Lerch is the director of preclinical imaging at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford. Before his move to Oxford in 2019, he spent 14 years at the Mouse Imaging Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He completed his Ph.D. in 2005 in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. Lerch received his B.A. in 1999 in anthropology and social studies of medicine from McGill University. His Ph.D. research, under the supervision of Alan Evans, was on in-vivo measurements of cortical thickness from MRI. His research focus is on detecting changes in the brain due to behavioral and genetic manipulations in tightly-controlled mouse models, primarily related to neurodevelopmental disorders, and to relate these findings to not-as-well-controlled human subjects.