Our Research Priorities

The primary focus of the Krembil Foundation is supporting medical research. Historically, the Foundation has funded a wide range of medical research, but two areas continue to be funding priorities: neuroscience and psoriatic arthritis.


The Krembil Foundation made a strategic decision early on to invest in the underfunded healthcare area of neuroscience research. Since then, we've focused our interests to research projects focused on neurodegeneration. Despite being among the fastest growing diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and neurodegeneration in general are poorly understood with consequently few available therapies. The Krembil Foundation is currently interested in projects focused on the basic science of neurodegeneration. Projects that are looking into understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration, as well as fundamental questions that support efforts in neurodegenerative research. For that reason, although Alzheimer’s disease is of particular interest to the Krembil Foundation, we do not restrict our funds exclusively to Alzheimer’s disease. We value the knowledge that can be gained from studying different models of neurodegeneration – including those related to dementia, movement disorders, vision and hearing loss.

Psoriatic Arthritis

The Krembil Foundation has a personal motivation to accelerate research in psoriatic arthritis and expand our knowledge of this disease as there are several members of the Krembil family living with PSA. A large part of our support goes toward clinical research in the Psoriatic Arthritis Research Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, but after many years of funding and learning more about psoriatic arthritis, the Krembil family has developed a general interest in the immune system and how it can influence disease. We are looking to expand our support into basic science projects that are studying the mechanism and pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis, as well as other forms of immune-related arthritis, and related areas of immunology.

What are we looking for?

Support for basic science has always been a priority at the Krembil Foundation. There are many unanswered questions when it comes to the mechanisms of arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases. We value research that produces new information and expands our understanding of a disease, gene function, or cell pathway. Basic science research builds a critical foundation that can aid in the understanding of neurodegeneration and arthritis, and help identify targets for future drug and therapeutic discoveries. Investments in basic science require a long-term commitment to realize their potential for new treatments and therapies. The Foundation believes that it is these commitments that will change the course of medicine. A small portion of our research portfolio goes towards translational or preclinical research. This includes projects that may be closely tied to patients including studying new diagnostics and biomarkers, describing disease features, fine tuning small molecules and/or investigating new therapeutics. To learn more about our current portfolio and past investments, please review our grant directory below.

Browse our directory of funded grants

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Dr. Carly Barr

Toronto Western Hospital

Collaborated with:

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John Smith

Active Grant - (2015-2018)

Functional Annotation of Genetic Variants Contributing to Immune Mediated Diseases

Funded Through:

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Immune-mediated diseases (IMDs) are characterized by misregulation of the immune system resulting in tissue and organ damage. IMDs such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus are chronic and significantly impact the quality of life for affected individuals. Genome-wide association studies have identified common changes in regions of DNA in individuals with IMDs. Many of these changes have been found in regulatory regions of DNA called enhancers which regulate the expression of specific genes. Because enhancers often regulate the expression of genes that are very far from them, it has been challenging to predict the functional impact of DNA variants within these regions. Using high-throughput genetic technologies developed in her lab, Dr. Barr will determine the functional impact of DNA variants in enhancers by assessing how variants affect enhancer activity, and ultimately gene expression. This work will provide insight into which genes are affected, which is crucial to understanding the genetic basis of IMDs, identifying risk factors, and forming the basis for new treatments.

Past Grants

Current Projects

Past Projects