Cubresa Inc.: A Journey in Innovative Medical Imaging Technology

Over the past 12 years, Cubresa Inc. has been loyal in its journey of developing distinctive medical imaging technology. Initially, the company honed its focus on the pre-clinical market, producing devices tailored for research on small animals.

Through meticulous financial planning and extensive support – From government funds to personal contributions from friends, family, and angel investors – Cubresa remained unwavering in its mission. Their ultimate goal? To engineer devices pivotal to the advancement of human health.

Under the leadership of James Schellenberg, a seasoned expert in imaging technology with experience at Winnipeg’s IMRIS, Cubresa has crafted state-of-the-art positron emission tomography (PET) machines. These are specially designed to fit within magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines for small animals in pre-clinical settings.

The outcome of their efforts was recently uncovered as Cubresa installed the world’s first BrainPET system within an MRI machine at Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. This marks a pivotal shift in the company’s journey, demonstrating resilience in the face of the high costs and stringent requirements of the medical device sector. Schellenberg expressed his enthusiasm, noting,

“This is a transformative moment for us and a thrilling era for brain imaging. Our collaboration with Lawson will undoubtedly yield innovative insights into brain research.”

James Schellenberg

Although there exist numerous whole-body PET/MRI systems globally, Cubresa’s unique selling proposition lies in its specialized design for PET/MRI brain imaging. It’s significant that Lawson had previously collaborated with Cubresa, and in 2012, was the proud owner of Canada’s first whole-body PET/MRI.

Currently, Cubresa’s device awaits FDA approval, limiting its use strictly to research. However, it’s already garnered interest, with two sales to renowned institutions like Massachusetts General Hospital’s Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. The company’s strategic move into the research sector, according to Vice President Lisa Bako, is just the beginning. She shared,

“Our engagement with prestigious research institutes is expanding. Our device has generated significant global interest.”

Lisa Bako

With promising discussions emerging around treatments for conditions like Alzheimer’s, the timing couldn’t be better for Cubresa’s venture into the clinical realm. Bako further highlighted,

“For the first time in two decades, there’s renewed hope in Alzheimer’s therapies. Our imaging will play a critical role in understanding and treating various brain disorders.”

Lisa Bako

Jonathan Thiessen, an imaging scientist at Lawson, explained the benefits of Cubresa’s device. The simultaneous PET and MRI scans enable a swift and comprehensive evaluation, thus facilitating timely medical decisions.

While the price of standard whole-body PET/MRI machines can be exorbitant, Cubresa offers a cost-effective solution, pricing its BrainPET/MRIs at a fraction of the cost. As the company continues its upward trajectory, Bako expressed gratitude for the support received in Manitoba. She concluded,

“We’re building not just devices, but also a future for aspiring professionals keen to join our mission in medical technology innovation.”

Lisa Bako


If your company uses disruptive technology to make a difference in your industry, we’re the
company that helps you scale your innovation and achieve your every goal.