Scientists at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute (RRI) are leveraging their expertise to understand and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our brain health.

Some RRI scientists, including those pictured on the right, are examining the effects of infection on brain structure and function as part of a broad Canadian partnership.

Others are looking at the toll of the pandemic on mental health and dementia risk in older adults.

Their work will help inform public health policy to safeguard everyone's health against COVID-19.

From top left, clockwise:

Dr. Asaf Gilboa, Dr. Eugenie Roudaia, Dr. Allison Sekuler, Dr. Jean Chen

There has never been a greater need to collect real-time evidence to inform practice, policy and decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new study being led by Dr. Ingrid Waldron is helping to develop a culturally specific COVID-19 response strategy to improve access to COVID-19 testing and health services, and reduce infections among Nova Scotia's historic Black communities in order to better prepare for future emergencies.

Dr. Ingrid Waldron
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Dalhousie University

Those of us who work in infectious diseases know how important time is. The pandemic has shown us how critical it is to move quickly to address biological threats like COVID-19. And that's what Canada's Global Nexus has the opportunity to do - bring together partners from around the world, across an entire spectrum of technologies, disciplines and expertise, to not only solve this pandemic, but to prevent the next.

Gerry Wright
Lead, Canada's Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats
McMaster University

An essential part of R&D in Canada – especially while facing the global pandemic of COVID-19 – food safety and product development have continued at Niagara College under the leadership of Dr. Ana Cristina Vega Lugo, Senior Food Scientist for the CFWI Innovation Centre. A sought-after judge for product development challenges, and guest speaker for innovation and food science conferences across Canada, Dr. Vega Lugo leads the team conducting applied research projects and technical services to benefit many SMEs in this vital industry.

Dr. Ana Cristina Vega
Lugo Senior Food Scientist
CFWI Innovation Centre

In response to the urgent need for antiviral treatments, we are identifying existing drugs that may work against COVID-19.

Our team, including Drs.Roberto Botelho, Michael Olson, Sarah Sabatinos, Raffi Karshafian,Joe McPhee, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Michael Sugiyama and partner Cyclica Inc., is using artificial intelligence to identify known drugs that may have new actions against the virus.

We're also investigating the effectiveness of ultrasound and microbubbles therapy in impeding infection, in partnership with MD Precision.

Dr. Costin N. Antonescu
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biology
Ryerson University

In March 2020, UCalgary assembled a panel of health and data experts to advise the City of Calgary in their pandemic response.

Dr. Tyler Williamson led a team that created a data tracker powered by the Centre for Health Informatics, and we developed a matrix to help the City assess the impact of policy decisions. It's our responsibility as scholars and community members to apply our knowledge where it's needed most.

Dr. William Ghali
VP Research
University of Calgary

A new application of an artificial intelligence tool is helping to shave months off the time required to identify clinical studies available to help physicians treat COVID-19 patients. Maura R. Grossman and Gordon V. Cormack, professors in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, used a machine-learning approach to build the AI-driven search tool to sift through thousands of new COVID-19 studies quickly. The tool is being deployed in conjunction with the Knowledge Synthesis Team at St. Michael's Hospital on behalf of Health Canada.

Maura R. Grossman, Research Professor and Gordon V. Carmack, Professor
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo