Tom Schweizer


Director, Neuroscience Research Program


Dr. Schweizer’s area of interest is in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, focusing on understanding the neural bases for human cognitive and real-world functioning using experimental cognitive paradigms, neuroimaging and neuropsychology. A better understanding of the complex neural systems supporting various cognitive and real-world functions and their breakdown after brain damage (e.g. Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Alzheimer’s Disease) is essential in educating physicians, patients and families and critical in designing effective treatment strategies. Dr. Schweizer and his team have developed a novel and fully immersive driving simulator and touch tablet placed in a 3.0 Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) system. The MRI compatible equipment can capture brain activity during real world tasks. Dr. Schweizer and his group are also investigating novel approaches to image processing and data analysis in functional neuroimaging, in order to improve the reliability and interpretability of fMRI findings, particularly in clinical and aging populations. Dr. Schweizer is an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder and is supported by a New Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and research awards from the Ministry of Transportation Ontario and other National peer-reviewed funding agencies including Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Recent Publications

  1. Fornazzari, L, Leggieri, M, Schweizer, TA, Arizaga, RL, Allegri, RF, Fischer, CE et al.. Hyper memory, synaesthesia, savants Luria and Borges revisited. Dement Neuropsychol. ;12 (2):101-104. doi: 10.1590/1980-57642018dn12-020001. PubMed PMID:29988344 PubMed Central PMC6022980.
  2. Di Battista, AP, Churchill, N, Schweizer, TA, Rhind, SG, Richards, D, Baker, AJ et al.. Blood biomarkers are associated with brain function and blood flow following sport concussion. J. Neuroimmunol. 2018;319 :1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2018.03.002. PubMed PMID:29685283 .
  3. Churchill, NW, Hutchison, MG, Graham, SJ, Schweizer, TA. Connectomic markers of symptom severity in sport-related concussion: Whole-brain analysis of resting-state fMRI. Neuroimage Clin. 2018;18 :518-526. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.02.011. PubMed PMID:29560308 PubMed Central PMC5857899.
  4. Kim, J, Schweizer, TA, Fischer, CE, Munoz, DG. Psychosis in "Cognitively Asymptomatic" Elderly Subjects is Associated With Neuritic Plaque Load, Not Neurofibrillary Tangles. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. ;32 (3):185-189. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000250. PubMed PMID:29553944 PubMed Central PMC6107422.
  5. Mansur, A, Hird, MA, Desimone, A, Pshonyak, I, Schweizer, TA, Das, S et al.. Driving habits and behaviors of patients with brain tumors: a self-report, cognitive and driving simulation study. Sci Rep. 2018;8 (1):4635. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22937-y. PubMed PMID:29545606 PubMed Central PMC5854700.
  6. Hird, MA, Vesely, KA, Tasneem, T, Saposnik, G, Macdonald, RL, Schweizer, TA et al.. A Case-Control Study Investigating Simulated Driving Errors in Ischemic Stroke and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Front Neurol. 2018;9 :54. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00054. PubMed PMID:29487561 PubMed Central PMC5816745.
  7. Karimpoor, M, Churchill, NW, Tam, F, Fischer, CE, Schweizer, TA, Graham, SJ et al.. Functional MRI of Handwriting Tasks: A Study of Healthy Young Adults Interacting with a Novel Touch-Sensitive Tablet. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018;12 :30. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00030. PubMed PMID:29487511 PubMed Central PMC5816817.
  8. Jaja, BNR, Saposnik, G, Lingsma, HF, Macdonald, E, Thorpe, KE, Mamdani, M et al.. Development and validation of outcome prediction models for aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage: the SAHIT multinational cohort study. BMJ. 2018;360 :j5745. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j5745. PubMed PMID:29348138 .
  9. Mansur, A, Desimone, A, Vaughan, S, Schweizer, TA, Das, S. To drive or not to drive, that is still the question: current challenges in driving recommendations for patients with brain tumours. J. Neurooncol. 2018;137 (2):379-385. doi: 10.1007/s11060-017-2727-y. PubMed PMID:29294231 .
  10. Karimpoor, M, Churchill, NW, Tam, F, Fischer, CE, Schweizer, TA, Graham, SJ et al.. Tablet-Based Functional MRI of the Trail Making Test: Effect of Tablet Interaction Mode. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017;11 :496. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00496. PubMed PMID:29114212 PubMed Central PMC5660710.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine (Neurosurgery), University of Toronto
  • Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto