Welcome to the Villeneuve Lab

The Villeneuve Lab is interested in how the brain ages, with a specific focus on factors that modify the association between brain lesions and cognitive performance. 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 cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. It also suggests that actions can be taken to prevent or postpone disease-related symptoms. The main focus of the Villeneuve Lab’s research is therefore to examine the factors that protect against, or worsen, 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, combined with analytic tools such as deep learning, lasso regression and partial least squares regression.

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


Recent News

New Article from the Villeneuve Lab
April 2024

Ting Qiu’s article “Structural white matter properties and cognitive resilience to tau pathology” has been published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Our study demonstrates that the macro- and micro-structural properties of the brain’s white matter contribute to cognitive resilience against Alzheimer’s disease, particularly against tau pathology. Our results further reveal that education and vascular health aid in optimizing white matter properties, offering potential strategies to mitigate cognitive decline. [Papers]

New Article from the Villeneuve Lab
February 2024

Frédéric St-Onge’s article “Tau accumulation and its spatial progression across the Alzheimer’s disease spectrum” has been published in Brain Communications. We describe the inter-individual heterogeneity in regional tau pathology in the brain across the Alzheimer’s disease spectrum. We found that a measure of the spatial extent of tau pathology is better at identifying certain associations with cognition. [Papers]

The Villeneuve Lab welcomes Brandon Hall
January 2024

A warm welcome to Brandon Hall! Brandon joins the Villeneuve lab as a PhD rotation student. He is currently applying diffusion imaging to study early-stage white matter microstructural changes in Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about Brandon on our lab members page.


The Villeneuve Lab welcomes Daniel Bowie
January 2024

We would like to give a warm welcome to Daniel Bowie, who joins the Villeneuve lab as a post-doctoral fellow. Daniel will study how aging and vascular risk factors contribute to Alzheimer’s disease pathology and symptomatology. You can read more about Daniel on our lab members page.


Frédéric St-Onge defends his PhD thesis
January 2024

Congratulations to Frédéric St-Onge on successfully defending his PhD thesis! The Villeneuve lab is grateful to have worked with Fred over the last four and a half years, and wishes him continued success in his career.


Human Amyloid Imaging conference
January 2024

Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve, Alfonso Fajardo-Valdez, Yara Yakoub, Jonathan Gallego Rudolf and Dr. Valentin Ourry attended this year’s Human Amyloid Imaging conference (HAI 2024) in Miami to present some of the lab’s recent work. Sylvia and Alfonso gave podium presentations. Jonathan and Valentin presented posters, and Yara presented two posters. Congratulations to Valentin and Alfonso, who were awarded travel scholarships. Thanks to all for a wonderful conference! [Presentations] [Photos]


New Article from the Villeneuve Lab
November 2023

Valentin Ourry’s article “How do modifiable risk factors affect Alzheimer’s disease pathology or mitigate its effect on clinical symptom expression?” has been published in Biological Psychiatry. This review provides an overview of the pathways and mechanisms by which modifiable risk factors may influence amyloid and tau burden and their effect on cognition in Alzheimer’s disease. [Papers]

More lab news here.