Alzheimer’s researcher awarded research chair in neurosciences

A UBC researcher investigating a process of protein over-production
which may lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has been
awarded the Louise A. Brown Chair in Neurosciences.

Neurobiologist Peter Reiner has been named as the first recipient
of the $500,000 chair, established to support research in
neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

“Reiner has been an outstanding member of a world-class group
of neuroscientists here at UBC,” says Dr. John Cairns, dean
of the Faculty of Medicine. “His work in Alzheimer’s disease
is at the forefront in the field and the award of this chair
recognizes his stature.”

Reiner, who is an associate professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry,
studies brain function and the causes of Alzheimer’s disease
at the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research based at

He investigates how the production of the beta amyloid protein
is regulated within the brain. The protein’s over-production
in certain forms of Alzheimer’s triggers a sequence of events
that result in brain cell death. Unravelling the details of
this process may lead to a cure for the disease, Reiner says.

Reiner received a Scholar Award from the Medical Research
Council (MRC) in 1989 and was named an MRC Scientist in 1994.

He serves on the peer review panel of the Alzheimer Society
of Canada and the research committee of the Alzheimer Society
of B.C.

Since joining the Faculty of Medicine in 1988, Reiner has
developed UBC’s first comprehensive graduate course in cellular
and molecular neuroscience. He was recognized with a University
Teaching Prize in 1991 and has headed the Graduate Program
in Neuroscience since 1995.

Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disorder associated with
aging, currently affects 250,000 Canadians and costs Canadian
taxpayers almost $4 billion annually to manage.