Top international Brain Prize awarded to Toronto-based researcher
March 1, 2016 (Toronto) – A Toronto-based researcher has been awarded the world’s most valuable prize for brain research. Dr. Graham Collingridge, a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System, and Chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto, was announced as one of three recipients of the Brain Prize, awarded by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation in Denmark, for his research into the mechanisms of memory.
The Brain Prize, which is widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize for neuroscientists”, is awarded annually, and this year Dr. Collingridge shares the one million Euro prize with Drs. Tim Bliss (London, England) and Richard Morris (Edinburgh, Scotland). The award was announced on March 1, 2016.
Dr. Collingridge’s focus is on the brain mechanism known as “long-term potentiation (LTP)” that underpins the life-long plasticity of the brain. His discoveries, along with Drs. Bliss and Morris, have revolutionized the approach to understanding how memories are formed, retained and lost. Dr. Collingridge has been able to show the mechanism by which LTP is induced, and has developed and applied techniques to identify and describe several of the key molecules responsible for this process.
Dr. Collingridge’s discoveries are particularly important in the efforts to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, in which the efficiency of brain synapses is altered. His work has contributed to a medication that temporarily slows down the progression of the disease.
Dr. Collingridge is the Chair of the department of physiology at the University of Toronto, and is a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System. He arrived in Toronto in 2015 from Bristol, England, where he is also a professor of neuroscience in anatomy at the University of Bristol. His lab is based at Mount Sinai Hospital.
To read the press release from the Grete Lundbeck Foundation, click here.
For Dr. Graham Collingridge’s biography, including recent publications, click here.
“I am delighted to share this award. Working on the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory has been both richly challenging and intensely rewarding for me. I am really excited about now translating discoveries about LTP into new treatments for dementia.”
Dr. Graham Collingridge, Chair of the department of physiology at the University of Toronto, and Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System
“Everyone at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute is tremendously proud of Graham for this amazing recognition. We were so pleased have attracted someone of Graham’s caliber to the institute last year, and I’m confident that his research will continue to fuel discoveries that impact people’s lives.”
Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director, Lunenfeld -Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System
“Professor Collingridge’s achievements underscore the University of Toronto’s strength in brain science. Graham is a newcomer to U of T. His deeply impressive body of work illustrates our commitment to fundamental neuroscience -- and its translation into research that will fight dementia and other intractable brain diseases. I’m so pleased to congratulate Graham on receiving this international recognition.”
Professor Trevor Young, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
About University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine:
The University of Toronto is at the heart of one of the great biomedical research, education and clinical care networks in the world. With nine fully affiliated hospitals and research institutes and 20 community-affiliated hospitals and clinical care sites, the University of Toronto is a research powerhouse that offers unparalleled opportunities for its 6,800 faculty and 7,000-plus students at all levels. Nearly half of Ontario’s medical doctors and 25 per cent of all health and biomedical PhDs in Canada were trained at the University of Toronto, which consistently ranks among the top universities worldwide.
About The Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute:
The Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System, is a leading biomedical research centre, ranking amongst the top ten biomedical research institutes in the world. Established in 1985, the institute is profoundly advancing understanding of human biology in health and disease. Many of the breakthroughs that began as fundamental research have resulted in new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat prevalent conditions. The institute is affiliated with the University of Toronto and is focused on women's and infants' health, cancer biology, stem cell biology, neurobiology, diabetes, arthritis, health systems research, population health services and solutions, and systems biology. www.lunenfeld.ca.
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