TDRA works with over 50 clinicians and researchers to foster provincial, national and international collaborations in the prediction, diagnosis, and management of dementia.

Governance of TDRA is comprised of the Coordinating Centre Core Team, an Executive Committee, a Research Operations Committee (ROC), a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), and a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Coordinating Centre Core Team

Tarek K. Rajji, MD, FRCPC

Executive Director
Dr. Tarek Rajji is the Chief of Adult Neurodevelopment & Geriatric Psychiatry and the Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rajji is also actively involved in dementia research and has been a long-time member of TDRA’s Clinical Research Core. Since 2009, Dr. Rajji has held more than $17M as a Principal Investigator and published more than 150 peer-reviewed publications (H-index = 32 (Scopus) and 38 (Google Scholar)). He has also been continuously federally funded.



Zoya Sheikh, BHS, MSW

Administrative Assistant
Zoya received her Honours BHS from York University with a specialization in Health Policy, and her MSW from the University of Windsor. Zoya has high-level administrative expertise from the Clinical Lab at CAMH, and has also supported the CAMH Geriatric Psychiatry Division and the Complex Care and Recovery Program for four years prior to this role.


Luca F Pisterzi

Luca F. Pisterzi, PhD

Director, Strategy & Operations
Luca joins the TDRA after having been the Program Manager for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canada’s largest population health cohort. Luca was named an Ambassador of the Privacy by Design program developed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario in 2014.  He received his PhD in biophysics and molecular pharmacology from the Leslie L. Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. 
Natalie Dren

Natalie Dren, MPH 

Research Coordinator, Knowledge Translation
Natalie received her Honours BSc from Dalhousie University with specializations in Biology and International Development Studies, and her MPH from Lakehead University. Natalie joins the TDRA after having been the Research Manager at a global lymphoma not-for-profit, with an expertise in knowledge synthesis and transfer, content creation, stakeholder engagement, and community partnerships. 

Winnie Qian, MSc

Research Coordinator
Winnie received her Honours BSc from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in Neuroscience, and her MSc from the University of Toronto in the Institute of Medical Science. Her research interests and publications involve Alzheimer’s disease and delusions. Prior to her position with the TDRA, Winnie worked at St. Michael’s Hospital and CAMH with expertise in dementia and mental health.


Executive Committee

The Executive Committee makes major strategic decisions, provides guidance on long-term sustainability, and ensures TDRA initiatives are aligned with the priorities of their own institutions.

Tracey MacArthur, MSc QIPS, MCPM (Co-Chair)

Trevor Young, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCAHS (Co-Chair)

William Reichman, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS

Kevin Smith, MD

Karim Mamdani, BSc, MBA, CPA

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) acts in an advisory capacity to the TDRA's Executive Director and Coordinating Centre. The SAC brings perspective from each of the partner institutions, patients and caregivers, trainees, and topically relevant external parties to advise the Executive Director on strategy, alignment, support and sustainability, initiatives, and partnerships.

Members of the SAC include:

  • Graham Collingridge
  • Kullervo Hynynen
  • Barbara Liu
  • Alan Moody
  • Benoit Mulsant
  • Justin Nodwell
  • Allison Sekuler
  • David Tang-Wai
  • Aristotle Voineskos
  • Donald Weaver
  • Sanaz Riahi
  • Chaitali Desai

Research Operations Committee (ROC)

The Research Operations Committee (ROC) functions to:

  • Coordinate, review, and evaluate projects generated by the TDRA Research Working Groups (RWG) or from external groups for TDRA involvement based on alignment with mission and vision and feasibility
  • Support and integrate research ideas emerging from the RWG
  • Lead work focused on standardizing and integrating research into clinical dementia care
  • Bridge basic science and clinical research
  • Train in dementia research and innovation
  • Act as a Grants and Publications Committee, where appropriate

The ROC consists of the TDRA Coordinating Centre and a representative from each of the RWGs:

  • Basic Science/Pre-Clinical
  • Caregivers
  • Clinical Database
    • EEG (group discusses ways to standardize EEG brain wave monitoring for people with dementia)
  • Fluid Biomarkers (group discusses changes within body fluids (e.g., blood, cerebrospinal fluid found around the brain and spinal cord, etc.) that can help with early diagnosis of dementia)
  • Genetics (group discusses research on the gene changes that are linked to dementia)
  • Long-term care (group discusses discusses research specific to people with dementia living in long-term care settings)
  • Memory Clinics Standardization
  • Neuroimaging (group discusses ways to standardize brain scans for people with dementia, such as developing a standard MRI brain scan protocol)
  • Neuropathology (group discusses research on the brain changes linked with dementia, which may involve discussion of autopsies and post-mortem brain materials)
  • Neurostimulation
  • Neurotechnology
  • Open Science (group discusses making research more accessible to people outside of the research field)

Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

The TDRA’s Patient and Family Advisory Council was created to bring together people living with dementia, care partners, family members, and representatives from community organizations to help integrate the lived experience voice into TDRA’s work.

With meetings taking place four times a year, the Patient and Family Advisory Council members provide input on priority items that are focused and within scope. Some of the goals of this council are to:

  • Provide feedback on strategic goals, direction and research led by the TDRA
  • Facilitate knowledge translation efforts with community organizations
  • Guide the creation of educational tools intended for research study participants
  • Provide a forum for study participants and partners to provide feedback on their experience in a TDRA study.

Our current Patient and Family Advisory Council members are listed below.


David Bogart, Patient Family Lead

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Scientific Co-chair

Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, Scientific Co-chair



Community Members

Alicia Heaver

Chaitali Desai

Fran Schellenberg

Frank Palmer

Linda Krisman

Paul Lea

Ron Beleno

Tyler Redublo

Organization Members

Amanda Nash
Heart and Stroke

Kari Quinn-Humphrey
Alzheimer Society of Toronto

TDRA Members

Dr. Tarek Rajji
Executive Director

Dr. Luca Pisterzi
Director, Strategy & Operations

Winnie Qian
Research Coordinator

Natalie Dren
Research Coordinator

Zoya Sheikh
Administrative Assistant