Désirée Lussier

Postdoctoral research fellow

Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM), Université de Montréal


I am a postdoctoral research fellow with the SIMEXP laboratory at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM) and a Union Neurosciences et Intelligence Artificielle - Québec (UNIQUE) NeuroAI Excellence Scholarship Winter 2021 postdoctoral awardee at the Université de Montréal. I am also the current Secretary and former Art Exhibit Manager Elect of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping BrainArt Special Interest Group. My current research focused on machine learning, deep learning and neuroimaging methods development for biomarkers discovery in a variety of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions in multisite data. My currently reseach includes investigation in neurodegenerative disorders associated with aging, such as chronic pain and dementias.

My 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. 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 where I focused on gender differences in autism spectrum disorders using functional neuroimaging. My career in neuroimaging began as an undergraduate student research assistant at the Integrated Brain Imaging Center at the University of Washington in 2012.


  • Structural and Resting-State Functional MRI
  • Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Autoencoders
  • Chronic Pain, Pain Processing, Dementia


  • 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

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