Howie Mandel describes the importance of investing in brain research.


We are facing one of the greatest challenges of our time as brain disorders continue to be on the rise. Globally, neurological disorders are the second leading cause of death after heart disease, and the leading cause of disability.

At Brain Canada, we envision a future where scientists across disciplines collaborate to drive innovation. A future where early-career researchers have the resources to explore their boldest ideas. And where people across the country have access to solutions that may hold the answers to the many mysteries of the brain.

We see the brain as a single interconnected system rather than a collection of siloed diseases. This means that breakthroughs in one disease area can lead to major advances in another. We still have so many questions to answer. But with your support, we are getting closer and closer to our biggest discoveries yet.

Every day in Canada, 25 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

By supporting researchers like Janelle Drouin-Ouellet, who are thinking outside the box and exploring new therapies, we are working together to move the needle forward.

“The main goal is to develop personalized medicine to help patients.”

– Janelle Drouin-Ouellet, Brain Canada-funded researcher

Learn more about Janelle Drouin-Ouellet’s project in our Directory of funded grants.

1 in 66 children in Canada have autism spectrum disorder. 

As a researcher informed by his lived experience, Grant Bruno aims to gather viewpoints that will improve our understanding of ASD in First Nations communities. Read more

Grant Bruno
Grant Bruno, recipient of Brain Canada’s Shireen and Edna Marcus Excellence Award, is working toward a better understanding of autism in the First Nations community of Maskwacis.

By engaging with and collecting data from individuals, families and professionals associated with ASD in the First Nations context, his work is providing unique and informative perspectives on the strengths and challenges of what it means to experience autism within these communities.

“The goal is to increase the research being conducted and then to translate that research to clinicians so survivors can receive the best treatment possible.”

– Matthew Galati

In 2013, Matthew Galati was well on his way to becoming a doctor. One weekend, on his way back to medical school from visiting friends and family, his car slipped on black ice and spun out of control, hitting a tree. He suffered fractures to his skull and ribs, collapsed lungs, a damaged nerve in his face and – most critically – a head injury.

Dr. Matthew Galati, Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor/Brain Canada Partner, Brain Changes Initiative

Now, through Galati’s own foundation – Brain Changes Initiative – he is partnering with Brain Canada to improve our collective understanding of traumatic brain injury by convening thought leaders and expert stakeholders to establish evidence-based solutions for real and pressing needs. Read more

The cost of stroke in Canada is 3.6B a year.

After the unexpected loss of his father due to a stroke, Eric Pilon-Bignell partnered with Brain Canada to raise funds for brain-related diseases, disorders and injuries as he set out to climb Denali – the highest mountain peak in North America. Raising more than $4,000 for brain research, Eric surpassed his fundraising goal to help us better understand another complex and mysterious landscape  – the brain.

Eric Pilon-Bignell, Brain Canada volunteer who raised more than $4,000 to support brain research.

Love builds brains

A growing body of research on early childhood development has shown that by equipping families with strong knowledge of their children’s early developmental processes, they can reliably provide the stable, predictive environments that help their children thrive.

It was with this idea in mind that the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) approached the Ermineskin Cree Nation to discuss co-developing a prenatal to early childhood intervention program. Together, MFI with Ermineskin, Maskwacis Health Services (MHS) and Maskwacis Education Schools Commission (MESC) created the Early Years pilot program. Read more 

The Early Years, a Martin Family Initiative, is a pre-natal to pre-school program that supports young families to build a strong understanding of their child’s early developmental process.


“Exploring the great unknown that is the brain cannot be done alone – it takes bold, courageous partners to scale these peaks.”

– Dr. Viviane Poupon, Brain Canada President & CEO

From Alzheimer’s to epilepsy, from bipolar disorder to brain cancer, from ALS to autism, the impact of this work reaches beyond any one disease or disorder. Every learning brings us closer to understanding our brains. To knowing and understanding ourselves.