HACKATHON Open Science in Action: Approaches to Genetics, Brain Imaging & Polygenic Risk Scores

The Hackathon will bring together faculty and trainees from institutes across Montreal who are interested in collaborative coding projects in the imaging genetic field and polygenic risk score (PRS) development. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019 – 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: PGSS Inc. Thomson House, 3650 Mc Tavish St, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2 

FREE – Registration via Eventbrite. 

Who: Open to university faculty, students and staff across Montreal area who are interested in neuroinformatics.

Code of Conduct: click here.

Languages: English & French

Required skills: Familiarity or interest in at least one of the following: programming in {Python, MATLAB, R, Unix}, neuroscience, data sharing, metadata, interoperability, and scientific computing.


  • 9:00 Short introduction: Orientation to the day’s activities, and the role of hackathons and informatics-research collaborations.
  • 9:15 Project ideas. The co-organizers will present a few project ideas and choose a project to work on. Participants are welcome to suggest and explore other ideas or bring a project they are working on.
  • 9:30 Groups: Participants will form into small groups (min 2, max 5) and choose a project to work on.
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 More hacking.
  • 16:00 Groups presentations. Each group will present what they have worked on in a few slides.
  • 17:00 Feedback session.

Co-organized by:

  • Jean-Baptiste (JB) Poline: Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill; co-Chair of the NeuroHub; and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee for the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) at the Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital (the NEURO); and a Primary Investigator at the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health. 
  • Celia Greenwood: James McGill Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology and the Departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health and Human Genetics, and Graduate Program Director, Quantitative Life Sciences (QLS) PhD program at McGill. Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital; Scientific Director of the Genomics, Bioinformatics & Statistical Genetics axis of Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health. 
  • Yue Li: Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science, McGill University. Our research group focuses on developing machine learning approaches to decipher, in a human-understandable manner, the etiology of diverse phenotypes including complex human diseases. 

The Hackathon is part of two open-science symposiums:

  • Open Science in Action: Inaugural Symposium, 18 November 2019 – see website for details.
  • Polygenic Scores & Brain Imaging Symposium, 20 November, 2019 – see website for details.

Contact: Tel: 514 398-3956; Email: jean-baptiste.poline@mcgill.ca

Sponsored by: