Emma Towlson

Dr. Emma Towlson


Assistant Head, Undergraduate Curriculum

Faculty of Science , Department of Computer Science

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information


Areas of Research

Mental Health
Mental Illness

My interests and skillsets lie in the field of network neuroscience. The brain is inherently a network at all spatiotemporal scales: from the interactions to proteins and genes within the cell, to neuronal circuitry, to correlations between activation patterns of macroscopic brain regions. Understanding each part of the hierarchy and their interconnectedness is vital to understanding brain function. Network neuroscience offers powerful mathematical frameworks and computational tools with which explore the structure-function relationship in neuroscientific datasets in a data-drive, integrative, whole-system fashion. Time and time again, studies of brain networks across different species, scales, and modalities recover the same topological features, including "rich clubs", modules, and a balance between wiring cost and network efficiency. Insights into the healthy organisational principles of the brain can also provide insight into unhealthy organisation that underlies brain disorder and disease. In particular, network control theory offers a framework with which to describe the workings of the brain and bridge the gap between structure and function. My recent work explores how network control can shed light on the fundamental principles of wiring in C.elegans, be used to describe various disorders and diseases in the human brain, and predict therapeutic interventions (e.g. via brain stimulation). 

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
CPSC 572 Fundamentals of Social Network Analysis and Data Mining Fall
CPSC 672 Fundamentals of Social Network Analysis and Data Mining Fall
DATA 601 Working with Data and Visualization Fall