I received my PhD in Biomolecular Sciences in 2017 as an NSERC-PGS-D-holding member of Dr. Michael A. Persinger's Neuroscience Research Group (NRG) at Laurentian University. I then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratories of Dr. David L. Kaplan and Dr. Michael Levin at the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University, where I am now an adjunct assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering.
Returning to Canada, I accepted a faculty position in the Department of Psychology at Algoma University, where I lectured on topics in neuroscience and initiated my independent research program with an NSERC Discovery Grant to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying embodied and minimal cognition. I joined Laurier in 2023 as an assistant professor of Health Sciences.
I am a behavioural neuroscientist and bioengineer who is fascinated by brain structure and function. To further understand unique brain states, I have developed tissue engineered models of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Parkinson's Disease (PD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). I have also investigated material-like properties of brain tissues and how they interact with temporally patterned electromagnetic fields. My current research focuses on the free-energy principle as well as embodied and minimal cognition in hybrid neural-robotic systems. Integrating behaviourism, neurobiology, tissue engineering, and computer science, my interdisciplinary approach is motivated by a desire to understand the fundamental nature of cognitive systems and how they are impacted by neural disease. Broader implications of my work include the design of bio-inspired artificial intelligences and the fabrication of high-throughput platforms for drug discovery and repurposing to mitigate and reverse neural disease.
NSERC Discovery Grant - "Identifying the neurostructural determinants of minimal cognition using embodied 3D bioengineered brain models" (2022-2027)
Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) Essay Competition Winner
Postgraduate Scholarship, Doctoral (PGS-D)
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M)
Rouleau, N., Murugan, N., and Kaplan, D.L. (2023). Functional bioengineered models of the central nervous system. Nature Reviews Bioengineering. 1(2), 1-19.
Rouleau, N. & Cimino, N. (2022). A Transmissive Theory of Brain Function: Implications for Health, Disease, and Consciousness. NeuroSci. 3(3),440-456.
Rouleau, N., Cairns, D., Rusk, W., Levin, M., Kaplan, D.L. (2021). Learning and Synaptic Plasticity in 3D Bioengineered Neural Tissues. Neuroscience Letters. 750, 135799.
Rouleau, N., Murugan, N.J., and Kaplan, D.L. (2021). Toward Studying Cognition in a Dish. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 25(4), 294-304.
Rouleau, N., Bonzanni, M., Erndt-Marino, J., Sievert, K., Ramirez, C.G., Rusk, W., Levin, M., Kaplan. D.L. (2020). A 3D Tissue Model of Traumatic Brain Injury with Excitotoxicity that is Inhibited by Chronic Exposure to Gabapentinoids. Biomolecules. 10(8), 1196.
Rouleau, N., Murugan, N.J., Rusk, W., Koester, C., Kaplan, D.L. (2020). Matrix Deformation with Ectopic Cells Induced by Rotational Motion in Bioengineered Neural Tissues. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 48, 2192-2203.
Liaudanskaya, V., Chung, J.Y., Mizzoni, C., Rouleau, N., Berk, A.N., Wu, L., Turner, J.A., Georgiakoudi, I., Whalen, M.J., Nieland, T.J.F., and Kaplan, D.L. (2020). Modeling Controlled Cortical Impact Injury in 3D Brain‐Like Tissue Cultures. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 23(8), 1-14.
Cairns, D., Rouleau, N., Parker, R.N., Walsh, K.G., Gehrke, L., and Kaplan, D.L. (2020). A 3D Human Brain-Like Model of Herpes-Induced Alzheimer’s Disease. Science Advances. 6(19), eaay8828.
Rouleau, N., Cantley, W.L., Liaudanskaya, V., Berk, A., Du C., Rusk, W., Peirent, E., Koester, C., Nieland, T.J.F., & Kaplan, D.L. (2020). A Long-Living Bioengineered Neural Tissue Platform to Study Neurodegeneration. Macromolecular Biosciences 20(3).
Bonzanni, M., Rouleau, N., Levin, M., Kaplan, D.L. (2020). Optogenetically Induced Cellular Habituation in Non-Neuronal Cells. PLoS ONE. 15(1): e0227230
Office location: BA547, Bricker Academic Building
Office hours: By appointment.
Languages spoken: English, French