Alzheimer Disease Research Grants

Due to the lack of available funding, we are unable to administer a research competition in 2024. We anticipate that another competition will be announced in the future and we will notify the community once confirmed.

Through generous philanthropic support, this initiative has allocated over $1M to twenty (20) research projects. The following awards lists demonstrate the broad range of outstanding questions related to Alzheimer Disease and the collaborative partnerships that have been supported since 2019.

2023 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Khaled Abdelrahman and Brian MacVicar: The contribution of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 to impaired neurovascular coupling in Alzheimer disease
  • Drs. Douglas Allan, Amrit Mudher, Philip Williamson and Efthimios Skoulakis:A universal Drosophila platform for testing modifiers of tau toxixity in tauopathy
  • Drs. Shernaz Bamji and Steven Hallam:Validating ZDHHC21 as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer Disease
  • Drs. Annie Ciernia, Cheryl Wellington and Carolina Tropini:The role of Inflammatory bowel disease in the development of Alzheimer disease
  • Dr. Sriram Subramaniam:Disrupting GluA1-VCP/p97 as a novel therapeutic strategy to restore synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer disease

2021 Award Recipients

  • Dr. Sophia Frangou: Analyzing inter-individual variation in the ageing brain
  • Drs. Liisa Galea, Annie Ciernia and Cheryl Wellington: Understanding the influence of genetics and sex differences in Alzheimer risk
  • Dr. Manu Madhav and Thalia Field: Developing a behavioural biomarker for Alzheimer disease diagnosis 
  • Drs. Terry Snutch and Haakon Nygaard: Analyzing transcriptome changes in human 2D and 3D models of Alzheimer disease
  • Drs. Tim Murphy and Mark Cembrowski: Tracking the impact of multi-sensory brain stimulation on Alzheimer disease (renewal)

2020 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, Haakon Nygaard, Robin Hsiung, Sherri Hayden and Alex Levit: Using non-invasive brain stimulation to treat mild cognitive impairment 
  • Drs. Liisa Galea, Annie Ciernia, Cheryl Wellington, Jonathan Epp, Staci Bilbo and Lisa Saksida: Understanding the influence of  genetics and sex differences in Alzheimer risk
  • Drs. Brian MacVicar and Haakon Nygaard: Searching for the source of oxidative stress in brain cells
  • Drs. Tim Murphy and Mark Cembrowski: Tracking the impact of multi-sensory brain stimulation on Alzheimer disease 

2019 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Haakon Nygaard and Stephanie Willerth: Modelling Alzheimer disease through 3D human neural tissue
  • Drs. Cheryl Wellington, Haakon Nygaard, and Karen Cheung: Microfluidic models of the neurovascular unit for studies of Alzheimer disease
  • Drs. Haakon Nygaard and Brian MacVicar: Neuronal oxidative stress and microglia interactions in Alzheimer disease models
  • Drs. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Vesna Sossi, Liisa Galea, and Roger Tam: Exercise impacts on cognition and Alzheimer Disease indicators in perimenopasual women
  • Drs. Donna Lang, Kristina Gicas, Thalia Field, Eduardo Navajas, and Alexandra Talia Vertinsky: Cardiovascular risk in Alzheimer disease
  • Drs. Liisa Galea, Robin Hsiung, and Sherri Hayden: Impact of motherhood on cognitive health in aging and Alzheimer Disease

The primary applicant must be a full member of the DMCBH.

If you have received funding as the primary applicant from a previous Kickstart competition, you will not be eligible to apply until an impact progress report has been submitted confirming completion of your project and that you have scheduled a Neuroscience Research Colloquia (NRC) talk.

This program will support research* projects that demonstrate new collaborations, directions, and technological developments that can be used to generate preliminary data for future research grant competitions to external funding agencies.

This program is intended to strengthen and foster new collaborations within the DMCBH community and across UBC. Collaborative initiatives are encouraged, but not required.


*In this context, “research” refers to any activities under Section 4.03: Scholarly Activity under the Agreement on Conditions of Appointment; that is, all fields of academic endeavour are considered.

In response to community feedback, this initiative will allow for the extension of the project term beyond 12 months and provide more funding support to each approved project.  This program will fund up to a maximum of four (4) awards @ $40,000.** Project terms must not exceed 24 months.

The 2024 competition includes a renewal of the partnership agreement with the Department of Pediatrics (DoP) to fund one (1) $50,000 award which will be split 50-50 between DMCBH and DoP. The objective is to foster cross site collaborations by encouraging DoP investigators, based at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHRI), to partner with a DMCBH member(s). A full member from DMCBH must be the primary applicant on the application.  If a partnership award is recommended for funding, it will be included in the four (4) maximum number of awards available through this competition.


** Funding must be spent in a manner consistent with the application that was submitted and funded, although variations from budget lines that were originally submitted are permitted so long as the use of funding is still consistent with the overall project. Expenses must directly support research, and be compliant with UBC and Faculty expenditure guidelines.

Your application should be no longer than 2 pages and must include the following headings:

  1. Project Title, primary applicant, co-applicants, and an outline of team member roles;
  2. Concept;
  3. Approach;
  4. Impact;
  5. Budget.


  1. Abbreviated biosketch CVs (2 pages maximum) of the primary applicant and co-applicants that includes a list of relevant publications from the past 5 years.
  2. References (maximum 1 page).

Combine the application and Appendices into a single PDF for your submission.

Application deadline is by 5:00 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

This is a competitive peer review process and each application will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Innovative concept;
  • Feasibility;
  • Potential impact.

Projects that establish a new collaboration will be awarded extra points in the adjudication rubric.

Applications will be adjudicated by a committee as designated by the DMCBH Executive and will include a Chair and 3-4 reviewing members.

Applications are now closed.

Please direct any questions regarding this program and the application process to Chris Crossfield (

2024 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Carol Chen and Annie Ciernia
    Deciphering the mechanism of divergent SETD2 neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Drs. Manu Madhav and Catharine Winstanley
    Effects of Psilocybin on Hippocampal Cognitive Map Stability and Plasticity
  • Drs. Jeremy Seamans and Anthony Phillips
     Does Dopamine Encode Reward-Prediction Errors in Frontal Cortex?
  • Drs. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, Tamara Vanderwal and Roberto Sassi
    Salience Network Plasticity in Female Youth with Depression Induced by Accelerated Theta Burst Stimulation

2023 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Shernaz Bamji and Jacqueline Quandt:
    Validating ZDHHC9 as a therapeutic target for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Drs. Annie Ciernia, Sheila Teves and Seth Parker:
    The role of metabolic driven changes in histone lactylation in regulating microglial inflammation
  • Drs. Thalia Field and Jill Zwicker:
    Assessing long-term trajectories of brain structure, neurodevelopment and function in adolescents with complex congenital heart disease
  • Drs. Deborah Giaschi, Alexander Weber, Hee Yeon Im, Tamara Vanderwal and Miriam Spering:
    New magnetic resonance approaches to understanding developmental visual disorders
  • Drs. Jason Snyder and Manu Madhav:
    Experience-specific tuning of postnatally-born hippocampal neurons

2022 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Mark Cembrowski, Nozomu Yachie and Geoffrey Schiebinger:
    Applying unprecedented-scale spatial transcriptomics to understand the single-cell organization of the human neocortex
  • Drs. Douglas Altshuler and Miriam Spering:
    Eye movements during complex locomotion
  • Drs. Hee Yeon Im, Deborah Giaschi, Rebecca Todd and Daniela Palombo:
    Combining MEG and fMRI for multimodal functional neuroimaging in pediatric brain research
  • Drs. Christian Schütz, Trisha Chakrabarty and Dongwook Yoon:
    Advanced Virtual Application for Treatment And Rehabilitation (AVATAR) of Patients with Severe Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
  • Drs. Manu Madhav and Jeremy Seamans:
    Decoding the neural basis of contextual action in navigation

2021 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Kamyar Keramatian, Erin Michalak and Lakshmi Yatham: Evaluation of a novel psychoeducational intervention for individuals at high risk for bipolar disorder: A feasibility study.
  • Drs. Ipek Oruc, Robin Hsiung, Ozgur Yilmaz and Sonia Yeung: Automated detection of Alzheimer’s disease from retinal fundus images using deep learning.
  • Drs. Anthony Phillips and Terrance Snutch: Assessment of novel drugs for attenuation of opioid withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia.
  • Drs. Daniela Palombo, Jodie Gawryluk and Christopher Madan: Dexontextualization of memory in PTSD.
  • Drs. Catharine Winstanley and Tao Huan: Applying metabolomics to explore origins of sex differences in risk-taking caused by D2/3 agonists.

2020 Award Recipients

  • Drs. Annie Ciernia and Urs Hafeli: Mechanisms of Peripheral Lipopolysaccharide Induced Brain Inflammation.
  • Drs. Brian MacVicar, Louis-Philippe Bernier, Matilde Balbi, Mohamad Seyed Sadr and David Chen:  A new target for aneurysmal SAH-induced vasospasm: P2Y14-dependent cerebral vessel constriction.
  • Drs. Lynn Raymond and Peyman Servati: Chronically stable neural interfaces for basic discovery and future therapeutics .
  • Drs. Paul van Donkelaar,  Alexander Rauscher, Vesna Sossi, Cheryl Wellington and Will Panenka: Characterizing tau pathology in survivors of intimate partner violence-related traumatic brain injury.
  • Drs. Rebecca Todd, Stan Floresco, Luke Clark and Trisha Chakrabarty: Neurophysiological and behavioural indices of active and inhibitory  avoidance in health and major depressive disorder.

This program will provide salary awards to neuroscience graduate trainees whose supervisors are full DMCBH members, and is intended to recognize excellence in academics and research activities. Funding is available from several disease-specific endowments, a general endowment; and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN).

GPN awards will be reserved for GPN students. All other awards are open to all graduate trainees affiliated with DMCBH. All awards are for one year and non-renewable.

Since its inception in 2020, this funding initiative has supported 62 graduate and postdoctoral trainees and awarded over $396,000.

  • The applicant’s supervisor must be a full member of the DMCBH or the student must be a GPN member.
  • Must be enrolled in a UBC research-based graduate program (which includes the MD/PhD program) at the time of application with a timeframe for program completion of 12 months or more from the time of application. For the Jock & Irene Graham Brain Research Endowment award must be a postdoc with a contract of at least 12 months or more from the time of application. The Leslie Ann Wyman Brain Tumour Research Endowment is open to students and postdocs.
  • Applicants must not hold internal or external award funding totaling over $25,000 (graduate student) or $50,000 (postdoctoral fellow) per year. Holders of 4-Year Fellowships with no other external award funding can apply.


  • Jock & Irene Graham Brain Research Endowment (postdoc award) – $35,000
  • Leslie Ann Wyman Brain Tumour Research Endowment (open to postdocs and students) – $18,000
  • Neural Repair (Spinal Cord) Endowment – $4,000
  • DMCBH, GPN and Norman Cristall Research Endowment General Awards – $4,000

Your application must include the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Applicant’s Canadian Common CV. Please include all publications (book chapters, journal articles, etc.).
  • Applicant’s summary of research (1-page maximum, single-spaced, 11 pt font size, 0.5” margin
  • A copy of all post-secondary transcripts from institutions other than UBC
  • Optional for general awards: a short statement (max. 200 words) outlining systemic barriers to productivity. For example, a systematic barrier could be a lack of research opportunities available at previous institutions, or financial barriers or personal circumstances limiting access to research opportunities, but not COVID-related delays

This is a competitive peer-review process and each application will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the research proposal;
  • Academic excellence;
  • Research productivity (e.g. publications, presentations);
  • Awards and recognitions;
  • Community engagement, public outreach, leadership, and/or teaching.

Trainees who self-identify as IBPOC:

The awards committee will ensure that the group of successful applicants is diverse. Applicants’ IBPOC status will be considered when making the final award decision.

Submit your application to by 5:00 pm Friday, May 31, 2024.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants will be notified of the competition results by July 31, 2024.

Any questions regarding this program and the application process can also be directed to

Equipment Fund

Applicants must be a full member of the DMCBH.

This program will contribute towards the purchase of research equipment. It is primarily designed to provide matching support and cover small shortfalls for equipment grants (e.g. CFI, NSERC, RTI), but can also be used for the purchase of equipment in conjunction with other DMCBH labs. The equipment does not have to be located in DMCBH/Koerner labs but must benefit DMCBH members.

This program will support 5-6 applications per year, up to a maximum of $10,000/application.

Provide the following information in your application, which should be a maximum of 2 pages:

  • Title of project, brief outline, total budget, and amount requested;
  • Funding organization, and current stage in the application review process (if applicable);
  • Equipment item(s), proposed location, and a quote;
  • Sustainability plan for ongoing maintenance/service of equipment;
  • Benefits to the CBH community and list of CBH labs that the equipment will support/impact;
  • List of matching requests made to other Departments/Centres/Labs/donors/ vendors;
  • References, quotes can be attached as Appendices.

Applications will be adjudicated by a small sub-set of the DMCBH Executive Committee and Chris Crossfield.

  • Potential impact and benefit to DMCBH community
  • Sustainability plan

There is no set deadline for this program. Please submit completed applications in PDF format to Chris Crossfield ( Any questions regarding this program and the application process can also be directed to Chris.

Matching Requests

The primary applicant must be a full member of the DMCBH.

Provide match support to projects that demonstrate new research collaborations, directions, or technological developments that directly benefit the larger DMCBH community and align with one or more of DMCBH’s strategic priorities.

DMCBH will consider providing match support for requests greater than $10,000 based on availability of funds.

Your request should be no longer than 2 pages and must include the following information:

  1. Project Title;
  2. Primary applicant and a list of research collaborators;
  3. Brief outline of the project and the total match funding request from DMCBH;
  4. Primary funding source (e.g. Brain Canada, CFI), total project funding request, and current status of the application process;
  5. Details of other partner match funding request(s) in support of the project and current status of each request;
  6. Describe how this project will foster new collaborations, its potential impact, and how it aligns with DMCBH strategic priorities, which include Integrated Research Programs, Neuroinformatics, Neurogenomics or Neuroinflammation.

Matching requests can be submitted at any time. Each request will be reviewed by members of the Executive committee and these members will also comprise representatives of each of the Integrated Research Programs. Appropriate COI measures are in place to ensure a transparent review.

Your request will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of match funding support from other partners;
  • Collaborative approach;
  • Potential impact (alignment with strategic priorities, benefits to larger DMCBH community).

Please submit your request in PDF format to Chris Crossfield  (

Any questions regarding this funding opportunity and the application process can also be directed to Chris.