Dr. Jennie Z. Young appointed Executive Director for the Canadian Brain Research Strategy

Dr. Jennie Young

Executive summary:

The appointment of Dr. Jennie Z. Young as Executive Director of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy marks a new phase in the development of this initiative which aims to link brain research initiatives and projects, public and private funders, and patient organizations across Canada in a uniquely collaborative effort that will push the frontiers of brain science. Dr. Young will work to make brain research a national priority, for the benefit of all Canadians.

The Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS) is pleased to mark a new phase of development in their initiative with the appointment of Dr. Jennie Z. Young as Executive Director. Dr. Young holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, and spent 14 years abroad at MIT in the laboratories of Nobel Laureate Susumu Tonegawa and Picower Institute Director Li-Huei Tsai, where she played a key role in ground-breaking discoveries in the fields of learning and memory and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Young accepted this position following her role at Brain Canada, where she managed Brain Canada’s largest funded projects and worked on building partnerships with national and international non-profit organizations, foundations, federal and provincial government, as well as industry to develop national research funding programs.

The CBRS is a pan-Canadian initiative uniting over 30 world-leading neuroscience and mental health institutes across Canada to date, with the objective of mobilizing efforts around a common vision: to position the advancement of knowledge about the brain as a national research priority.

“Dr. Jennie Young brings a passion for the exceptional quality and collaborative nature of neuroscience research in Canada. “ said Yves De Koninck, Chair of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy.  “In her new role as CBRS Executive Director, Dr. Young will lead the development and implementation of this network which will act as a hub by linking existing brain research initiatives and projects, public and private funders, and community and patient organizations across the country in a uniquely collaborative effort that will push the frontiers of brain science.”


“We are very happy to have recruited Dr. Jennie Young to our team”, said Judy Illes, Co-Chair of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy. “Her experience in both research and management make her uniquely skilled to lead the development of the CBRS to its full potential.”

The CBRS will consolidate existing collaborative relationships in the field to advance the leadership of the CBRS within the International Brain Initiative (IBI), which convenes seven of the world’s major brain research projects.

“The IBI is thrilled to learn of the appointment of Dr. Young as CBRS Executive Director.  CBRS continues to be an integral thought-leader and partner within the IBI.  This appointment marks an important milestone in solidifying the cohesion and collaborative networks these organizations seek to build,” said Agnes McMahon International Brain Initiative Program Director.


“Neurological Health Charities Canada is looking forward to bringing the voices of individuals with lived experience of brain conditions to the development of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy. Our coalition has long been a champion of the power of collaboration in science, and Dr. Young’s leadership will ensure the CBRS includes this important component,” said Deanna Groetzinger, Manager of Neurological Health Charities Canada.


“I am excited about the role that CBRS can play as a convener and enabler, to connect the neuroscience ecosystem across domains and bring out a unified voice that will elevate the visibility and importance of brain research.” said Dr. Young. “With our country’s established track record for excellence in brain and mental health research, as well as the rising burden of brain disorders, the scientific and health potential for each brain research discovery is immense. The collaborative spirit championed by CBRS has the potential to translate our common efforts into major advances in all sectors of society.”