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Zahra stands in a reflected window with a pensive face.

Canada Research Chair announcement highlights neurodegenerative dementia research program

Dr. Zahra Moussavi celebrated with esteemed Canada Research Chair reinstatement

November 17, 2022 — 

This week UM researcher Dr. Zahra Moussavi was announced as Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Tier 1. “Canadian research helps improve our society, economy and healthcare, time and time again. That’s why our government remains committed to supporting the country’s world-class research community,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We know the vital role research and science play in growing our economy, and today’s investments will help Canada cement its position as a world leader in research and innovation.”

This accomplishment builds upon an already outstanding history of impactful and innovative research for Dr. Moussavi. “I congratulate Dr. Moussavi on her prestigious appointment as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair,” said Dr. Mario Pinto, vice-president (research and international). “Her research in the early detection and treatment of dementia is groundbreaking and brings hope to many. The leadership shown by Dr. Moussavi, and the other UM CRCs, greatly benefits the learning experience of all the students they work with.”

Dr. Moussavi’s breadth of contributions in her field is a legacy to honour and reflect upon. From her pioneering work in respiratory sounds signal processing, to the introduction of Canada’s first Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Alzheimer’s treatment program, she is solidified as an international leader in the area of Biomedical Engineering (BME).

As founder and former director of UM’s BME graduate program, Dr. Moussavi has been attracting top students for two decades. Her passion and impact as a researcher and teacher has allowed her to excel as a mentor to numerous high school students, undergraduate students and graduate trainees. In 2016, her clinical trials for new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease received funding from the Weston Brain Institute for a large multi-center international study. This support broadened Dr. Moussavi’s leadership skills as she led a team of collaborators on various local, national and international levels.

Dr. Moussavi’s current research program focuses on the goal of better diagnosing the onset of neurodegenerative dementia. It also centres on offering personalized optimized treatments for affected individuals, while monitoring their cognitive changes longitudinally. In future plans, Dr. Moussavi looks to make diagnosis, treatment and monitoring programs more accessible to all sectors of society, mobilizing the gained knowledge.

View the full list of Canada Research Chair recipients for more information.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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