Yashar Zeighami, PhD





6875 Boulevard LaSalle Montréal, QC H4H 1R3


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

Lab name: Brain Aging in Health and Disease

Theme-Based Group: Aging, Cognition, and Alzheimer’s Disease
Division: Human Neuroscience


Our team investigates the brain alterations that occur during the lifespan in health and disease. The primary goal of our research is to further our understanding of healthy brain aging and the underlying mechanisms that cause deviation from this trajectory in neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Creating a comprehensive multi-scale model of structural and functional brain alterations across the lifespan using multimodal brain MRIs
  • Investigating the link between observed MRI changes in post-mortem samples and the underlying cellular alterations, with translational applications for in vivo datasets
  • Identifying the genetic and environmental risk factors that cause deviation from the normative brain-behaviour trajectories, to develop diagnostic and prognostic models.

Yashar Zeighami, PhD, received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Tehran. He finished his PhD in Neuroscience at McGill University in 2018 working at Human Dopamine Neuroimaging Lab studying Parkinson’s disease progression via brain network. Dr. Zeighami visited Allen Institute for Brain Sciences as a visiting scholar during his PhD. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (MCIN).

  • Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) postdoctoral fellowship (2019-2021)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral fellowship (2019-2022)
  • Baxter Collaborative Travel Award (2020)
  • Mitacs Globalink Research Award Abroad (2020)
  • Ann and Richard Sievers Neuroscience Award (2017)
  • Jeanne Timmins Costello Doctoral Fellowship (2016)
  • Quebec Bio-imaging Network (QBIN) Doctoral Award (2016)
  • Desjardin Studentship Award (2015)

Principal Investigator:

Yashar Zeighami, PhD


Graduate students:


Full list of publications


  1. Zeighami Y., Bakken, T., Nickl-Jockschat, T., Miller, J., Schulkin, J., Evans, A., Lein, E., Hawrylycz, M. (2021) “Structural and cellular transcriptome foundations of human brain disease”. bioRxiv
  2. Zeighami Y., Dadar, M., Daoust, J., Pelletier, …, Michaud, A. (2021) Impact of Weight Loss on Brain Age: Improved Brain Health Following Bariatric Surgery, arXiv
  3. Zeighami, Y., & Evans, A. (2021). “Association versus Prediction: the impact of cortical surface smoothing and parcellation on brain age”. Frontiers in Big Data. 4 2021: 15.
  4. Zeighami, Y., Iceta, S., Dadar, M., Pelletier, …, D., Michaud, A. (2021). “Spontaneous Neural Activity Changes after Bariatric Surgery: a resting-state fMRI study”. Neuroimage, 241, 118419.
  5. Zeighami, Y., Fereshtehnejad, S.M.,Postuma, R. , Dagher, A. (2019) “Assessment of a prognostic MRI biomarker in early de novo Parkinson’s disease” NeuroImage: Clinical 24, 101986
  6. Zeighami, Y., Fereshtehnejad, S.M., Dadar, M., Collins, D. L., Postuma, R., Misic, B., Dagher, A., (2019) “A clinical-anatomical signature of Parkinson’s disease identified with partial least squares and magnetic resonance imaging” Neuroimage, 190, 69-78.
  7. Pandya, S.*, Zeighami, Y.*, Dadar, M., Collins, D. L., & Dagher A., Raj, A. (2019) “Predictive model of spread of Parkinson’s pathology using network diffusion” NeuroImage, 192, 178-194.
  8. Freeze, B., Pandya, S., Zeighami, Y., Raj, A., (2019) “Regional transcriptional architecture of Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis and network spread.” Brain, 142(10), 3072-3085.
  9. Yau, Y. H. C.*, Zeighami, Y.*, Baker, T., Larcher, K., Vainik, U., Dadar, M., Fonov, V., Hagmann, P., Griffa, A., Misic, B., Collins, D. L., Dagher, A., (2018) “Network Connectivity Determines Cortical Thinning In Early Parkinson’s Disease Progression” Nature communications, 9(1), 1-10.
  10. Dagher, A., Zeighami, Y. (2018). “Testing the Protein Propagation Hypothesis of Parkinson Disease.” Journal of experimental neuroscience, 12, 1179069518786715.
  11. Dadar, M., Zeighami, Y., Yau, Y., Fereshtehnejad, S. M., Maranzano, J., Postuma, R. B., … Collins, D. L. (2018). “White matter hyperintensities are linked to future cognitive decline in de novo Parkinson’s disease patients.” NeuroImage: Clinical.
  12. Fereshtehnejad, S.M., Zeighami, Y., Postuma, R., Dagher, A., (2017) “Clinical Criteria for Subtyping Parkinson’s Disease: Comparison of imaging, CSF and genetic biomarkers and longitudinal progression” Brain, 140(7), 1959-1976.
  13. Zeighami, Y., Ulla, M., Iturria-Medina, Y., Dadar, M., Fonov, V., Evans, A., Collins, L., Dagher A.(2015) “Network structure of brain atrophy in de novo Parkinson’s disease.” ELife 4: e08440