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Canadian Neurophotonics Platform

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The Canadian Neurophotonics Platform (CNP) is a technology platform that drives development and maximizes exploitation of leading-edge photonics technologies for the study, diagnostics and treatment of brain diseases.

The Canadian Neurophotonics Platform (CNP), which has evolved into the Canadian Optogenetics and Vectorology Foundry, was established in 2015 with generous funding from the Brain Canada Foundation, through the Canada Brain Research Fund, with the financial support of Health Canada and partners. The platform supports neuroscience research and training throughout Canada and internationally by promoting the development and dissemination of key and tools for optogenetics, fiber photometry, and light microscopy-based research.

Since its inception on October 1st, 2015, researchers working at the CNP, physicists, chemists, neuroscientists and computational modelers from research centers across the country have combined efforts to create unique core facilities with expertise that drives technology development and/or apply leading edge photonics-based approaches to the study of multiple brain diseases.

Three main facilities are at the heart of the collaboration:

  1. The Neurophotonics Centre (IUSMQ/Université Laval),
  2. A protein optogenetic engineering facility (University of Alberta) and a
  3. The Viral Vectors facility (IUSMQ/Université Laval).

The Universities of British Columbia, of Calgary, of Alberta, of Ottawa, McGill University, Dalhousie University and Université Laval test the various technologies developed by the national platform on in vivo models.


The mission of the Canadian Neurophotonics Platform is to:

  1. Create novel tools to image, measure, and control the nervous system with light (chemical and optogenetic tools, viral vector tools for in vivo delivery of photoresponsive proteins, optical tools, imaging tools, fibreoptics-based tools)
  2. Validate these novel tools at the Early Adoption Sites
  3. Disseminate these validated tools across the Canadian neuroscience community
  4. Optimize usage of photonics technologies in end user facilities
  5. Train highly qualified personel in using the tools for neuroscience research
  6. Maximize sharing of information and know-how across sites to stimulate emergence of innovative avenues to exploit photonics technologies for neuroscience :

Principal Investigator

Yves De Koninck , Université Laval

Team Members (CNP 2015 team)

  • Jaideep Bains, University of Calgary
  • Tim Murphy, University of British Columbia
  • Robert Campbell, University of Alberta
  • Andre Longtin, University of Ottawa
  • Alan Fine, Dalhousie University
  • Edward Ruthazer, McGill University
  • Paul De Koninck, Université Laval
  • Paul W. Wiseman, McGill University
  • Daniel Cote, Université Laval
  • Peter Grutter, McGill University
  • Timothy Kennedy, McGill University
  • Bruce Lennox, McGill University
  • Heidi McBride, McGill University
  • Anne McKinney, McGill University
  • Wayne Sossin, McGill University
  • Sridar Narayanan, McGill University

Partners and Donors (CNP 2015 initial platform grant)

  • University of British Columbia
  • Djavad Mowfaghian Centre for Brain Health
  • Genome BC
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Dalhousie University
  • Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
  • IUSMQ Foundation
  • Université Laval
  • McGill University
  • Quebec Pain Research Network
  • University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI)
  • Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta
  • Faculty of Science, University of Alberta
  • University Hospital Foundation

CNP Meetings

The Canadian Neurophotonics Platform organized full day meetings of members as satellite events of the Canadian Neuroscience Meeting.

View details of past events:

Shedding Light on the Nervous System: Progress in Neurophotonics Research

Front. Neural Circuits, 17 May 2022
Volume 16 – 2022 |

Topic editors: Jean-Claude Béïque, Yves De Koninck, Edward Ruthazer

This research topic has been organized in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Canadian Neurophotonics Platform, a multi-institutional program for the creation and dissemination of new technologies and reagents to study brain cells and circuits using light.

CNP Achievements