Meet Dr. Philip McGoldrick, recipient of the 2022 ALS Canada – Brain Canada Career Transition Award 

Dr. Philip McGoldrick, a researcher at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto, is the 2022 recipient of a $250,000 ALS Canada – Brain Canada Career Transition Award.  

This award helps launch talented early-career researchers, allowing them to set up their own labs, giving them the independence to establish their own research programs.

This award enables me to continue something I’ve been passionately working on for several years. The work I am doing is so exciting. It would have been a huge loss to not be able to continue it.”

Dr. Philip McGoldrick

Dr. McGoldrick was inspired to study neurodegenerative disease at a young age after seeing how these types of diseases affected family members. After moving to London (UK) for a PhD, ALS soon caught his interest.  

“It was the most interesting one of the diseases being studied,” he says. He’s been working in ALS since 2008. 

Dr. McGoldrick studies mutations in the C9ORF72 gene – the most common genetic cause of ALS. His current projects explore how the loss of function that occurs when C9ORF72 is mutated can affect a crucial biological process called nucleocytoplasmic transport. He and his co-researchers recently published an article on the topic in Cell Reports. He is also interested in how these insights could be helpful in understanding sporadic cases of ALS. 

“This support will allow me to investigate a fundamental but understudied mechanism that may contribute to ALS,” he says. “My hope is that I can be part of a sustained effort on multiple fronts to understand a genetic cause of ALS, but also apply these findings to understand sporadic disease too.” 

“This transformative program and collaboration with ALS Canada has the potential to inspire early-career researchers to explore innovative approaches, which could lead to a future without ALS,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada. 

The ALS Canada-Brain Canada Trainee Program has been made possible by the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF), an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada), Brain Canada Foundation and ALS Canada.