UPEI’s Dr. Andrew Tasker awarded honorary professorship at Aarhus University, Denmark

Professorship allows Dr. Tasker to collaborate on research into brain structure and function in connection with diseases such as schizophrenia and epilepsy
Friday, April 15, 2016
Professor Gregers Wegener, head of AU’s Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit; Dr. Andrew Tasker; and, Professor Per Hove Thomsen of the Faculty of Health, AU

Dr. Andrew Tasker, professor of neuropharmacology at UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College, has been awarded an honorary professorship at Aarhus University (AU) in Denmark. Dr. Tasker is a globally respected researcher on brain structure and function in connection to diseases such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. This honorary professorship allows him to further his research collaborations and mentor students within the Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit (TNU) at AU’s Department of Clinical Medicine.

“I’m pleased with my new formal affiliation with Aarhus University,” said Dr. Tasker. “This makes it possible to advance my current collaborations with the faculty and students at both TNU and the Imaging Centre in Aarhus.”

Dr. Tasker’s research examines how the brain’s structure and function change in connection with specific neurological diseases before symptoms appear. In the case of schizophrenia and epilepsy, many years of increasing dysfunction in the brain can be seen before the symptoms show-up and lead to a diagnosis being made.

“By understanding how the brain changes before some symptoms are seen, we hope to identify early biomarkers for the disease and to find new therapeutic targets, which can be used to halt the development of the disease before it reduces the patient’s quality of life,” said Dr. Tasker.

Dr. Tasker is also part of the UPEI research team responsible for some of the earliest and most important testing of NA-1, a promising drug which The Globe and Mail called Canada’s first “blockbuster pharmaceutical” since insulin. NA-1 is currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials at hospitals around the country. NA-1 has so far proven effective at lessening cell death with minimal side-effects in stroke victims.

“Dr. Tasker has been a pioneer in fundamental studies of the changes in structure and function of the brain that lead to debilitating neurological dysfunction,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, Vice-President Academic and Research. “We congratulate him on his appointment as an honorary professor at Aarhus University, which is further recognition of the international impact of his work.”

Dr. Tasker was awarded his honorary professorship at a ceremony on April 5.

Congratulations, Dr. Tasker!

Dave Atkinson
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