Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Initiative

March 9, 2021

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), Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), 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: One Seed Funding Award will be available to advance innovative research on the intersection of depression and dementia that is multi-site or collaborative among basic and clinical sciences. The funding is $70,000 for a 1-3 year project. Applications open June 1st, 2021.

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.