ALS Research Projects in Canada

On November 19th, 2015, the ALS Society of Canada announced historical investments to further research towards a treatment and a cure.

“We are committed to funding the most promising research through the ALS Canada Research Program, to make ALS a treatable disease,” said Tammy Moore, CEO of the ALS Society of Canada. “Never before have we had the financial resources to be able to fund multi-collaborative research projects across leading academic institutions to the extent we can today, it is because of the generosity of Canadians who embraced the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the investment from the federal government’s Canada Brain Research Fund through Brain Canada. This important research brings hope to the 3000 Canadians living with ALS today, and the people who will be diagnosed in the future.”

A total of nine competitive calls were put out for grants ranging from $75,000 to $2.9 million, the portfolio of projects were selected through a highly competitive process, reviewed by national and international panels of ALS research experts, with the applications judged for work that would significantly move the field of ALS research forward. In total the 34 projects being funded through the announcements in one year represent 56 investigators at 15 universities in seven provinces.

ALS CANADA – BRAIN CANADA ARTHUR J. HUDSON

Team Julien

Preclinical and clinical studies with withanolides: therapeutic effects, molecular signatures and biomarkers
$2.5 million over 3 years

Team Kalra

Novel MRI biomarkers for monitoring disease progression in ALS
$2.9 million over 5 years

Team Kong

Selective knockdown of misfolded SOD1 as a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$1.6 million over 5 years

Team Korngut

A randomized controlled trial of pimozide in subjects with ALS
$500,000 over 3 years

Team St George-Hyslop

Discovery of therapeutic targets
for FUS-dependent forms of ALS
$1.4 million over 5 years

Team Vande Velde

Regulation of the stress granule proteome and transcriptome by TDP-43 in ALS: biomarkers and therapeutic targets
$1.7 million over 5 years

ALS CANADA – BRAIN CANADA DISCOVERY GRANTS

Dr. François Berthod

Université Laval
Study of the impact of glycation on ALS using an in vitro tissue-engineered model of spinal cord
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Martin Duennwald

Western University
RGNEF modulates protein misfolding in ALS
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Heather Durham

McGill University
Epigenetic mechanisms underlying dendritic atrophy in ALS
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Charles Krieger

Simon Fraser University
Use of bone marrow cells to deliver
single chain antibodies in ALS
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Blair Leavitt

University of British Columbia
Muscle-targeted therapy for ALS
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Peter McPherson

McGill University
Regulation of endosomal membrane trafficking by C9ORF72 in ALS
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Pier Jr Morin

Université de Moncton
Identification of circulating non-coding RNAs with diagnostic relevance to ALS patients using a unique extracellular vesicle capture method
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Alex Parker

Université de Montréal
Investigation of the innate immune
system and motor neuron degeneration
in genetic models of ALS
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Janice Robertson

University of Toronto
Characterizing the C9ORF72 protein interactome for identifying novel pathogenic pathways in ALS
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Fabio Rossi

University of British Columbia
The role of peripheral inflammation
in ALS: an exploratory study
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Amir Sanati Nezhad

University of Calgary
Novel microfluidic platform for investigating axonal sprouting
in motor neurons
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Christine Vande Velde

Université de Montréal
Misfolded SOD1 species in ALS pathogenesis
$100,000 over 2 years

Dr. Melanie Woodin

University of Toronto
Synaptic inhibition in the motor cortex
of an ALS mouse model
$100,000 over 2 years

ALS CANADA BRIDGE GRANTS – 2 YEARS

Dr. Neil Cashman

University of British Columbia
Molecular interactions between TDP-43 and misfolded wild-type SOD1: implications for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$200,000 over 2 years

Dr. Avi Chakrabartty

University of Toronto
Role of TDP-43 in regulation of stress granules in ALS: biomarkers and therapeutic agents
$200,000 over 2 years

Dr. Jasna Kriz

Université Laval
Glia-neuron crosstalk in early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$200,000 over 2 years

Dr. Victor Rafuse

Dalhousie University
Characterization of the mechanisms underlying exercise induced strengthening of the neuromuscular junction
$200,000 over 2 years

ALS CANADA – BRAIN CANADA CAREER TRANSITION AWARDS

Dr. Gary Armstrong

(supervisor: Dr. Pierre Drapeau)
Université de Montréal
Mechanisms of glutamatergic neuronal dysfunction in genetic models of ALS
$425,000 over 5 years

Dr. Chantelle Sephton

(mentor: Dr. Jean-Pierre Julien)
Univeristé Laval
Mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$315,000 over 3 years

FELLOWSHIPS 1-3 YEARS

Dr. Marvin Chum

(supervisors: Dr. Teneille Gofton, Dr. Christen Shoesmith)
Western University/London Health Sciences Centre
Palliative care and respiratory support
of patients with ALS
$200,000 over 2 years (clinical research)

Dr. Jacquelyn Cragg

(supervisors: Dr. Neil Cashman, Dr. Marc Weisskopf)
University of British Columbia
Etiology and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: the role of military service, trauma, and prescription drug use
$165,000 over 3 years

Dr. Matteo Da Ros

(supervisor: Dr. Derrick Gibbings)
University of Ottawa
Unbiased determination of pathways affected by ALS-linked stress granules
and their elimination by autophagy
$165,000 over 3 years

ALS CANADA BRIDGE GRANTS – 1 YEAR

Dr. Heather Durham

McGill University
Dendritic attrition in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Peter McPherson

McGill University
Endosomal membrane trafficking
in neurodegenerative disease
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Christopher Pearson

University of Toronto
Unusual nucleic acid structures in C9ORF72-related ALS/FTD repeat instability
$100,000 for 1 year

Dr. Chantelle Sephton

Université Laval
Effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked FUS mutations on synaptic function
$100,000 for 1 year

DOCTORAL RESEARCH AWARD – 3 YEAR

Éric Martineau

(supervisor: Dr. Richard Robitaille)
Université de Montréal
Targeting the regenerative function of glial cells at the neuromuscular junction
in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
$75,000 over 3 years

Maneka Chitiprolu

(supervisor: Dr. Derrick Gibbings)
University of Ottawa
Mechanisms eliminating stress granules by autophagy
$75,000 over 3 years

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