Brianne Kent receives Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar award

September 13, 2021

Congratulations to assistant professor Brianne Kent, who has been awarded the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Scholar award. The MSFHR Scholar Program is designed to support early career researchers as they establish independent research careers, form their own research teams and develop research programs that advance cutting-edge health solutions.

Kent's research program examines the fundamental processes underlying cognition, circadian rhythms, and neurodegenerative disease in both rodent models and humans. In addition to her research, Kent is an Open Science advocate and member of the CIHR Governing Council.

Read more about her winning project, "Investigating the role of sleep disruption in the progressive memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s diseas," below:

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and a leading cause of death in Canada. Unfortunately, there are currently limited treatments available for this devastating disease. Recently sleep has been shown to regulate important aspects of Alzheimer's disease pathology and is emerging as a promising target for novel interventions to prevent and slow disease progression. To identify how changes in sleep and the body's biological clock contribute to the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease, we will conduct a combination of preclinical experiments to evaluate causal mechanisms and clinical studies to evaluate the same processes in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The ultimate goal is to determine whether treating specific aspects of sleep disruption is an effective therapy for Alzheimer's disease, which will help identify new treatments to prevent the progressive memory loss, improve the health and quality of life of patients and their families, and reduce the economic burden of the disease.