Waterloo pharmacist examines drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dr. Praveen Nekkar RaoAs Alzheimer’s disease continues to impact more and more Canadians, the need for novel therapies and therapeutic drugs is greater than ever. Using a state-of-the-art technology to discover new therapies to treat Alzheimer’s disease is among the projects receiving funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), announced today.

Associate Professor Dr. Praveen Nekkar Rao, from the School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Science, will receive a grant of $26,800 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund to purchase a state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy System.

The instrument is expected to help detail the structure of a promising class of therapeutic drugs as well as provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of the disease itself. The addition to research, the instrument will also be used to train the next generation of pharmaceutical researchers specialised in Alzheimer’s disease.

Two other scientists and one engineer from Waterloo also received JELF funding from CFI to help cover infrastructure costs to support their cutting-edge research. They include:

  • Paul Craig, professor in the Department of Biology — tools to examine the inherited, non-genetic effects of drugs and climate change on generations of fish: $140,000.
  • Ben Thompson, professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science — Exploring non-invasive stimulation to treat and improve vision for those with impairments from brain injury or abnormal brain development: $100,000.
  • Amir Keyvan Khandani, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering — Infrastructure for 5G wireless cellular networks and Internet of Things: $75,000.

The CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund is about remarkable people, and the latest recipients of this fund are no exception,” said Gilles Patry, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “By equipping world-class researchers with state-of-the-art tools, Canada remains a global competitor in areas that matter to people in communities around the country.”

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund was developed to help Canadian universities attract and retain top research talent.  More information on the awards and the Canada Foundation for Innovation is available at www.innovation.ca.

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