The “Back on Track from COVID-19” funding opportunity was created as part of the Azrieli Foundation’s “Response, Recovery & Rebuild” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the interruption to biomedical clinical research operations. The funds were used to cover additional costs to research incurred by facility shutdown, changes in work plans due to social distancing, assisting graduate student progress to complete research and partially mitigate the loss of promising discoveries and ideas. 

Through this initiative, the Foundation granted a total of $116,826 CAD to 12 projects researching neurodevelopmental disorders across five universities: McGill University, the University of Calgary, the University of Victoria, the University of Guelph and the University of British Columbia. 

Awardee Details

Brian Christie

University of Victoria

Therapeutic potential for activation of endogenous AMPK-activators in Fragile-X Syndrome

Giannina Descalzi

University of Guelph

Lactate from astrocytes: a critical energy source for learning-induced translation in memory

Jonathan Epp

University of Calgary 

The Influence of Functional Connectivity on Cognitive Reserve

Ashley Harris

University of Calgary

Development of Learning and Tactile Behaviors in Autism

Rachel Hawe and Sean Dukelow

University of Calgary

Robotic Rehabilitation and Brain Stimulation for Children with Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy

Wei-Hsiang Huang

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Genetic Identification of RAI1-regulating Kinases

Kara Murias

University of Calgary

Long-term attention, executive function, and neuroimaging outcomes in children with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

Aparna Suvrathan

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Heterogeneity of cerebellar learning rules in Fragile X syndrome

Christine Tardif

The Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

The role of adaptive myelination in resilience to social isolation


Guang Yang

University of Calgary

The Translational Regulatory Mechanisms of Neural Precursor Cell Maintenance and Differentiation

Yang Zhou

The Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

Identifying molecular pathways and neural mechanisms underlying rescue effects of lithium in a mouse ASD model of SHANK3 haploinsufficiency

Jill Zwicker

University of British Columbia

Integrating Brain Imaging and Rehabilitation to Improve Outcomes for Children with Co-occurring Developmental Coordination Disorder & Autism Spectrum Disorder

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