Laval, QC – Professor Charles Ramassamy of the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Centre has been named the inaugural chairholder of the new Louise and André Charron Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Funded by a $1 million gift over five years from the Louise and André Charron family to the Armand-Frappier Foundation of INRS University, the chair’s research program will focus on prevention, early detection, and improved treatment of the disease. The new research chair was announced by INRS director general Daniel Coderre and INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Centre director Charles M. Dozois.
For Professor Ramassamy, developing early detection tools for Alzheimer’s disease is the first step in providing better patient care and improving patient quality of life.
“We are looking for biomarkers that can not only show that neurodegeneration has begun in a patient, but also provide more insight into the stage of the disease,” he says. “From there, clinical teams may be able to slow the progression of the disease or treat it, with the hope that patients will be able to maintain their independence for as long as possible.”
What’s more, current pharmacological treatments for Alzheimer’s disease often have serious side effects that can interrupt treatment and negatively affect patient quality of life. The chair’s research program will tackle this problem by identifying less toxic therapeutic molecules – mainly plant- and food-derived polyphenols – and harnessing nanoparticles to deliver them to the brain more efficiently, resulting in smaller doses.
“Under the direction of Professor Charles Ramassamy, this new research chair will not only develop innovative strategies for preventing and fighting Alzheimer’s disease, it will also bring hope to current and future patients and their families. This generous gift from the Louise and André Charron family is a testament to our researchers’ expertise and will help advance critical understanding of the disease in order to improve people’s health and well-being,” said Dr. Coderre.
Professor Ramassamy completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience and neuropharmacology at France’s University of Rouen in 1994. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University, Research Centre of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Judes Poirier, he became professor of pharmacology at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, in 1999 and professor at the INRS-Armand-Frappier Institute in 2004. He is also associated with Laval University and is a regular researcher at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF, Laval University).