May 21, 2019 - Robarts scientist Jane Rylett, PhD, has been appointed as the new Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute of Health Research's Institute of Aging, effective August 1, 2019.
Rylett is a Distinguished University Professor and currently serves as an Associate Dean at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. She also served as Chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.
Research in her laboratory at Robarts focuses on mechanisms regulating chemical communication in the nervous system in health, normal aging and disease. Much of the research involves studies of the function of cholinergic neurons. Her work has been funded by several agencies, including CIHR, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Alzheimer Societies of both Canada and the United States.
An internationally recognized neuroscientist and expert in Alzheimer's disease research, Rylett worked within the Alzheimer community for many years and witnessed first-hand the enormous impact that neurodegenerative diseases have on patients and their loved ones. She played a key role in the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) as an Associate Director and a lead for the prevention research team. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
She has extensive experience on peer review panels for granting councils and foundations. In 2016, she was appointed as an inaugural College Chair of the CIHR College of Reviewers, and currently serves as Executive Vice-Chair. She was a long-serving member of the CIHR Institute of Aging Advisory Board and served as its Chair from 2008 to 2012.
As Scientific Director, Rylett will work with her community to identify research priorities, develop funding opportunities, build partnerships, and translate research evidence into policy and practice to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world. As a member of CIHR’s leadership team, she will participate in implementing CIHR’s strategic direction.