Meet: Jane Lawrence-Dewar, Neuroscientist

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Meet: Jane Lawrence-Dewar, Neuroscientist

Jane Lawrence Dewar.jpgWhat would you like to highlight from your work and education experience?

My background is in physiology. Throughout the course of my research in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), I’ve had opportunities to work with researchers and clinicians from a variety of backgrounds including physicists, electrophysiologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, and neuroradiologists.

Where were you born and raised?

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Where have you lived and what’s your favourite place?

I have spent most of my life in Winnipeg but my career has given me opportunities to live for short periods of time other cities including Zurich, Switzerland and Palo Alto, California. My family and I were excited to move to Thunder Bay (where I live now) five years ago as we love the outdoors and love to take advantage of the opportunities for camping, hiking, and fishing.

Why did you choose your profession?

I've always been interested in neuroscience. Even my middle school science fair projects were all neuro-focused. I thought I would be on a more clinical path and during my undergraduate studies I was thinking of rehabilitative medicine. But, during my third year of undergrad I missed my bus and decided to stop by a career fair at the University of Winnipeg. It was there that I met an MRI physicist from the National Research Council - Institute for Biodiagnostics and ended up with a summer job that would start my interest in fMRI and pursuing graduate school.

What’s your role with ONDRI?

I’m part of the team in Thunder Bay. As a scientist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, my laboratory is the location for the ONDRI platform testing. Since we’re a small team, I’ve been hands-on with many aspects of our local implementation. In addition to the day to day operations in Thunder Bay, I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to ONDRI through the Publications Committee and more recently been involved with the clinical data from the vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) group.

Why is working with ONDRI important to you?

What appeals to me about ONDRI is the integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding neurodegeneration. I find interacting with clinicians and researchers who are interested in overlapping questions from different perspectives an exciting environment that I hope will lead to new observations about the development and progression of these diseases.

What do you enjoying doing when you’re not at work?

Most of my spare time revolves around my son, James (7), and daughter, Jensen (3). They are both busy kids who love sports and music. In addition to their own activities, my husband and I trade off taking them to see the Thunder Bay Symphony, Lakehead University Thunderwolves hockey games, and try to make it to a few Winnipeg Jets games each year. If I get time on my own, I am knitter and usually have a few projects on the go.

Do you have a favorite movie?

As my son gets older, I’m enjoying rediscovering movie series with him. He's been into Star Wars for a few years now. During the past year we’ve introduced him to Ghost Busters, Back to the Future, Harry Potter, and The Pirates of the Caribbean.