Profile – Professor Zahinoor Ismail

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Professor Zahinoor Ismail


Professor Zahinoor Ismail

Job title:

Neuropsychiatrist; Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Epidemiology, and Pathology

Place of work / study:

Hotchkiss Brain Institute and O’Brien Institute for Public Health; Cumming School of Medicine; University of Calgary

Area of Research:

Dementia prognostication and early dementia detection using non-cognitive markers, treatment of neuropsychiatric syndromes across the cognitive spectrum, pharmacoepidemiology

How is your work funded?

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Brain Canada.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born in Uganda, moved to London at the age of 3, and then to Canada at the age of 6. I started playing hockey and other winter sports shortly after coming to Canada. My British accent dissolved far too quickly thereafter. I was a full-time clinician for 15 years before switching gears to a research career. I started with clinical trials and intervention studies and then started adding imaging, biomarkers, and observational cohort studies to the mix. The strong clinical background informs much of our work – the patients ask the research questions, and then we look for answers. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I still snowboard, at the age of 52!

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

I always wanted to work with seniors, likely because I was close to my grandmother. It’s also part of my culture to provide for the elderly.

Can we find you on Twitter?

Not personally, but this is the Twitter account for the Canadian Conference on Dementia, which I chair

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