Federal ministers make major announcement at the Douglas

June 5, 2024

On Friday, May 31, federal ministers visited the Douglas, along with several dignitaries, including Members of Parliament Rachel Bendayan, Fayçal El-Khoury, Anna Gainey, Patricia Lattanzio, and Dr. Viviane Poupon, CEO of Brain Canada, to make an important announcement about funding for brain research in Canada.

The Government of Canada recognizes the high rates of brain and neurological diseases, disorders, illnesses, and other health conditions impacting thousands of people across Canada. One in three people in Canada will face a neurological disease or neuropsychiatric disorder in their lifetime. As Canada’s population ages, incidences of brain diseases and disorders, and the cost of caring for affected individuals, are expected to rise, putting additional stress on an already strained system.

Today, the Honourable Minister Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Minister Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada on behalf of the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s support for the advancement of brain research in Canada. Budget 2024 announced renewed funding for Brain Canada Foundation (Brain Canada) with a commitment of $80 million over four years. This investment will be matched by Brain Canada, for a total envelope of $160 million through the Canada Brain Research Fund, to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people in Canada.

Investing in brain research expands the frontiers of our scientific knowledge and has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of Canadians. This funding commitment reflects our dedication to fairness for every generation, ensuring that future generations have access to better treatments and a healthier life. Together, we are building a more resilient and equitable Canada for all.

– The Honourable Minister Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change


There are more than a thousand brain diseases and disorders, including mental health diseases and disorders; neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis; brain and spinal cord injuries; brain cancer; and stroke. Brain Canada has been an important actor in supporting brain research in Canada, including here at the Douglas.  

Brain Canada and its partnership with the federal government have supported 80 grants and invested $68 M at the Douglas Research Centre and elsewhere at McGill through Brain Canada and its partnership with the federal government. This funding, and the momentum it has built at my institution and others across the country is accelerating progress towards better understanding, preventing, and treating disorders of the brain.

Dr. Gustavo Turecki, Scientific Director, Douglas Research Centre


Since 2016, the federal government has committed more than $16 billion in funding for research that supports groundbreaking discoveries in areas such as climate change, health emergencies, artificial intelligence, and psychological health. This research plays a critical role in solving the world’s greatest challenges, those that will have impacts for generations.


We welcome the Government of Canada’s renewed commitment to brain research. This funding serves as recognition of Brain Canada’s critical role in the Canadian research ecosystem. We look forward to working closely with our donors and partners to double the government’s investment and accelerate scientific discovery for the benefit of people living with brain conditions. Together we are helping to improve the brain health for people in Canada.

– Dr. Viviane Poupon, president & CEO of Brain Canada

Back (left to right): Laura Fish, CEO & President, Douglas Foundation; Dr. Mark Brandon, Rosie Caputo, Chair, Board of Directors, Douglas Research Centre; Mario Chartrand, Chief Financial Officer, Brain Canada; Dr. Mahsa Dadar, Dr. Corina Nagy, Dan Gabay, CEO, Montreal West Island CIUSSS Front (left to right): Dr. Gustavo Turecki, Scientific Director, Douglas Research Centre; Honourable Minister Marc Miller; Honourable Minister Steven Guilbeault; Dr. Viviane Poupon, CEO, Brain Canada, MP Anna Gainey; MP Patricia Lattanzio; Dr. Majid Mohajerani.

Quick Facts

  • Through Budgets 2011, 2016, and 2019 and a subsequent funding renewal in 2021, the Government of Canada has committed a total of $200 million for Brain Canada through the Canada Brain Research Fund Program. The Program supports Canadian neuroscience research with the greatest potential to lead to scientific discoveries that advance therapies and approaches to better understand the brain and brain health. Brain Canada, the sole recipient of this contribution program, works in partnership with a range of donors from across the private, public, and charitable sectors to match the government’s investment and provide competitively awarded funding for research across Canada.
  • In Budget 2024, Brain Canada was awarded $80 million over four years, through the Canada Brain Research Fund, which is matched by Brain Canada for a total new investment in brain research of $160 million.
  • Brain Canada shapes its research priorities by engaging the neuroscience community and bringing together research stakeholders, including those with lived experience and their caregivers. Its signature programs, which include team, platform, capacity building, and knowledge mobilization awards, aim to increase research capacity and strategically advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, disorders, and other conditions.
  • To date, Brain Canada has invested $68 million in research at the Douglas Research Centre, awarding 80 grants and supporting major platforms, such as the Douglas Bell Canada Brain Bank which houses more than 3,600 brains from individuals who experienced neurodegenerative diseases and mental illnesses. The Brain Bank prepares and sends 2,000 samples from these brains to researchers in Canada and around the world every year. In addition to critical platform support, many early career researchers at the Douglas Research Centre are supported in pursuing their bold ideas and establishing their research programs through Brain Canada’s Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program.


As our population ages, and as brain illnesses become increasingly complex, it is critical to support brain research. Our investment recognizes the important role partners like Brain Canada play in research programs and reiterates our continued dedication to making the lives of Canadians better.

– The Honourable Minister Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada