Tom Schweizer


Interim Director of Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences & 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, Haladyn, J, Toledo, T, Leggieri, M, Friszberg, I, Barfett, J et al.. Do painters need their whole brain to excel?. Neurocase. 2020;26 (3):131-136. doi: 10.1080/13554794.2020.1764055. PubMed PMID:32420807 .
  2. Talwar, N, Churchill, NW, Hird, MA, Tam, F, Graham, SJ, Schweizer, TA et al.. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults. PLoS ONE. 2020;15 (5):e0232469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232469. PubMed PMID:32396540 PubMed Central PMC7217471.
  3. Churchill, NW, Hutchison, MG, Graham, SJ, Schweizer, TA. Neurometabolites and sport-related concussion: From acute injury to one year after medical clearance. Neuroimage Clin. 2020;27 :102258. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102258. PubMed PMID:32388345 PubMed Central PMC7215245.
  4. Thaut, MH, Fischer, CE, Leggieri, M, Vuong, V, Churchill, NW, Fornazzari, LR et al.. Neural Basis of Long-term Musical Memory in Cognitively Impaired Older Persons. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2020; :. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000382. PubMed PMID:32384286 .
  5. Churchill, NW, Hutchison, MG, Graham, SJ, Schweizer, TA. Scale-free functional brain dynamics during recovery from sport-related concussion. Hum Brain Mapp. 2020;41 (10):2567-2582. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24962. PubMed PMID:32348019 PubMed Central PMC7294069.
  6. Atayde, AL, Fischer, CE, Schweizer, TA, Munoz, DG. Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Assessed Nighttime Behavior Accompanies, but Does Not Precede, Progressive Cognitive Decline Independent of Alzheimer's Disease Histopathology. J. Alzheimers Dis. 2020;74 (3):839-850. doi: 10.3233/JAD-190907. PubMed PMID:32116249 .
  7. Churchill, NW, Hutchison, MG, Graham, SJ, Schweizer, TA. Baseline vs. cross-sectional MRI of concussion: distinct brain patterns in white matter and cerebral blood flow. Sci Rep. 2020;10 (1):1643. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-58073-9. PubMed PMID:32015365 PubMed Central PMC6997378.
  8. Maher, M, Schweizer, TA, Macdonald, RL. Treatment of Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Guidelines and Gaps. Stroke. 2020;51 (4):1326-1332. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025997. PubMed PMID:31964292 .
  9. Garbens, A, Armstrong, BA, Louridas, M, Tam, F, Detsky, AS, Schweizer, TA et al.. Brain activation during laparoscopic tasks in high- and low-performing medical students: a pilot fMRI study. Surg Endosc. 2019; :. doi: 10.1007/s00464-019-07260-5. PubMed PMID:31754848 .
  10. Garcia-Segura, ME, Fischer, CE, Schweizer, TA, Munoz, DG. APOE ɛ4/ɛ4 Is Associated with Aberrant Motor Behavior Through Both Lewy Body and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Pathology in High Alzheimer's Disease Pathological Load. J. Alzheimers Dis. 2019;72 (4):1077-1087. doi: 10.3233/JAD-190643. PubMed PMID:31744003 .
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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