Advisor Dr. Sandra E. Black, O.C., O.Ont., Hon.DSc.,MD, FRCP(C), FRSC, is an internationally renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist, who is a Professor of Medicine (Neurology) in the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she held the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology from 2006-17. A leading clinical trialist in dementia, she is the Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a collaborative network of five institutional U of T memory programs. She is Sunnybrook Site Director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program Director at Sunnybrook Research Institute. Dr. Black has published over 560 papers (Scopus H index 86; Google 110; >70,000 citations) in a 30-year research career that has bridged dementia and stroke, using neuroimaging in conjunction with cognition, function and behavior measures to study brain-behavior relationships across the common dementias. Her recent focus has been on relationships of Alzheimer’s and small vessel disease. She has earned numerous mentorship and research awards, including election to the Royal Society of Canada (2012), the U of T Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), and an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Waterloo (2018). She was named to the Order of Ontario in 2011, cited as an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System, and in 2015 appointed Officer to the Order of Canada for her contributions to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia.
Dr. Robert Chen, MBBChir
Advisor Dr. Robert Chen received MA and medical degrees (MBBChir) from the University of Cambridge and M.Sc. from the University of Toronto. He undertook Internal Medicine residency at Queen’s University, Neurology residency at the University of Western Ontario, and fellowship at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health, USA. He is currently Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Toronto, the Catherine Manson Chair in Movement Disorders, Senior Scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute, the Director of the Eliot Phillipson Clinician Scientist Training Program of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. His research interests are human motor physiology, brain plasticity and understanding the pathophysiology and development of new treatments for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. He has authored over 330 peer-reviewed research papers and two books. He has given over 200 invited lectures and directly supervised over 60 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. He holds research funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, the Weston Brain Foundation, National Organization for Rare Disorders and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (USA).
Heather Coles, M.A. CCC-SLP
Advisor Heather E. Coles, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Heather has more than 25 years working in medical speech pathology with a passion and focus with those who live with neurogenic communication and cognitive disorders. Heather has worked in large academic medical centers in the United States and Canada. She has also worked as the first-ever hospital-based speech language pathologist in Bermuda. Heather is active in the Academy of Neurogenic Communication Sciences and Disorders (ANCDS). She is a member of the special interest group, which focuses on neurogenic communication disorders (SIG 2) through the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Presently, Heather is the director of the college-based Neurogenic Communication and Cognition Clinic, and she thoroughly enjoys teaching and providing clinical education to students in the Speech-language Pathology Program at Nazareth College.
Dr. Susan Fox, MB ChB, PhD
Advisor Dr. Fox, MB, ChB, MRCP(UK), PhD, is Director of the Division of Neurology, UHN/SHS and Associate Director of the Movement Disorder Clinic, Toronto Western Hospital, and Professor of Neurology, University of Toronto. She did her medical and neurological training in the UK and received her PhD from University of Manchester, UK; moved to Canada in 2003. Dr. Fox has held various leadership roles including secretary of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) (2017-19); is now chair-elect of the Pan-American section of the MDS (2019-21); chair of the MDS evidence based medicine committee (2013-18); and Fellowship Director for the University of Toronto, Division of Neurology (2004-13). She has served on many grant review committees, journal editorial boards and advisory boards, and has been chair of the medical advisory committee for Parkinson Canada since 2015. Dr. Fox has over 20 years’ experience in preclinical models of Parkinson’s disease and translational studies of novel pharmacological therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders such as dystonia. She has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters in the field and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences.
Dr. Anthony Lang, MD
Advisor Dr. Anthony E. Lang, OC, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FCAHS, FRSC, is Professor and previous Director of the Division of Neurology at the University of Toronto where he holds the Jack Clark Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research. He is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic and holds the Lily Safra Chair in Movement Disorders at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He has published over 750 peer-reviewed papers and is one of the most highly cited investigators in the field of Movement Disorders. Among his awards and distinctions he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010; in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada; in 2014 he was elected by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) as an Honorary Member “in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the field of Movement Disorders”; and in 2017 he was the recipient of the first MDS Pan-American Section Leadership Award. In 2018 he received the Weston Brain Institute International Outstanding Achievement Award for work in accelerating the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging and in 2020 he received the Dean’s Lifetime Achievement Award for global impact from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Andres Lozano, MD, PhD
Advisor Dr. Lozano is University Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He is best known for his work in the field of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). His team has mapped out cortical and subcortical circuits in the human brain and has advanced novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease and for depression, dystonia, anorexia, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lozano has over 650 publications and serves on the boards of several international organizations. He is the most highly cited neurosurgeon in the world according to Thompson Reuters. He has trained over 70 international post-doctoral fellows. He has received a number of honors including Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Sevilla, the Olivecrona Medal and Pioneer in Medicine Award, has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, Order of Spain and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva, PhD
Advisor Dr. Rogaeva’s graduate degree (1983) and PhD in Biochemistry (1988) were obtained at Moscow State University. For the past 29 years, Dr. Rogaeva has been doing research at the University of Toronto in the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. In 2001, she obtained the New Pioneer Award from the Ontario government in the Science & Technology category. In 2013, Dr. Rogaeva obtained the Lewy Body Chair position, and was promoted to Full Professor in the Department of Medicine in 2016. Dr. Rogaeva has contributed to 330 peer-reviewed papers, many of which are focused on the development of effective genetic testing of Neurodegenerative Diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). For instance, she played a central role in the discovery of several genes associated with the early- and late-onset forms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Rogaeva's studies are focused on the genetic overlap between different neurodegenerative disorders. More recently, Dr. Rogaeva’s lab has been investigating if the risk of these diseases could be linked to epigenetic events (e.g. DNA methylation).
Dr. Anurag Tandon, PhD
Advisor Dr. Anurag Tandon obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University. He then undertook postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where he investigated the regulation of protein and vesicular trafficking with Dr. William Balch. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Principal Investigator at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. His research focuses on the early pathological events in Parkinson’s disease and the use of gene therapies to modulate pathogenic pathways as a means to prevent disease progression.
Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, MD
Advisor Dr. Tartaglia is an associate professor at the University of Toronto and the Marion and Gerald Soloway Chair in Brain Injury and Concussion Research. She received her medical degree from McGill University, completed her residency at the University of Western Ontario and did three years of clinical/research fellowship in Cognitive/Behavioral neurology at the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. She maintains a cognitive/behavioral clinic within the UHN Memory Clinic where she sees patients with neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-related syndromes. She is an investigator at the Canadian Concussion Centre investigating the delayed effects of concussions and she sees patients who have suffered multiple concussions and are at risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease. She uses novel imaging techniques in conjunction with proteomics, pathology and genetics to better diagnose and understand the pathological substrates that cause cognitive, behavioral and motoric dysfunction. She runs parallel biomarker discovery programs in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and post-concussion syndrome. The ultimate goal of her research program is to develop biomarkers for early detection of disease so as to provide early treatments to her patients.
Dr. Joel Watts, PhD
Advisor Dr. Watts obtained his PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology from the University of Toronto and then conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Stanley Prusiner at the University of California San Francisco. He is currently a Principal Investigator at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and an Assistant Professor within the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. His research interests include studying the role of self-propagating, prion-like protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as well as exploiting the unique properties of the bank vole prion protein to develop superior animal and cellular models of the prion disorders.