The Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Sunday an increased funding commitment to the Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program bringing its total investment in partnership with Brain Canada to $15 million.
The research program supports Canadian neuroscientists conducting leading edge translational work that aims to change the landscape for families facing Fragile X syndrome and Autism. Fragile X, which affects 1 in 4,000 boys and 1 in 6,000 girls, is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability and the most common known cause of autism.
“We know that Canada is home to some of the world’s foremost neuroscientists and that we have the potential to be a world leader in neurodevelopmental research,” said Dr. Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation. “By providing scientists with significant financial support, we are providing the lifeblood of advanced research.”
The Azrieli Foundation initially invested NIS 8.7 million in four new research projects: the examination of new medications targeting different biological causes of autism, research into methods to correct or offset the abnormal communication in the brain that characterizes autism and develop new interventional strategies, identification of the earliest signs of autism onset, and the development of non-toxic drugs.
Scientific grants made by the Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program are a joint effort between the Azrieli Foundation, the Brain Canada Foundation and the federal government’s Canada Brain Research Fund, in a public-private partnership funding model.