunks lecture on “Amyloid Imaging: Influence of Very Advanced Age and Genetic Alterations” at Montreal Neurological Institute.
Dr Klunk is one of the most renowned researcher in the field of amyloid PET imaging. In 2001, Dr. Klunk and colleagues created the PiB tracer, allowing for the first time a non-invasive method for quantifying Alzheimer’s pathology in humans.




Sixth Biennial Conference on Brain Connectivity
24-29 September 2018

Villeneuve Lab members: Julie, Theresa, Alexa, Morteza, and Melissa attended the educational course organized alongside the 6th Biennial Conference on Rest State and Connectivity that was held in Montreal this year. They learned more about cutting-edge structural and functional connectivity analyses, as well as the utility of machine learning algorithms in neuroimaging.
Julie and Alexa also attended the main conference. Julie presented her most recent project, a predictive model of age based on functional connectivity to then look at differences in the preclinical phase of AD [poster].

Group photo recreated in the style of brain connectivity artwork using the DeepArt machine learning algorithm.

Sander Verfaillie defends his thesis
12 September 2018

Dr Villeneuve has been invited to the VU University of Amsterdam in Netherlands as an external member of the Sander Verfaillie thesis defence committee. Sander was a Ph.D. candidate at the Alzheimer Center of the VU University Medical Center and worked on subjective memory complaints by integrating PET and MRI imaging. He joined Villeneuve lab in 2016-17 for a research project. The results of his project were recently published [Paper].
Sander defended his thesis entitled “Neuroimaging in subjective cognitive decline: incipient Alzheimer’s disease unmasked” with great success. Congratulations!




AAIC 2018 presentations & posters
19-25 July 2018

Dr. Villeneuve, along with Julie Gonneaud, Alexa Pichet Binette, Theresa Kobe, Melissa McSweeney, Pierre-François Meyer and Etienne Vachon-Presseau attended this year’s AAIC conference in Chicago to present some of their recent work. Alexa, Melissa, and Pierre gave a talk about their work, and Theresa and Julie presented their posters at the conference. [Photos]


CSHRF 2018
12-15 Jun 2018

Alexa presented her work on associations of neuropsychiatric and personality factors with amyloid and tau PET measures. An insight into how these characteristics may shape AD risk. Pierre presented work showing that CSF protein markers of key AD-related biological pathways may indicate resilience to Alzheimer pathology. Alexa and Pierre received a CIHR Honorable Mention and Gold award respectively for their presentations at CSHRF 2018! Congratulations to you both!