Avery Berman, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Scientist, University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Dr. Berman did his graduate training at McGill University in Montreal, where he obtained his Master's in Medical Radiation Physics and PhD in Biomedical Engineering—both under the supervision of Prof. Bruce Pike. Following that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School working at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging (Massachusetts General Hospital) under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Polimeni. Dr. Berman joined the faculty at Carleton University and the Institute for Mental Health Research in 2022.

Dr. Berman's research focuses on the development of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, for mapping brain activity and physiology. He has developed fMRI techniques to map brain activity at unprecedented high spatial resolution and has made several key contributions to imaging brain physiology with improved accuracy.

Dr. Berman is a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master's), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral), and the CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship (ranked in the top 10 out of >600 applicants). He currently holds funding from NSERC. He has given numerous invited research and educational talks, including a three-part Masterclass on the Basics of Advanced Brain Imaging at the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting of the International Society of MRI Radiographers and Technologists and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 



Yuhan Ma (Postdoc)Dr. Ma obtained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at McGill University under the supervision of Prof. Bruce Pike, where she developed novel techniques to image oxygen extraction fraction and oxygen metabolism using quantitative susceptibility mapping. Her postdoctoral work is focused on developing a novel technique to resolve blood flow and volume of individual small blood vessels of the brain. This technique has potential applications for measuring the vascular response to changing brain activity (the foundation of most functional brain imaging techniques) and measuring vessel function in neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as dementia. Dr. Ma was awarded the NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship for her studies and was one of the top-ranking applicants in the Physics selection committee.
Yasaman Shafaee (PhD)Yasaman did her bachelor's and master's degrees in Physics at Sharif University in Tehran. The objective of Yasaman's PhD thesis is to make measurements of oxygen metabolism (i.e., CMRO2) using calibrated fMRI more reliable during transient periods of brain activity, such as shortly after a stimulus is turned on or off, or in the resting-state.
Eva Anderson (MSc)Eva did her BSc at Carleton, majoring in Physics with minors in Math and Neuroscience. Eva's master's thesis examines the role of vascular and non-vascular tissue magnetic susceptibility in quantitative imaging techniques, like calibrated fMRI and quantitative BOLD.
Imola MacPhee (Methods Rotation student)Imola is doing her PhD in Cognitive Science with Dr. John Anderson and doing a Methods Rotation in our lab. Her thesis is examining cognitive changes associated with hearing loss during aging. She is determining the association of these measures with changes in brain structure and function using neuroimaging. In her rotation, she is exploring using Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) for measuring stimulus-induced changes in cerebral blood flow.


Jacob Horne (summer student, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)Jacob designed and developed an MRI-compatible, 3D-printed phantom for experimentally validating velocity measurements in small tubing, simulating what we measure in small blood vessels in the brain.