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Dr. Krista Lanctôt appointed to the inaugural Bernick Chair in Geriatric Psychopharmacology

January 28, 2022

Sunnybrook is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Krista Lanctôt to the inaugural Bernick Chair in Geriatric Psychopharmacology, jointly shared by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

Named after the late Henry and Esther Bernick, the Chair will be dedicated to research for the prevention and optimized treatment of dementia. The Bernicks were longtime donors of Sunnybrook and thanks to their visionary support of the work of Sunnybrook psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Ken Shulman and the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program, the Henry Bernick Family Geriatric Neuropharmacology Program was named in their honour in 2012. This new Chair will support their vision to transform the care of Canada’s growing senior population. The Chair will be renamed the Bernick-Shulman Chair in Geriatric Psychopharmacology when Dr. Shulman retires.

“I’m honoured to be recognized with the Bernick Chair and extremely grateful to the Bernick family, Dr. Shulman and all the generous donors that made this possible,” says Dr. Krista Lanctôt, senior scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute and professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Toxicology at U of T. “This support will enable our clinicians and scientists to accelerate innovation in dementia research, provide international leadership in the field, and train the next generation of researchers.”

The Chair in Geriatric Psychopharmacology comes at a pivotal time. In Canada, more than 500,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia, with the number expected to rise to 900,000 by 2030. Currently, little is still known about how to prevent or cure the disease. The Chair will support ongoing engagement in research, leadership and education for the prevention and optimized treatment of dementia.

A leader in the field of dementia research and neuropsychopharmacology, Dr. Lanctôt has published extensively with more than 350 peer-reviewed publications. Her work has been highly relevant to clinical practice and the establishment of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, used by specialists and primary care physicians around the world.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in the field and we’re making significant, much-needed progress,” says Dr. Lanctôt. “This new appointment will help highlight the future possibilities to transform the treatment of dementia through identification of targets in brain circuitry, novel interventions and personalized medicine.”

The Bernick Chair in Geriatric Psychopharmacology is made possible thanks to generous support from donors including the late Henry and Esther Bernick.