September 10, 2019
Dr. Cheryl Grady, a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), has been recognized as a world leader in cognitive neuroscience with her election as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, announced on September 10.
As a fellow, Dr. Grady, who is also a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Toronto, joins over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists and scientists who are elected by their peers as the best in their field. The list of fellows includes prominent names, such as Margaret Atwood, Dr. Geoffrey Hinton and Dr. Roberta Bondar.
Dr. Grady’s discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of how aging affects various aspects of brain function, such as perception, attention, memory and thinking. She has pioneered brain imaging techniques to study the aging brain and uncover how these processes change with age.
She is part of a research team that has published some of the earliest papers on the specific brain dysfunction that occurs in mild Alzheimer’s disease and how these abnormalities relate to changes in behaviour. As well, her work has helped to identify how specific brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease give rise to the common symptom of memory problems and how the brain compensates for these changes early in the disease’s progression.
Her ongoing research examines brain changes across the entire adult lifespan and this work will improve understanding of how brain functions change as a person grows older. These findings could one day allow doctors to use brain scans to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy brains and establish warning signs for when a person’s brain health is a cause for concern.
“Distinguished scholars and artists are elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada on the basis of their exceptional contributions to Canadian intellectual life,” says Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Royal Society of Canada. “Your election is a telling recognition of your remarkable accomplishments and an invitation to further the leadership you have already shown in advancing knowledge and scholarship in Canada to help make a better future.”
Dr. Grady is also a recipient of the Justine and Yves Sergent Award for Women in Neuroscience and she is a past Canada Research Chair in Neurocognitive Aging.
She joins a number of current and former RRI scientists who have been named fellows, including Drs. Endel Tulving, Donald Stuss, Terence Picton, Fergus Craik and Morris Moscovitch.
“Over the last 30 years, the Rotman Research Institute has built a rich history of excellence, while being at the forefront of unlocking the aging brain’s secrets,” says Dr. Allison Sekuler, vice-president, research and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at Baycrest. “This election recognizes Dr. Grady’s leadership and contributions to the field of neuroscience, which has helped to advance research to tackle one of the greatest public health challenges of our time: Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”
Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences, and The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The society recognizes excellence, advises the government and the larger society, and promotes a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.
Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. Baycrest is helping create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org.
About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
Now in its 30th year, the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.
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