$1.5 million to accelerate novel neuroscience research
MONTREAL, April 29, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A group of Montréal researchers is one of five teams in Canada to receive a grant from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation - Brain Canada Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI), supported by the government of Canada. The scientists will obtain $1.5 million over three years to accelerate novel neuroscience research.
The project will be conducted by the IRCM's neuroscience experts - Drs. Michel Cayouette (Director of the Cellular Neurobiology research unit), Frédéric Charron (Director of the Molecular Biology of Neural Development research unit), and Artur Kania (Director of the Neural Circuit Development research unit) - as well as their colleague in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, Dr. Keith K. Murai.
Thanks to this grant, the team of researchers will use innovative molecular and cellular approaches to study neuronal polarity. Neurons are cells that send information from one part of the nervous system to another by using electrical signals. The process of cell polarity is required for neurons to normally relay these signals, as it ensures that cellular components are sent to and kept in the correct location within each neuron.
"We suggest that defects in cell polarity could be a mechanism underlying multiple brain diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, stroke and retinal degeneration), neuronal connectivity diseases (autism and schizophrenia) and brain cancer," explains Dr. Cayouette, team leader. "Our goal is to discover commonalities between these seemingly different disorders. Aside from having a major impact on our fundamental understanding of cell polarity, we anticipate our results could lead to the discovery of new treatments for a wide spectrum of neurological diseases."
"Brain Canada's multidisciplinary approach and focus on disease commonalities offer a proven way of successfully advancing research in brain disorders," says Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO of Brain Canada. "We are delighted to help support a project like this one, which could potentially change the way we search for diagnostic tools and cures for diseases with few apparent similarities."
The purpose of the MIRI grants is to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change our understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction and their impact on health. Among the 165 applications submitted to this competition, five teams of researchers from among Canada's top medical and research institutes were selected following an international peer review process.
"I am very proud that three of our researchers are among the recipients of this unique grant competition, and I would like to congratulate them for this great success" adds Dr. Tarik Möröy, the IRCM's President and Scientific Director. "I would also like to thank Brain Canada for creating this fund, which encourages innovative projects in neuroscience. This fund allows passionate scientists to conduct free and creative research and, as a result, takes advantage of new opportunities to answer the most pressing questions that arise in the field of neuroscience. The Brain Canada grant will enable researchers to make important discoveries and produce world-class science that will impact the health of Canadians."
About the IRCM
Founded in 1967, the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (www.ircm.qc.ca) is currently comprised of 35 research units in various fields, namely immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. It also houses three specialized research clinics, eight core facilities and three research platforms with state-of-the-art equipment. The IRCM employs 425 people and is an independent institution affiliated with the Université de Montréal. The IRCM Clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University. The IRCM is funded, in part, by the Quebec ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
About Brain Canada
Brain Canada (www.braincanada.ca) is a national charitable organization with the mission of accelerating the pace of Canada's world-class brain research in order to advance our understanding of the brain, and develop diagnostics, treatments and ultimately cures for brain disorders. The Government of Canada has committed to match up to $100 million of private and non-governmental contributions to Brain Canada over six years, through the Canada Brain Research Fund.
Read the news release published by Brain Canada in collaboration with The W. Garfield Weston Foundation: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1154501/brain-canada-and-the-w-garfield-weston-foundation-collaborate-with-the-government-of-canada-to-accelerate-paradigm-changing-research-on-the-brain.
SOURCE: Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
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For more information and to schedule an interview with Dr. Cayouette, please contact:
Communications Officer (IRCM)
Communications Director (IRCM)