Désirée Lussier-Lévesque

Data Scientist / Artificial Intelligence Developer


I am a Data Scientist and Artificial Intelligence Developer. My current areas of research and interest are autogenerative (AI) and machine learning (ML) framework development for business intelligence, for which I have won a Bell Excellence and Innovation Award. I also have extensive experience and interest in the application and development of AI and ML methods for medical imaging.

I completed my postdoctoral research training in NeuroAI with the SIMEXP laboratory at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM) at the Université de Montréal, focusing on machine learning, deep learning, and neuroimaging methods development for biomarkers discovery in multisite data. This resulted in the development and release of the Python package Dynamic Parcel Aggregation with Clustering (DYPAC) for use with FMRI data. While there I was awarded the Union Neurosciences et Intelligence Artificielle - Québec (UNIQUE) NeuroAI Excellence Postdoctoral Scholarship Winter 2021. I am also the former Secretary and Art Exhibit Manager of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping BrainArt Special Interest Group.

My doctoral dissertation work investigated the relationship of brain morphology and oxytocin with chronic pain and pain sensitivity in older adults with the Social-Cognitive and Affective Development Lab and PAIN laboratory at the University of Florida. There I earned my dual specialized PhD in Developmental Psychology and Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. My master’s thesis investigated age-differential effects of intranasal oxytocin on “social brain” resting state functional connectivity in women. Prior to my graduate training, I worked as a clinical research associate at Seattle Children’s Research Institute with the Psychology and Beahvioral Systems Lab and the Integrated Brain Imaging Center at the University of Washington Medical Center, working with children with developmental disorders and learning disabilities in a research capacity.

I am also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach and competitor, BJJ purple belt, and Judoka training under Shidokan. I am the 2024 IBJJF Pan Am masters 3 female purple light-feather champion and 2022 Judo Canada newaza silver medalist (-63kg). For questions or coaching, I can be reached on Instagram at thepurplebeltdiaries or via email at desiree.lussier.levesque@gmail.com You can also check out my main Youtube channel The Purple Belt Diaries where I discuss topics related to grappling.


  • Developmental Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Autoencoders
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo


  • PhD in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology (dual specialization), 2019

    University of Florida

  • MS in Psychology, 2018

    University of Florida



Dynamic Parcel Aggregation with Clustering

Variational Autoencoder for Resting-State Functional MRI

2D, 3D, and graph convolutional VAEs built in Pytorch for use with rsfMRI data

Pain, Aging and the Brain

Investigating then neurocorrelates of pain in the aging brain

Oxytocin and Aging

Investigating effects of oxytocin on the aging brain and associated clinical outcomes

Talks & Workshops

Brainhack Global MTL 2020

Brainhack is a collaborative event that focuses on the open sharing of ideas, code, and data. From February 15th to 26th, we will meet …

Brainhack School

Project-based, transdisciplinary training in Neuroscience, Statistical Modelling and Computer Science

Introduction to Machine Learning for Neuroimaging

Recent Posts

Why people quit BJJ and what we can do to not | Do blue belts really quit the MOST?

There is a stereotype that BJJ blue belts quit. But is it true that they have a higher attrition rate than other belt levels in jiu …