The Canadian Neonatal Brain Platform


The mission of the Canadian Neonatal Brain Platform (CNBP) is to provide breakthroughs in robust imaging biomarkers of brain injury, clear identification of causal factors, develop efficient strategies to promote brain development and plasticity and create a framework to support prospective single and multicenter trials and to enhance partnership with key knowledge users such as families.


The neonatal brain is exquisitely vulnerable to the biological consequences of prematurity, birth asphyxia and congenital heart defects. Brain injury and abnormal maturation in the neonatal period is associated with long-term changes in microstructure and connectivity underlying significant cognitive, motor, language and behavioral disorders.

Our understanding of clear cerebral disruptors of brain development and the extent of their impact are still limited, mostly due to the lack of robust noninvasive biomarkers with high sensitivity and high specificity, difficulties in conducting studies in newborns and the use of small isolated cohorts. A better understanding of suspected causal factors and ways to minimize their effect have yet to be addressed.

To address this challenge, the Canadian Neonatal Brain Platform brings together a unique, multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians to define new strategies to identify causes of brain dysmaturation and develop strategies to minimize brain injury occurring during the neonatal period.

A three-pillar national platform

  • National neonatal MRI registry
  • Framework to support prospective single and multicenter trials
  • Parental long term support