“1 in 3 Canadians are directly impacted by disorders of the brain… It’s a very basic question: What are we going to do about it?”
– Naomi Azrieli
The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Naomi Azrieli celebrating Brain Canada’s 20th anniversary:
Brain Canada’s mission is to understand the brain in health and in disease.
This simple statement is in fact a major challenge, but one which Brain Canada has embraced.
Surprisingly, despite the intensity and growth in any number of fields of discovery in the 21st century, brain research is still in its infancy.
With so much unknown, brain research today is where cancer and heart disease research were in the early 20th century.
Yet, it is also true that we know much more now than we did 20 years ago when Brain Canada was founded. We have learned more about the brain in the last 5 years than we have in the previous 5000.
We are at a critical point in scientific history, poised to make major discoveries on the brain which will improve human lives and society. Brain Canada is the key enabler and supporter of that progress.
It has catalyzed new research, convened a nation-wide community of scientists, clinicians and stakeholders and leveraged federal funding. Through its network of partners, sponsors and donors, Brain Canada has more than doubled the investment from Health Canada, amplifying its impact and injecting close to $250 million into Canadian brain research.
Brilliant young brain researchers in Canada are without a doubt the best source of innovation and creativity, and yet, they face enormous hurdles as they launch their careers, including finding funding for the great ideas as they work to prove themselves.
Brain Canada is tackling this issue by launching the Future Leaders in Brain Research Program, which will invest $15 million in early-career scientists. The funding will build the capacity of newly-established researchers, helping to increase the strength and expertise that will lead to further discoveries, treatments and cures.
“The Early-Career Capacity Building Grant will enable my lab to think outside the box… and provides the perfect complement to our research that is funded through more conventional funding.”
– Matthew Parsons, PhD Researcher, Memorial University of Newfoundland