Two CAN Young Investigator Awards in 2017: Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, from Université de Montréal, and Tuan Trang, from University of Calgary.

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is proud to announce it will be awarding two Young Investigator Awards in 2017.  The laureates are Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, from Université de Montréal, and Tuan Trang, from University of Calgary.  The CAN nominations committee was equally impressed with both candidates, who have made important contributions to our understanding of the brain and the nervous system in the early stages of their careers.  Both winners have developed a strong program of basic, curiosity-driven research that have led to discoveries that can be used to improve the lives of Canadians.

Mike Sapieha: A leader in the fight against blindness.

Mike Sapieha
Mike Sapieha
In his young career, Mike Sapieha has already made impactful discoveries about the mechanisms underlying age and diabetes related loss of vision.  His studies have shed light on the working of the eye, and specifically how age and conditions like diabetes affect blood vessels in the retina, which is the membrane in the eye which detects light signals and transforms them into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain.  Vascular defects in the retina, both age and diabetes related, are the leading cause of vision loss in developed countries.  Dr Sapieha’s research is especially timely in Canada as loss of vision is increasing exponentially with the rapidly aging population, and the increasing prevalence of diabetes.

Learn more about Mike Sapieha’s research accomplishment in his Young Investigator profile:

Tuan Trang: Research to improve the lives of those living with chronic pain

Tuan Trang
Tuan Trang
Dr. Tuan Trang’s research has led to a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying chronic pain, the mechanism of action of opioids and the role that immune cells of the central nervous system called microglia play in chronic pain and opioid response.  Chronic Pain affects one in five adults in Canada – in the elderly population, this number reaches one in three. Finding new treatments and preventative approaches to the chronic pain epidemic is extremely timely and important. Dr. Trang’s research findings have broad ramifications for opioid analgesia, opioid induced modification of nerve signaling and pain signaling in the spinal cord.  His studies have the potential to have a significant impact for patients suffering from chronic pain.


Learn more about Dr. Tuan Trang in his Young Investigator profile:


The Canadian Association for Neuroscience congratulates both winners!


Doug Munoz,

Chair of the CAN-ACN nominations committee