Toronto, ON – The Ontario Brain Institute says it is providing $19 million in new funds over the next five years on the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative Integrated Discovery Program (ONDRI). Partner institutions will contribute another $9.5 million to the program, bringing the total funding to $28.5 million. The five-year program brings together 54 investigators, 12 clinical sites, 17 universities and hospitals, 6 industrial partners, 4 patient advocacy groups, and 600 patients.
“At the end of the day what we’re doing is going to have an impact on the patients of Ontario. And those patients are served through a variety of routes, not just the medical system,” says Dr. Mike Strong, lead investigator of the ONDRI program. “The ONDRI program has positioned itself to have broad impact by involving the expertise of patient advocacy groups and industry partners along with clinicians and researchers.”
ONDRI is one of a series of five OBI-funded programs that encourage stronger collaboration among all parties associated with a particular brain disorder or group of brain disorders. Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS or Lou Gehrig’s, frontotemporal lobar dementia, or vascular cognitive impairment present a variety of different symptoms, but new research suggests they may hold common underlying threads.
“By studying these disorders as a group, the potential for break-through discoveries is maximized as data is shared across disorders, and findings in one area provide clues to others,” says Dr. Don Stuss, president and scientific director of OBI.