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2017 Funding results

The Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) celebrates 29 years of funding Canadian researchers in the field of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. We are pleased to announce the following 2017 ASRP grants and awards:

Aetiology (Studying the Cause of Dementia)


Majid Mohajerani Majid Mohajerani
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, ON
Project: Toward dissecting the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease: Is altered neuronal activity a pathology or compensation?

$150,000 -
 Biomedical, Research Grant


Daniel Sparks
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Chma5 neurons as a novel target for cognitive rescue in Alzheimer’s disease

$83,000 -
 Biomedical, Postdoctoral Award

"I expect that the findings from my research will help to guide the development of treatments that will help to ameliorate some of the cognitive deficits seen in Alzheimer’s disease."


Shraddha Sapkota
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, ON
Project: Network of Genetic and Neuroimaging Biomarkers on Cognitive Trajectories in Dementia: Associations of Hippocampal Atrophy and Genetic Risk in Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Cognitive Disorders, and Parkinson’s disease-Lewy Body Dementia

$90,000 -
 Biomedical, Postdoctoral Award
This project is jointly supported by the ASRP and the CCNA

"Research is the key to understanding the neural and molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease with the potential to develop innovative treatments, early detection methods, and intervention programs that will significantly improve the quality of life for those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregivers."


Tharick Pascoal
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Tracking the progression of neuroinflammation and tau aggregates in mild cognitive impairment using positron emission tomography

$75,000 -
Biomedical, Doctoral Award
This project is jointly funded by Dr. and Mrs. Spatz, Barrett Family and supported by CCNA

"This project might offer the blueprints for new treatments aiming to mitigate Alzheimer's disease targeting the interface between Alzheimer's disease hallmark proteins and neuroinflammation."

Caregiver Support


Heather Cooke
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: No Time for Nice? Exploring the Nature and Influence of Workplace Incivility and Bullying in Long-Term Residential Care

$83,000 -
 Quality of Life, Postdoctoral Award

“Exploring the experiences of residents with dementia and those who care for them will help us create evidence-informed, therapeutic and responsive care facilities that promote quality of life for all who live and work within their walls.”  

Developing Treatments


Abid Oueslati
Université Laval, Montreal, QC
Project: Implication of Polo-like kinases in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis and treatments

$225,000 - Biomedical, New Investigator Grant

“I am convinced that the combination of knowledge, technological progress and dedication of researchers are bringing us closer than ever to finding a cure for this devastating disease.”  


Sonja Soo
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: The role of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) in attenuating ApoE4-induced inflammation in pericytes.

$40,000 - Biomedical, Masters Award
This project is jointly supported by ASRP and CCNA

"Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people world-wide. The prevalence as well as the complexity of Alzheimer’s disease motivates me to study this disease."  


Carol Hudon
Université Laval, Quebec City, QC
Project: Impacts of a mindfulness-based intervention in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

$120,000 - Quality of Life, Grant

“We are hopeful that regular mindfulness meditation can provide fast and concrete relief from the loss of brain capacity in older age and the acute distress caused by this loss.”  

Diagnosis and Detection


Saira Mirza
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Genomics meets neuroimaging: Genetic association study of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers of neurodegeneration across dementias - a data-driven approach.

$83,000 - Biomedical, Postdoctoral Award

“Our goal is to understand the shared genetic risks across various dementias. Specifically, we aim to discover novel contributions of genetic variants to neuroimaging measures across an entire cohort of dementia patients (Alzheimer’s, vascular, Lewy body, and frontotemporal dementias) blinded to diagnosis.”  


Vanessa Taler
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
Project: A Semantic Screening Battery for MCI and Alzheimer’s disease

$119,798 - Quality of Life Grant

“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating diagnosis and the number of people affected is ever-increasing. It is critical to invest in research in this area if we are to reduce the impact of the disease and eventually find a cure!”  


 Jordan Ali
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Project: A qualitative characterization of concerns, complaints, and experiential predictors of objective cognitive decline in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD)

$66,000 - Quality of Life, Doctoral
This project is funded by Dr. and Mrs. Spatz

“A major motivator for me is the knowledge that, due to an aging population and growing incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are likely to personally impact the majority of Canadians, whether they are family members, friends, caretakers, or colleagues of those affected, or are affected themselves."  

Improving Care and Support for People Living with Dementia


Jennifer Walker
Laurentien University, Sudbury, ON
Project: Understanding the challenge of dementia in Saskatchewan First Nations populations

$119,920 - Quality of Life, Grant


Tamara Sussman
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
Project: Advance Care Planning for Persons with Dementia: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions

$120,000 - Quality of Life Grant


Nancy Presse
Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC
Project: The Med-Pass program to improve nutritional status and health outcomes of nursing home residents with dementia: a promising approach in need of high quality research

$59,615 - Quality of Life, New Investigator Grant

“The increasing prevalence of dementia is a growing concern worldwide. While waiting for a cure to be found, we need to learn how to manage malnutrition in dementia.”  


Gloria Puurveen
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: Exploring the process and outcomes of end-of-life decision-making between people with dementia and their family members

$83,000 - Quality of Life, Postdoctoral Award

“Considering the increasing numbers of individuals living with dementia, it is imperative that we listen to their perspective about what is important to them and how to live well with the illness.”  


Sarah Wu
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
Project: Towards relationship-centred mealtimes: A mixed methods approach to understanding relationship-centred dining for persons living with dementia in long-term care

$66,000 - Quality of Life Doctoral Award
This project is funded by Dr. and Mrs. Spatz

“We are all interdependent upon one another; by supporting research that promotes the importance of relationships through familiar daily rituals, such as mealtimes, we can improve the quality of life of residents living with dementia and their family members.”  


Michelle Greason
St. Thomas University, Fredericton NB
Project: Micro-citizenship, dementia and long-term care.

$83,000 - Quality of Life, Postdoctoral Award
This project is jointly supported by the ASRP and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation

“Through a micro-citizenship model of care, the scope of resident engagement is broadened and residents living with dementia are perceived, and treated, not just as individuals (as in person-centred care), but as citizens with power – power to initiate and shape, and become equals in the D/LTC community, contributing as much as they receive.”  


Debra Sheets
University of Victoria
Project:Voices in Motion: An Intergenerational Community Choir to Support Social Inclusion and Quality of Life for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and their Caregivers

$119,130 - Quality of Life, Grant
This project is jointly funded by the ASRP and the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (PARF)

Risk and Prevention


Hideto Takahashi
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, QC
Project: Role of the neurexin complex in synaptic pathology in Alzheimer’s disease

$150,000 - Biomedical, Research Grant

“Our research could help us understand how to prevent synapse loss and how to promote the preservation of synaptic connections for cognitive improvement in Alzheimer’s disease.”  


Andrew Beaudin
University of Calgary, Calgary, ON
Project: Cerebrovascular reactivity in patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy

$90,000 - Biomedical, Postdoctoral Award
This project is jointly supported by the ASRP and the CCNA

"Though foundational research such as mine is aimed at better understanding the cause of dementias to better prevent, diagnose and/or treat dementia, the outcome of this research will not only benefit the patient, but also their family members who care for them."


Libin Zhou
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: The study of rare genetic variant of Caspase-6 associated with hippocampal volume change on neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer disease

$66,000 - Biomedical, Doctoral Award
This project is funded by Dr. and Mrs. Spatz

“Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease lose memories that are the backbone of family bonds, friendship, and love.”  


Jannic Boehm
Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC
Project: Development of a brain penetrating peptide to block synaptic depression in Alzheimer disease.

$147,948 - Biomedical, Research Grant

Therapy


Fernanda De Felice
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
Project: FNDC5/irisin as a novel therapeutic approach in Alzheimer’s disease

$149,945 - Biomedical, Research Grant

“Who would I even be without my memories? I consider that the treatment of dementia is one of the greatest current and future health challenges and I am keen to find ways to protect the brain from the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease." 


Alexey Kostikov
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Exploring the role of p75 neurotrophin receptors (p75NTR) in Alzheimer’s disease using radioisotope imaging

$150,000 - Biomedical, Research Grant

"Research on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is important because diseases of the brain are predicted to surpass cancer as the second leading cause of death in developed countries by 2040." 


Matthew Parsons
Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Project: The contribution of astrocyte pathology to plasticity and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer disease

$225,000 - Biomedical, New Investigator Grant

“In order to find more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, we need to understand the disease at so many levels; from the behaviour of cells in a dish all the way up to clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease patients, and everywhere in between.”  

We would like to acknowledge and thank our donors and partners in these grants and awards, including the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, the Barrett Family Foundation and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.

We also extend our thanks to the Alzheimer Societies who generously contribute to the Alzheimer Society Research Program each year:

  • Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories
  • Alzheimer Society of British Columbia
  • Alzheimer Society of Manitoba
  • Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick
  • Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia
  • Alzheimer Society of Ontario and chapters (Brant-Haldimand Norfolk-Hamilton Halton; Chatham-Kent; Cornwall and District; Dufferin County; Durham Region; Elgin – St. Thomas; Grey-Bruce; Hastings – Prince Edward; Huron County; Kenora / Rainy River Districts; Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington; Lanark Leeds Grenville; London and Middlesex; Muskoka; Niagara Region; Ottawa and Renfrew County; Oxford; Peel; Perth County; Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton; Sarnia-Lambton; Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District; Simcoe County; Sudbury-Manitoulin North Bay and Districts; Thunder Bay; Timmins-Porcupine District; Toronto; Waterloo-Wellington; Windsor-Essex County; and York Region)
  • Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward Island
  • Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan
  • Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies and chapters (Bas-Saint-Laurent, Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Côte-Nord, Estrie, Gaspésie Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Granby et régions, Haut-Richelieu, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Laval, Maskoutains-Vallée des Patriotes, Montréal, Outaouais québécois, Québec, Rive-Sud, Rouyn-Noranda Témiscamingue, Sagamie Saguenay Lac St-Jean, Suroît, and Vallée de l'Or)

Last Updated: 09/15/17
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