Government of Canada Supports Research to Improve Brain Health

News release

April 28, 2023 | Hamilton, Ontario | Health Canada

There are more than 1,000 brain diseases and disorders: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and brain cancer, to name a few. Together, they represent one of the most pressing health challenges in Canada and across the world. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting the neuroscience community and its role in improving Canadians' brain health.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, announced three grants being awarded to Dr. Benicio N. Frey of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University, Dr. Guy Rouleau of The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) and Dr. Vivian K. Mushahwar of the University of Alberta. This funding is made possible through Health Canada's Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF) Program, which has to date committed an overall federal investment of $200 million to Brain Canada Foundation in support of brain health discoveries.

Awarded through Brain Canada's 2021 Platform Support Grants Program, these projects are supported by Health Canada and matched funding from Brain Canada's sponsors, donors and partners. Projects will improve health outcomes for Canadians by advancing knowledge of the brain through research, for example by standardizing the collection of data, allowing more efficient recruitment of patients for clinic trials, and helping to develop medical devices and interventions for people with mobility impairment.


"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting the neuroscience community and brain research as it plays a critical role in increasing our understanding of brain health conditions. By investing in projects like these, we are supporting innovation in neurotechnology leading to tangible advancements supporting brain health in Canada."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"This fantastic investment, made possible through Health Canada's Brain Research Fund, demonstrates our government's commitment to research for the health of Canadians today and for generations to come. Addressing mental health is top priority for Canadians and with this investment, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University will expand research on assisting Canadians living with mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder. Canadians deserve solutions and that is exactly what this research strives to achieve for our community."

Hon. Filomena Tassi, MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas & Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

"Platform funding programs play a crucial role in enabling innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration in Canada and on an international level. This is part of what makes Brain Canada an essential component of the brain research ecosystem in this country, we enable transformative platforms, which are essential to addressing the evolving needs of research."

Dr. Viviane Poupon
Brain Canada President and Chief Executive Officer

Quick facts

  • Through Budgets 2011, 2016, 2019 and a subsequent funding renewal in 2021, the Government of Canada has committed a total of $200 million for Brain Canada through the CBRF Program, to support Canadian neuroscience research with the greatest potential to lead to scientific discoveries that advance therapies and approaches to better understand the brain and brain health. Brain Canada, the sole recipient of this contribution program, works in partnership with a range of donors from across the private, public and charitable sectors to provide competitively awarded funding for research across Canada.
  • Brain Canada shapes its research priorities by engaging with the neuroscience community and bringing research stakeholders together to discuss and advance key brain health issues and opportunities in the health sector. Its signature programs, which include team, platform and capacity building awards, are designed to fill gaps identified by stakeholders for increasing research capacity and strategically advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain health disorders.

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Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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