On June 6, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University introduced Dr. Deborah Toiber to a Winnipeg audience of 170 as the Keynote Speaker in a panel discussion about Alzheimer’s disease. Principal Investigator in the Department of Life Sciences at Ben-Gurion University, Dr.Toiber has expertise in the study of brain damage and aging-related neurodegeneration, specifically DNA damage and sirtuins, a class of proteins which link aging and metabolism.

Dr. Toiber’s lecture was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Benedict Albensi, which presented the many facets of Alzheimer’s disease.

The panel:

– Benedict Albensi, moderator, who received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Utah’s Medical School and continued with post-doctoral studies at Georgetown University, has an impressive list of research achievements, including the development of MRI methods to investigate brain cognition, the role of the protein complex NF-kB in understanding memory and the mechanisms of deep-brain stimulation. Dr. Albensi is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, a Principal Investigator at St. Boniface Hospital Research, a core member of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Manitoba and holds the Everett Endowment Fund Chair and the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair at St. Boniface and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba.

– Norma Kirkby, panellist, joined the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba in June 2002 as Program Director. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Norma is a professional Home Economist  –  her personal objective is to assist individuals and families to live successfully. As Program Director she is responsible for the Society’s vision for client services, family, professional and public education and advocacy.  Norma’s desire is to empower people impacted by dementia to experience the greatest possible quality of life.

– Born in Bergen-Belsen after the war, panellist Rose Popeski came to Canada when she was 2 years old. After her graduation in 1967 from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. in pharmacy, Rose worked as a pharmacist for 50 years. Both of Rose’s parents developed Alzheimer’s in their late 80’s and she became their primary caregiver. Her parents did not wish to move into a home because they wanted to stay together; her father recently passed away and, with Rose’s help, her mother still lives at home.

The panel discussion and Q & A was followed by a reception catered by Schmoozers.

CABGU is grateful to St. Boniface Hospital for providing the venue for the event, and to its co-sponsors, Jewish Child and Family Service and the Winnipeg Jewish Business Council.

Read a wonderful article in our local Jewish newspaper