Mar 10, 2021

Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Initiative

Mark Tanz

The Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) are pleased to announce a partnership supported by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine to advance our understanding of the links between depression and dementia.

In persons aged 65 and above, depression ranks as one of the strongest modifiable risk factors for developing dementia.  While depression is a treatable condition through a variety of safe and effective options, the pathophysiological links between depression and dementia are not clear. Further, it is not known what depression-related interventions will lead to preventing dementia.  This is the impetus for the creation of the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Initiative, which seeks to bridge the world-leading pre-clinical and clinical researchers across Toronto to explore how these two conditions interact and to establish clear pathways for dementia prevention by modifying depression as a risk factor.

The Initiative is comprised of three elements, designed to advance its aims:

1. Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Brain Medicine Research Fellowships: Through a competitive fellowship, successful applicants will develop and lead a project over 2-3 years that explores the interactions between depression and dementia. Trainees will benefit from mentorship by experts from at least two sites among the Tanz Centre and the TDRA academic hospital sites (e., Baycrest, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, and University Health Network) who focus on pre-clinical or clinical methods.  The number of fellows enrolled will depend on the number and quality of applications received.

2. Seed Funding: These grants will catalyze collaborations between researchers focusing on depression and dementia. Projects could focus on collaborations between pre-clinical and clinical research or within pre-clinical and clinical researchers bringing complementary expertise. Up to 3 grants per year will be available. Each grant will be up to $70,000 per year for 2-3 years.

3. Annual Workshop: This workshop will promote the work of the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Brain Medicine Research Fellows, Seed Funding awardees, and the community of researchers as a whole focusing on depression and dementia.

By funding training and research, this Initiative advances current work and will help the next generation of independent investigators emerge.  Investing in these budding researchers and ideas will help us achieve a future where dementia may be prevented when it is due to depression.

Please visit Fellowship in Brain Medicine for more information on how to apply to the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Brain Medicine Research Fellowship, and stay tuned for future announcements about the Seed Funding and the Annual Workshop.