Western receives $5-million donation to advance diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

A $5-million gift to Western University will empower researchers in their quest to unlock secrets of neurodegenerative diseases impacting our world’s aging population.

Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry announced today an extraordinary donation from Jim and Louise Temerty and the Temerty Family Foundation to advance discoveries in the prevention, early detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and vascular cognitive impairment.

The Temerty’s gift will enable the University to advance a unique five-year study, led by Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and principal investigator of the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative.

“Never before, either here or worldwide, have experts in seemingly diverse diseases come together into a single collaboration to understand the basis, commonalities and distinguishing characteristics of these devastating disorders,” said Dr. Strong. “Our ultimate goal is to determine if, by studying the disease as a component of a larger whole, we can develop early treatment strategies long before the disease fully takes hold.

”The gift also leverages matching funds from the Ontario Brain Institute to support the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative, which brings together nearly 100 clinicians, scientists and researchers from across Ontario with expertise in neurodegeneration with the mandate to investigate brain disorders that lead to impairments in memory and cognition.

“Ontario is home to some of the world’s most accomplished brain researchers and clinicians who are transforming the future health of Canadians,” said Jim Temerty, founder and board chair of Northland Power Inc. “My family and I are pleased to be able to support this one-of-a-kind research that has the potential to change the course for people suffering from these debilitating diseases.”

One million Ontarians currently suffer from a brain disorder and one in three Canadians will be affected by a neurological or psychiatric disease, disorder or injury at some point in their life. Given Canada’s aging population and the high incidence and prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders, discovering methods of early diagnosis will make a significant impact on treatment therapies while alleviating the economic burden of the disease.

“We are extremely pleased and thankful to the Temerty family for their confidence and support through this significant gift,” said Western’s President and Vice-Chancellor Amit Chakma. “At Western, we believe that research and discovery are keys to creating the potential to significantly improve people’s lives.”

With this extraordinary gift, Western’s Be Extraordinary fundraising campaign has raised close to $500 million, achieving 67% of the campaign target of $750 million.

MEDIA CONTACT: Crystal Mackay, Media Relations Officer, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, 519-661-2111, ext. 80387, crystal.mackay@schulich.uwo.ca


Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.


The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.