Pablo Rusjan, PhD




6875 Boulevard Lasalle Montréal, QC H4H 1R3

 Office:E-2106, Perry Pavilion, 2nd floor

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131

Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Lab name: Molecular Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography, Kinetic Modeling of PET radioligands, Clinical applications of PET in neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry

Theme-Based Group: Youth Mental Health and Early Intervention
Division: Human Neuroscience


Dr. Rusjan’s expertise is the development of quantitative methodologies for positron emission tomography (PET) of the brain. With more than 17 years working in the field, Dr. Rusjan’s has explored several aspect of Brain PET, including the first-in-vivo use of novel radioligands in humans, the acquisition, reconstruction and analysis of imaging data, the pharmacokinetics of radioligands and the application of PET in clinical studies to explore disease progression, treatment targets and drug occupancy.

Reflecting this long passage for the brain PET field, currently Dr. Rusjan is working in both the quantitative and applied aspects of PET. On the quantitative line of work Dr. Rusjan is focusing on the use of artificial intelligence on PET data and on the clinical side he is using PET to unravel brain molecular biomarkers of psychiatric and neurological conditions. The overarching aim of his research program is the development and implementation of novel PET radioligands to study the pathophysiology and treatment of brain disorders.

Dr. Rusjan received his undergraduate training in physics and his PhD in computational physical chemistry in the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. During his work in at the University of Toronto/CAMH Dr. Rusjan developed an automated pipeline for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) images analysis to ensure reliability and reproducibility. The pipeline which originally dealt with  ROI delineation, movement correction and partial volume effects correction; was later extended to include the process of arterial blood data to create a PET synchronized input function for the kinetic modelling, kinetic models fitting and parametric mapping.

Further, during his 15 years as kinetic modeler in Toronto, Dr. Rusjan developed and implemented the kinetic models for (+)-[11C]PHNO, [11C]Harmine, [18F]FEPPA, [11C]CURB and [11C]SL25.1188 radioligands for human use. Along those years his interest has expanded to the mental health field and the application of PET to study psychiatric and neurological deceases, in particular ASD. Dr. Rusjan has published more than 100 papers in PET and has been responsible for the PET methodological aspects of more than 20 grants awarded by CIHR and NIH. In 2020, Dr. Rusjan moved to the Douglas Research Center to further develop and support significant research programs in molecular imaging.

  • Rusjan P, Sabioni P, Di Ciano P, Mansouri E, Boileau I, Laveillé A, Capet M, Duvauchelle T, Schwartz JC, Robert P, Le Foll B. Exploring occupancy of the histamine H3 receptor by pitolisant in humans using PET. Br J Pharmacol. 2020 Aug;177(15):3464-3472.
  • Rusjan PM, Wilson AA, Miler L, Fan I, Mizrahi R, Houle S, Vasdev N, Meyer JH. Kinetic modeling of the monoamine oxidase B radioligand [¹¹C]SL25.1188 in human brain with high-resolution positron emission tomography. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2014 May; 34(5):883-9.
  • Rusjan PM, Wilson AA, Mizrahi R, Boileau I, Chavez SE, Lobaugh NJ, Kish SJ, Houle S, Tong J. Mapping human brain fatty acid amide hydrolase activity with PET. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2013 Mar; 33(3):407-14.
  •  Rusjan PM, Wilson AA, Bloomfield PM, Vitcu I, Meyer JH, Houle S, Mizrahi R. Quantitation of translocator protein binding in human brain with the novel radioligand [18F]-FEPPA and positron emission tomography. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2011 Aug; 31(8):1807-16.
  • Rusjan PM, Barr MS, Farzan F, Arenovich T, Maller JJ, Fitzgerald PB, Daskalakis ZJ. Optimal transcranial magnetic stimulation coil placement for targeting the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using novel magnetic resonance image-guided neuronavigation. Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Nov;31(11):1643-52. Impact factor: 6.9
  • Rusjan P, Mamo D, Ginovart N, et al. An automated method for the extraction of regional data from PET images. Psychiatry Research-Neuroimaging. 147 (1): 79-89 jun 30 2006.