ASRP funded research

The Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) celebrates 27 years of funding Canadian researchers in the field of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. We are pleased to announce the following 2015 ASRP grants and awards:

Aetiology (Studying the Cause of Dementia)

Brian Bennett Brian Bennett
Queen's University, Kingston, ON
Project: Mechanisms of altered CREB signalling in an oxidative stress model of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

$149,644 -
 Biomedical Research Grant

"This work is important because it will be useful in identifying and testing new drugs for improving memory and slowing, preventing, or reversing disease progression." Read more

Claudio Cuello Claudio Cuello
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Nerve growth factor dysmetabolism and early inflammation in preclinical Alzheimer's disease 

$148,800 -
 Biomedical Research Grant

“The aims in this study pursued could possibly reveal novel biomarkers and/or lead to new therapeutic targets, not explored so far.”  Read more

Natalie Kozyrev Natalie Kozyrev
University of Western Ontario, London, ON
Project: The role of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease

$90,000 -
 CCNA Biomedical Postdoctoral Award

“Delineating the role of the immune cells involved in Alzheimer’s disease and how they contribute to disease progression will lead to the development of specific therapeutics that may halt or slow disease progression.” Read more

Viviane Labrie Viviane Labrie
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: The interplay of DNA regulatory elements and epigenetics in Alzheimer’s disease

$224,040 -
 Brain Canada New Investigator Grant (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and Brain Canada)

"This study will enhance our understanding of the biological causes of Alzheimer’s disease, which will greatly accelerate the development of improved diagnostic approaches and treatments." Read more

Andrea LeBlanc Andrea LeBlanc
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Using stem cell-derived neurons for sporadic Alzheimer's disease modeling and drug discovery

$150,000 -
 Biomedical Research Grant

"We hope that our research will identify novel therapeutic targets that will be used to generate efficient treatments against Alzheimer's disease." Read more

Yulong Sun Yulong Sun
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Application of spatially targeted optical micro proteomics in dementias

$75,000 -
 CCNA Biomedical Doctoral Award

“The molecular markers discovered through my investigation will provide novel targets for the development of drugs for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or preventative therapy for those who are at risk.”  Read more

Saisampath Thammisetty Saisampath Thammisetty
Laval University, Quebec, QC
Project: The role of TDP-43 protein in early neuroinflammation and in the onset of cognitive deficits

$75,000 -
 CCNA Biomedical Doctoral Award

“I hope that I will do my best to help the people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias by developing a therapy based on TDP-43 through my research.”  Read more

Dr. Sylvain Williams Sylvain Williams
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Causes and functional impact of amyloid-independent alterations in hippocampal circuits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

$150,000 -
 Biomedical Research Grant

“The funding awarded by Alzheimer Canada will offer an invaluable help to uncover the brain changes occurring years before any symptoms occur. Identifying these changes will help find reliable biomarkers identifying those at risk of having Alzheimer's disease.”  Read more

Caregiving Support

Camille A. BrangerCamille Branger
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
Project: Finding meaning in caregiving for persons with dementia: themes, variations, and outcomes

$66,000 -
 Quality of Life Doctoral Award

“To date, much caregiver research has focused on the negative aspects of caregiving (e.g., caregiver burden) and the results of such research have been used to inform the development of caregiver intervention programs. Research that improves our understanding of the positive aspects of caregiving, and the means by which we may facilitate the experience of positive aspects, may also inform caregiver intervention programs. By gaining a better understanding of both positive and negative aspects of caregiving, intervention programs may work to diminish the experience of negative outcomes and facilitate the experience of positive outcomes.”  Read more

Linda Garcia Linda Garcia
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
Project: Feel the difference. Can a training module using virtual reality help address responsive behaviors in dementia?

$120,000 -
 Quality of Life Research Grant

“The research will introduce a novel and realistic environment for learning how to interact with individuals in response to behaviours related to dementia and help make interactions easier between carers, current and future health care providers and individuals with dementia.” Read more

Marjorie Silverman Marjorie Silverman
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
Project: The everyday experiences of place, space and neighbourhood of care partners of people with dementia

$59,921 - Fasken Martineau New Investigator Grant (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and Fasken Martineau)

“This research aims to inform the design of new intervention tools for care partners, and to contribute to the international effort to construct a vision of dementia friendly neighbourhoods.”  Read more

Sharlene Webkamigad Sharlene Webkamigad
Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON
Project: Adapting Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related health promotion materials to meet the needs of Aboriginal people in Northern Ontario

$20,000 - CCNA Quality of Life Masters Award (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and the Canadian Nurses Foundation)

“It is anticipated that this research will encourage policy and program development in cultural safety, health promotion, health literacy, and knowledge translation; which will in turn provide knowledge, disease management skills, and improved quality of life for persons with dementia and their caregivers and provide Aboriginal health organizations, communities and families with culturally grounded approaches to talking and learning about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”  Read more

Care Policy and Practice

Jake Davidson Jake Davidson
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON
Project: Predicting long-term care admission and determining rates of quality indicators for home care clients with dual sensory impairment

$20,000 - CCNA Quality of Life Masters Award

“My research can enable large scale changes in services related to improving the quality of care that is currently being provided to those with Alzheimer’s disease by informing not only front line staff but also providers on the agency level.”  Read more

Natalie Warrick Natalie Warrick
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: The costs and consequences of supporting low-income dementia caregivers

$66,000 - Quality of Life Doctoral Award

“My research will help provide evidence to support or refute the claim that income supports (and other such economic policies) delay transitions to long-term care.”  Read more

Diagnosis and Detection

Nikhil Bhagwat Nikhil Bhagwat
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Development of biomarkers and diagnostic applications for Alzheimer’s disease leveraging machine-learning techniques

$66,000 - Biomedical Doctoral Award

“The research will potentially provide insight towards biomarkers associated with disease progression pathways allowing deployment of targeted and personalized treatment strategies.”  Read more

Linda Mah Linda Mah
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Development of an emotional memory screening tool for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

$150,000 - Biomedical Research Grant

“The goal of our study is to develop a clinical screening test based on assessment of emotional memory to identify people who are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.” Read more

Amir Ali Sepehry Amir Ali Sepehry
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: Depression in frontotemporal lobar degeneration

$90,000 - CCNA Biomedical Postdoctoral Award

“The findings of the study should help us to better understand depression in dementia, resulting in better recognition, care and management of the dementia and better quality of life of the patients and caregivers."  Read more

Yuzi Zheng Yuzi Zheng
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: Characterizing TDP-43 isoforms to investigate disease pathogenesis

$100,000 - Firefly Spark Award

“The developed biomarker test will be used in dementia research and will ultimately assist in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.”  Read more

Developing Treatments

Amanpreet Badhwar Amanpreet Badhwar
University of Montreal, Montreal, QC
Project: Patient-specific measures of resting-state functional connectivity based on individual corticaland tract anatomy for improved sensitivity to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

$83,000 - Biomedical Postdoctoral Award

“My research will provide a more powerful biomarker for use in clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease treatments, helping to bring new drugs to patients more quickly and cost-effectively.”  Read more

Tim KennedyTimothy Kennedy
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Novel cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating synapse dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease

$224,952 - Brain Canada Career Change Grant (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and Brain Canada)

"Our studies will test a new mechanism that may underlie the progressive degeneration of synaptic connections in Alzheimer’s disease which we hope will reveal new targets for treatments to promote memory function."  Read more

Tina Roostaei Tina Roostaei
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Identifying the genetic correlates of the homocysteine risk pathway for Alzheimer’s disease: a genome-wide interaction study

$83,000 - Isabel Johnson Biomedical Postdoctoral Award

“Our findings could provide clues for individualized homocysteine-lowering treatments in Alzheimer’s disease patients.”  Read more

Joel WattsJoel Watts
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Titre: Strains of Aβ aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease

$225,000 - Brain Canada New Investigator Grant (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and Brain Canada)

"My research will shed light on why there is considerable patient-to-patient variability in Alzheimer’s disease, which will allow scientists to develop better treatments that are specifically tailored to different subsets of the disease." Read more

Dr. Don Weaver Donald Weaver
University Health Network, Toronto, ON
Project: Small molecule modulators of the kynurenine metabolic pathway for Alzheimer's disease therapy

$149,700 - Michael Albert Garron Foundation Biomedical Research Grant

“We will develop a pioneering disease modifying drug for Alzheimer's disease that will hopefully halt the disease in its tracks.”  Read more

Identifying Research Priorities

Jennifer BethellJennifer Bethell
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Identifying research priorities from Canadians with dementia and their caregivers and clinicians

$90,000 - CCNA Quality of Life Postdoctoral Award

"Canadians affected by dementia will be directly involved in setting priorities for research - this will make the research results more relevant to them and, ultimately, help improve their health and quality of life."  Read more

Improving Care and Support for People Living with Dementia

Sébastien Grenier Sébastien Grenier
University of Montreal, Montreal, QC
Project: Evaluation of a new cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to reduce psychological distress and improve quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s type dementia and their caregivers

$175,973 - Quality of Life New Investigator Grant

“My research will help improve the efficiency of a psychosocial intervention (without medication), specifically designed to reduce the psychological distress and, consequently, improve the quality of life of the dyad (Alzheimer's patients and family caregivers)."  Read more

Jennifer Knopp SihotaJennifer Knopp-Sihota
Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB
Project: Improving assessment of pain in nursing home residents with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

$120,000 - Quality of Life Research Grant

"This scale has the potential to identify pain in residents with ADRD, for better pain management and improved quality of life."  Read more

Katherine McGilton Katherine McGilton
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Development of a clinically effective sensory screening tool for residents with Alzheimer's disease in long term care

$120,000 - Quality of Life Research Grant

“This work will eventually lead to the engagement, empowerment and support of residents in long term care and their families by improving communication between residents and staff in long term care.”  Read more

Veronique ProvencherVéronique Provencher
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC
Project: Optimizing post-hospitalization home safety for people with Alzheimer’s disease: learning from the experience of patients and their caregivers

$83,854 - Fasken Martineau New Investigator Grant

“We hope that the knowledge produced will help to provide care and services better suited to the needs of the people with Alzheimer's disease, which will ultimately contribute in optimizing their safety and help them to stay in their homes."  Read more

Emma SmithEmma Smith
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Project: Collaborative Power mobility Innovative Learning OpporTunity (CoPILOT): A shared control approach to power mobility training

$66,000 - Quality of Life Doctoral Award

"I expect my research will lead to improved therapeutic methods in teaching and learning for procedural skills such as powered mobility driving, which are critical to a person’s independence and well-being."  Read more

Risk and Prevention

Paul Brassard Paul Brassard
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Project: Influence of the structural differences of statins on the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease

$137,993 - Biomedical Research Grant

“Our findings will further advance knowledge regarding therapy for Alzheimer's disease prevention with a common medication used to prevent heart disease”  Read more

Lindsay Wallace Lindsay Wallace
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Project: Investigating the role of frailty in the relationship between biomarkers and cognitive status in Alzheimer’s disease

$75,000 - CCNA Biomedical Doctoral Award

“My sincere hope is that improving our understanding of the role that frailty plays in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s will lead to more appropriate treatment targets and facilitate improved treatment options for people living with this disease”  Read more

Paul Villeneuve Paul Villeneuve
Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
Project: Environmental risk factors for Alzheimer's disease: does long term exposure to air pollution play a role?

$48,150 - Quality of Life Research Grant

“This research will evaluate whether air pollution may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and there are opportunities to reduce exposure to air pollution, this knowledge may contribute to initiatives that can prevent future cases.”  Read more

End of Life Care

Gina Bravo Gina Bravo
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC
Project: Attitudes of stakeholders towards medical aid in dying for patients with advanced Alzheimer's disease

$118,943 - Quality of Life Research Grant

“Study findings will inform policy-makers and legislators on whether aid in dying should be made available to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and if so, under which conditions.”  Read more

Sharon KaasalainenSharon Kaasalainen
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
Project: The feasibility, acceptability, and effects of the Namaste Care program for residents with advanced dementia in long term care

$119,780 - Quality of Life Research Grant

“We expect that the Namaste Care intervention will improve the quality of life for residents with advanced dementia and their family members; while preventing unnecessary suffering and pain, and avoid overuse of potentially harmful medications.”  Read more


Sarah AtwiSarah Atwi
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Achieving brain benefits in covert stroke through aerobic exercise

$75,000 - CCNA Biomedical Doctoral Award

“This research introduces exercise as a potential form of non-invasive and accessible therapy in people with silent stroke by uniquely studying the effects of cardiopulmonary fitness as a prolonged clinical intervention on factors important to brain function and cognition.”  Read more

Philippe Bourassa Philippe Bourassa
Laval University, Quebec, QC
Project: Using gene therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease by targeting RAGE receptors in cerebral capillary endothelial cells

$66,000 - Biomedical Doctoral Award (This project is jointly funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program and Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé)

“My research project could lead to the identification of a new therapeutic strategy to slow the progression of the disease."  Read more

Sébastien HébertSébastien Hébert
Laval University, Quebec, QC 
Project: MicroRNA-132 replacement therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in a mouse model

$150,000 - Biomedical Research Grant

"My work focuses on a relatively new class of molecules in the body called microRNAs. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, these microRNAs are abnormally changed. Tests in cells and animal models support the hypothesis that these changes are directly linked to the development to Alzheimer’s disease, including the death of neurons. This link is very promising for Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment, as it has already provided major advancements in other areas of research, like cancer. As we know, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and current medications only provide limited, short-term benefits."  Read more

Zeinab Noroozian Zeinab Noroozian
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Anti-amyloid gene therapy in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

$66,000 - Dr. and Mrs. Albert Spatz Award

“Our research will directly impact treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and we expect it to lead to clinical trials to save lives and minds of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”  Read more

David Stock David Stock
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Project: Menopausal timing among women with traumatic brain injury as a risk factor for dementia

$90,000 - CCNA Biomedical Postdoctoral Award

“This and related work conducted by the research team will help uncover potentially modifiable factors that may reduce risk, or delay onset, of dementia for women who are estrogen deficient during the menopausal transition.”  Read more

Eva Vico Varela Eva Vico Varela
McGill University, Montreal, ON
Project: Modulating memory circuits: electrophysiology of deep brain stimulation treatments to improve memory function

$66,000 - Biomedical Doctoral Award

“Deep brain stimulation (DBS) holds therapeutic promise and could have a major impact in the coming years for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders affecting memory. Research refining the temporal patterning of delivery of DBS has the potential of making the rescue of memory function a reality.”  Read more

Research database

Our on-line database provides detailed information about the research funded by the ASRP. In order to obtain further details on these projects, please search this database using:

  • Key words
  • Research name
  • Location/Institution
  • Funding Program

Click here to access the database

Past ASRP recipients

Last Updated: 03/24/16
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