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Air Date: October 17, 2019 | Length: 37:14
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In the final episode of Season 1 of Behind the Breakthrough, we hear from Dr. Donald Weaver, director of the Krembil Research Institute. Dr. Weaver talks about his groundbreaking research into Alzheimer’s disease, and explains how drug research works and the challenges of getting to a clinical trial. He also tells us why his response to questions of “What next?” is a cheery “More failure!,” the purpose of his weekly story-telling in team meetings, and talks about his poetry career.
Dr. Weaver is one of over 1,000 researchers at UHN pursuing cures and new treatments to help build a healthier world. If you'd like to hear a Season 2 of Behind the Breakthrough, please let us know wherever you listen to the podcast, or email us at
Dr. Donald Weaver is the director of the Krembil Research Institute and Research Director of the Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. He is both a practicing medicinal chemist and practicing clinical neurologist. He initially obtained his MD from Queen's University and later completed a residency in clinical neurology at Dalhousie University with a focus on behavioural neurology. After his MD training, he completed a PhD in chemistry at Queen's University.
Dr. Weaver has published widely in both chemistry and neurology, holds numerous patents, has trained more than 50 graduate students and 60 postdoctoral fellows. He has founded or co-founded multiple biotech companies (Neurochem Inc., Molecular Mining Corp., DeNovaMed Inc., Mindful Scientific Inc., and Treventis Corp.). He has had two compounds reach Phase III human clinical trials. He has received multiple national and international awards (including the Jonas Salk Award, Prix Galien Award, Bernard Belleau Award in Medicinal Chemistry, Merck Frosst Award in Organic Chemistry, and the S. Weir Mitchell Award from the American Academy of Neurology).
"Sometimes I like to write poetry for my Alzheimer's patients and their families. I find it can often help them deal with the reality of their diagnosis."