Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve awarded Brain Canada platform support grant

March 25, 2023 

We are proud to announce that Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve has been awarded a Brain Canada 2021 Platform Support Grant (PSG). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health and relates to funding is made possible through Health Canada’s Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF) Program, which has to date committed an overall federal investment of $200 million to Brain Canada Foundation (Brain Canada) in support of brain health discoveries.

Supporting the neuroscience community and brain research plays a critical role in increasing our understanding of brain health conditions. By investing in projects like these, we are supporting innovation in neurotechnology leading to tangible advancements supporting brain health in Canada to improve health outcomes for patients.
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

In an official event held yesterday, May 24, in London Ontario, Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, announced four grants being awarded to Dr. Emma G. Duerden of Western University, Dr. Lisa Saksida of Western University, Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve of the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, and Dr. Signe Bray of the University of Calgary. 

Better research means better brain health for all. The work of Dr. Duerden, Dr. Saksida, Dr. Villeneuve and Dr. Bray will play an important role in advancing our knowledge of the brain and, ultimately, enhancing Canada’s capacity in neuroscience research.
Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre

Brain Canada Platform Support Grants are awarded to teams that create or enhance centralized shared resources to increase access to equipment, expertise, data and protocols across research networks. A total of $2.34 million is being provided by Brain Canada, in collaboration with the Douglas Foundation, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the J. Louis Levesque Foundation, Optina Diagnostics, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support the Canadian Alzheimer’s Prevention Data Repository and Sharing Platform, a platform to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease research and treatment in Canada and abroad. 

In 2020, the number of people with dementia in Canada was 597,000; this number will increase to 955,900 by 2030. This debilitating disease has an annual cost of more than $10.4 billion and has a tremendous impact on the quality of life of patients and their families. Currently, by the time a person is diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease, brain atrophy is so advanced that memory impairments are irreversible. This is why the Douglas Research Centre is investing considerable effort in research on Aging, cognition, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

To reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia on quality of life, it is essential to better understand what the pre-dementia phases of the disease look like. To achieve this, neuroscientists will need large pools of longitudinal data on well-characterized individuals in order to identify who will develop AD dementia before any symptoms appear and provide evidence to support the development of new interventions that could stop or slow down the disease. 

Collaborations across Canada and beyond are key to accelerating the pace of discovery and improving the quality of life of patients. Brain Canada is proud to support platforms of this kind which enable our scientists to tackle the most pressing questions of our time.
– Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada  

The Canadian Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Data Repository and Sharing Platform (CAP) will be the first Canadian open platform with an infrastructure to acquire, harmonize and share sensitive pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease data (people without cognitive impairment with Alzheimer’s disease pathology) at no cost to the research community. It will also facilitate the exchange of data with health care professionals, thereby accelerating the translation of research findings into clinical practice. Importantly, data integrated into the CAP platform will be harmonized with other major Canadian and international AD initiatives to facilitate data amalgamation on preclinical AD, reducing the need to duplicate studies and leveraging the wealth of research data already available.

One of our goals is also to launch a dementia prevention clinic in 2023, with the support of philanthropists and CIUSSS Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. The clinic, that will be led by Dr. Simon Ducharme, will use our CAP platform and will feed into our data repository, helping us to provide even more data to the Canadian and international investigators conducting research in this area and, ultimately, leading to the faster development of treatments for patients.
– Dr. Viviane Poupon

Funding for this PSG has been made possible with the financial support of Health Canada, through the Canada Brain Research Fund, an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada.


Read about this opportunity at Brain Canada and at Health Canada