Brain Canada’s flagship program awards $2.8 million for brain research
Brain Canada’s Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research program to support 28 early-career researchers this year
MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Supported by the Canada Brain Research Fund and anchored by a lead gift from the Azrieli Foundation, the Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research program aims to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change our understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction and their impact on health. In its fourth year, this flagship program is providing funding to its largest-ever cohort of researchers, with 28 recipients—almost 30% more researchers than previous years. Over the course of four years, the Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research program has granted awards to a total of 88 promising early-career researchers. The program is made possible through a substantial contribution from the Azrieli Foundation, with support this year from The Erika Legacy Foundation, The Arrell Family Foundation, the Segal Foundation, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
This year, Brain Canada has awarded $100,000 grants to 28 early-career investigators with research projects that range from uncovering why individuals experience pain differently, to understanding the impact of deep-brain stimulation in mitigating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. With the support of Brain Canada and its donors and partners, these visionary researchers are making substantial contributions to brain research across the country and around the world.
“Researchers who have recently completed their training and have just begun their careers are uniquely positioned to develop groundbreaking brain research initiatives,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada. “Brain Canada is thrilled to see how our signature Future Leaders program has grown, enabling us to provide increased support to a growing number of researchers during the pivotal stage of their careers.”
By providing early-career researchers with funding at this critical juncture, Brain Canada is building Canada's pipeline of leaders in neuroscience and a foundation of research excellence and innovation.
“Brain Canada is the leading foundation dedicated to advancing neuroscience in this country,” says Naomi Azrieli, Brain Canada Chair. “The Future Leaders program not only empowers the next generation of leaders with mentorship, resources, and collaboration, but also fosters a vibrant community of forward-thinkers who will shape the future of neuroscience.”
The work of the 2022 Future Leaders has the potential to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people living in Canada who are affected every day by brain diseases, disorders, and injuries.
“I hope that, over the next 20 years, my work can lead to greater molecular understanding of fetal and neonatal brain injury,” says Dr. Brian Kalish, a newborn intensive care physician at SickKids, and a recipient of a 2022 Future Leaders grant. “My dream is to develop new therapies for brain injury in newborns to improve their long-term neurodevelopmental potential.”
Dr. Kalish’s research aims to explore brain injury in newborns and identify new treatments to protect and repair their brains.
2022 Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research
For the 2022 competition, Brain Canada received 123 eligible Letters of Intent (LOI) from 40 institutions across Canada and across various fields of neuroscience spanning basic, translational, clinical, and knowledge translational approaches. Peer review was undertaken by two panels composed of 46 neuroscientists total, with expertise in a range of research approaches and at different stages of their careers. Sixty-four applicants were invited to submit full, comprehensive grant applications, with the 28 grant recipients chosen after a second round of peer review.
- Dr. Bénédicte Amilhon, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre, Université de Montréal
- Dr. Marco Bonizzato, Polytechnique Montréal
- Dr. Michel-Pierre Coll, Université Laval
- Dr. Mahsa Dadar, The Douglas Research Centre, McGill University
- Dr. Yifei Jeff Dong, University of Saskatchewan
- Dr. Guillaume Dumas, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre, Université de Montréal
- Dr. Henry A. Dunn, The University of Manitoba
- Dr. Paul A. Dutchak, Université Laval
- Dr. Giulia Fadda, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
- Dr. Aravind Ganesh, University of Calgary
- Dr. Brett Hilton, The University of British Columbia
- Dr. Wei-Hsiang Huang, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
- Dr. Maria Ioannou, University of Alberta
- Dr. Jesse Jackson, University of Alberta
- Dr. Brian Kalish, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
- Dr. Kohitij Kar, York University
- Dr. Milad Lankarany, University Health Network, University of Toronto
- Dr. Flavie Lavoie-Cardinal, Université Laval
- Dr. Lara Leijser, University of Calgary
- Dr. Corina Nagy, The Douglas Research Centre, McGill University
- Dr. Sean Nestor, Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto
- Dr. Matthew Perich, Université de Montréal
- Dr. Adria Quigley, Dalhousie University
- Dr. Tijana Simic, University of Toronto
- Dr. Eszter Szekely, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital
- Dr. Jiannis Taxidis, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
- Dr. Maria Vera Ugalde, McGill University
- Dr. Naomi Visanji, University Health Network, University of Toronto
To learn more about this year’s cohort of Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research, visit our directory of funded researchers.
This program has been made possible by the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF), an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) Brain Canada Foundation, and the Azrieli Foundation, with support from The Erika Legacy Foundation, The Arrell Family Foundation, the Segal Foundation, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). To date, Health Canada has invested $200 million through the CBRF which has been matched by Brain Canada Foundation and its donors and partners.
For more information, please contact:?
Brain Canada Foundation
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/abc995d7-90bf-475e-a475-04efdcb116ae
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