Quebec researcher receives $250,000 over three years to investigate
gene-based research to treat ALS

Toronto – The ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) and Brain Canada are dedicated to a shared mission to advance amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. Together, ALS Canada and Brain Canada are proud to announce the recipient of the 2023 Career Transition Award. Dr. Sahara Khademullah at the CERVO Brain Research Centre at Université Laval will receive $250,000 over a period of three years to support her innovative ALS research.

This award aims to develop the next generation of scientists across various disciplines within basic and clinical sciences, advance knowledge generation and translation in ALS research, and support the recipient in both salary and research costs as they transition into their first faculty position.

“ALS Canada, alongside our partners at Brain Canada, remain committed to investing in early career researchers. These funds are necessary to develop and support the future leaders of ALS research in Canada,” says Dr. David Taylor, Vice-President of Research and Strategic Partnerships at ALS Canada. “Our organizations have been fortunate to support Dr. Khademullah’s work over the past decade, and the resulting discoveries are quite novel and exciting. We are proud to reinforce her successes by helping her to achieve an independent academic position and an opportunity to drive this therapeutically minded research forward towards potential human impact.”

The recipients of the Career Transition Award are chosen by a peer review process based on the merits of the applicant, the quality of their project, the relevance of the work to ALS, and their likelihood for future success. This funding aims to identify and engage rising stars pursuing innovative research in labs and academic institutions in Canada. Successful candidates will expand their research horizons and develop independence to become a future leader in the field.

“At Brain Canada, we firmly believe in the power of investing in early-career researchers to transform lives and shape a better future for individuals and families affected by ALS,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada. “Our collaboration with ALS Canada holds immense promise, fostering innovation and paving the way for breakthroughs.”

To date, the ALS Canada – Brain Canada partnership has resulted in more than a $25 million investment in a wide range of research projects that have helped further the study of the disease.

Summary of the 2023 Career Transition Award

  • Can these gene-based strategies help restore a normal balance in the brain?
    Therapeutic validation of gene-based strategies aimed at restoring neuronal KCC2 in ALS
    Dr. Sahara Khademullah, supervised by Dr. Yves De Koninck, at the CERVO Brain Research Centre, Université Laval, awarded $250,000

The Career Transition Award competition is funded through a matching contribution from Brain Canada through the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF).

The CBRF is an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada Foundation, which increases Canadians’ support for brain research and expands the philanthropic space for funding brain research to achieve maximum impact.

For more information on this funded project, visit


About ALS Canada and the ALS Canada Research Program

The ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) is working to change what it means to live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an unrelenting and currently terminal disease.

Grounded in and informed by the Canadian ALS community, we respond to the urgent unmet need for life-changing treatments by investing in high-quality research that will fuel scientific discovery and by engaging industry, supporting increased clinical capacity and advocating for equitable, affordable, and timely access to proven therapies.

Responding to the tremendous need for current and credible ALS knowledge, awareness, and education, we empower Canadians affected by ALS to navigate the current realities of ALS, be informed consumers of ALS information, and advocate effectively for change.

Through the ALS Canada Research Program, we fund peer-reviewed research grants, foster collaboration and build capacity within Canada’s ALS research and clinical community, and invest in new areas of research positioned to have high impact. As the only national dedicated source of funding for ALS research across Canada, the ALS Canada Research Program aims to accelerate research impact by providing funding for the most promising ALS projects focused on translating scientific discoveries into treatments for ALS. We are grateful for the support of our donors and the contributions from participating provincial ALS Societies through the Walk to End ALS.

About Brain Canada

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. It plays a unique and invaluable role as the national convener of the brain research community. We join people, labs and platforms across the country, as well as institutions, organizations and sectors – to drive innovation and foster an interconnected brain research system. Our work enables Canada to excel and make even greater contributions to the global quest to understand the brain and brain disorders. Join us in funding brilliance daily,


Join the conversation and connect with the ALS community online. Find ALS Canada on Twitter, Instagram, or like our page on Facebook. Visit to find out more.

For more information
ALS Society of Canada 

Brain Canada
Brielle Goulart

Posted in: Research