Alzheimer Society Research Program awards $2.9 million to Canadian researchers

B.C. researchers receive critical funding for biomedical, quality-of-life research

The Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) has awarded $2.9 million to 29 researchers across the country, including four in B.C., to advance research related to all forms of dementia and find more effective means to diagnose, treat and eventually stop the disease, as well as improve day-to-day life and care.

“Dementia is one of the most complex diseases of our times and only through research will we be able to find the breakthroughs we need,” says Nalini Sen, Director of the Research Program at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “Fortunately, Canada has some of the best and brightest minds working in this field who are already making significant contributions, so we’re proud to support them.” 

The ASRP is a collaborative initiative of the provincial Alzheimer Societies, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, partners and donors who support research directed at both eliminating dementia and improving the lives of those affected by it. Since its inception in 1989, it has contributed more than $53 million in grants and awards, including more than $4 million to fund 53 projects in B.C.

“We’re proud to support our leading local researchers through this national program as we work together towards a world without Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias,” says Alzheimer Society of B.C. CEO Maria Howard. “The world-class biomedical and quality-of-life work underway in B.C. reflects our mission to support valuable research into the disease and people living with it.”

ASRP funding applications are reviewed by peer-review panels of leading scientists and investigators in dementia research, including people impacted by dementia. The program is unique in its support of promising young investigators, transitioning from working in established laboratories to becoming independent researchers. It also fosters collaborative opportunities among researchers and research institutions to improve sharing and translation of their findings to advance discoveries.

2018 ASRP funding recipients in B.C.

Teresa Liu-Ambrose
University of British Columbia
Project: Buying time: Improving sleep and cognitive function in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
$120,000 - Quality of Life, grant

“I’m currently studying ways to improve sleep quality in older adults with mild cognitive impairment with the goal of improving cognition. My research may help improve the quality of life of individuals living with dementia, as better sleep can not only help with cognition, but it can also impact physical health.”

Tomiko Yoneda
University of Victoria
Project: Change in personality and cognitive functioning: A coordinated analysis of multiple longitudinal studies
$66,000 - Quality of Life, doctoral award

“My research will investigate the extent to which change in cognition and change in personality traits are related, using data from several high-quality longitudinal studies of aging.”

Da Ma
Simon Fraser University
Project: Quantitative in-vivo multi-modal retinal imaging to study the longitudinal progression of tau pathology using transgenic mice
$83,000 - Biomedical, postdoctoral award

“I’m developing a novel imaging system to detect Alzheimer's-associated abnormal form of protein by looking at the back of the eye. Eye imaging can be a cheaper and easier way for population screening to achieve early diagnosis and future treatment effect.” 

Lillian Hung
Simon Fraser University
Project: Innovating together: WORKing with technologies in dementia (IT WORKs)
$83,000 - Quality of Life, postdoctoral award

“My research looks at using technology, (iPad and videos) to help improve safety and quality of dementia care in the hospital setting. This project involves showing people with dementia who are staying in a hospital a one-minute video of family providing a reassuring message – a practical way to enable person-and family-centered care.”

Learn more about one of the program recipients, Dr. Simon Duchesne, a researcher from Laval University, who is also Chair of the Biomedical Review Panel, here. For more information about the Alzheimer Society of Research Program and a full list of recipients, visit

Last Updated: 08/31/2018