Dr. Howard Feldman

HFeldmanAffiliate Professor 

2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T2B5

Research Interests:

In 1991 I established a clinical research unit (UBC Alzheimer Clinical Trials Program) to conduct research on geriatric cognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. This unit has grown to its present size and has become a leading international centre for clinical cognitive research.

a) Epidemiological and Longitudinal Research Studies: I have been lead or co-lead Investigator on several large scale national epidemiological studies (the ACCORD and CIVIC studies), and been co-investigator on the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) a study that has received international acclaim being the largest and perhaps most influential of its kind.

b) Experimental Therapeutics and Clinical Trials: I have been the Principal Investigator on a number international randomised clinical trials of experimental therapeutics for AD as well as its precursor state Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). I lead an investigator initiated study of the cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) in the treatment of moderate to severe AD, a trial that had a very large impact on the field of therapy opening this stage to ChEIs for the first time and establishing the methodology and outcomes needed to investigate this disease stage.

c) Research on Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD): In 2003 we began an investigation of FTD using a large data base in our research unit and identifying a new autosomal dominant form of FTD. This year we successfully identified the gene within this form of dementia (Progranulin-PGRN) as well as the consequence of this genetic abnormality in protein expression. This landmark genetic and proteinopathy discovery will not only explain 25% of the inherited FTDs but it invites an entirely new avenue of investigation in neurodegenerative disease (publication in Nature 2006 Baker et al, Science 2006 Neumann et al ). Rather than producing a toxic gain of function which has been the putative mechanism of injury in AD, ALS and PD this mutation leads to a loss of functional PGRN suggesting a haploinsufficiency mechanism. This research emerged from our well characterized clinical and curated tissue samples. Our CIHR funded research in this area is poised to continue to enjoy unprecedented scientific success and recognition.

d) Development of Biological Markers for Dementia: The core activities of the unit developing well characterized cohorts of patients, carefully followed longitudinally and put together with post mortem tissue findings and DNA banking enables the development of biomarkers to be evaluated from the MCI stage and across the dementias. Unique discoveries in this area have included the identification of p97 (mellanotransferrin) as an AD biomarker, with current focus on proteomic expression patterns.

Professional Training:

  • 1978: Internship – University of Western Ontario (Victoria Hospital – London, Ontario)

  • 1981-83: Residency Training – Internal Medicine – McGill University (Royal Victoria Hospital – Montreal, Quebec)

  • 1983-84: Residency Training – Neurology (University of Colorado)

  • 1984-86: Residency Training – Neurology (University of British Columbia)

  • 1986: Fellowship, Neuromuscular Diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (University of British Columbia)

Academic positions:

  • 2001 – present: Full Professor and Head, UBC Division of Neurology

  • 2007 – present: Ralph Fisher and Alzheimer Society of B.C. Endowed Professor in Alzheimer Research

  • 2005- present: Director Clinic for Alzheimer Disease & Related Disorders, UBC Hospital

  • 1996 – 2001: Clinical Associate Professor (UBC)

  • 1991 – 1996: Clinical Assistant Professor (UBC)

  • 1995 to present: Adjunct Professor McGill University, McGill Center for Studies in Aging

  • 1987-1991: Clinical Instructor (UBC)

  • 1991 – present: Director UBC Alzheimer Clinical Trials Program

  • 1995 – 1999: Director of UBC Head Injury Program

Honours and Awards:

(a) Awards for Teaching

  • Nominee for Fay Dirks Teaching Award UBC Department of Medicine (1995)

(b) Awards for Scholarship

  • Vancouver Hospital Brain Research Center: Clinical Investigator Award (1999-2000)

  • Vancouver Hospital: Neuroscience Investigator Award (1998-1999)

  • Vancouver Hospital: Investigator Award (1997-1998)

  • UBC Department of Medicine: Martin M. Hoffman Award for Excellence in Research (1997)

  • McGill University Medical School: University Scholar (1978)

(c) Other Awards and Distinctions

  • Fellowship in Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2008)

  • UBC Faculty of Medicine: Distinguished Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Faculty Member (2007-2008)

  • Best Doctors (Canada) (2005-2006; 2007-2008)

  • Profile in Lancet Neurology: Howard Feldman “Master of Dementia” 2007; 6 (6) 482
    Vancouver Acute Medical Staff Award: For Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Acute (2007)

  • Vancouver Hospital Medical Staff: Academic Award for Scientific Achievement (2001)

Board Representations:

(a) Memberships on scholarly societies

  • Canadian Neurological Society: Secretary Treasurer (2007 to present)

  • International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology: Founding member (2002 to presen)

  • Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R): Executive Committee Member (1992-1995); President (1995 – 1997); Past President (1997-1999)

  • International Working Group on Harmonization of Dementia Drug Guidelines (IWG): Member of the Executive Committee 1995- present; Chair – Translations Committee (1995- present)

  • Int. Society for Vascular Behavioural & Cognitive Disorders (Vas-Cog): Founding member (2002–present)

  • Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA): Member, Scientific Review Board (2002 – present)

  • Alzheimer Disease International: Member of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (1998 – present)

  • Eur Institute of Women’s Health: Member, Int. Expert Adv Committee on Alzheimer’s Report (1998-present)

  • American Academy of Neurol: Member Nominating Committee for Officers of Geriatric Neurology (1998-1999)

  • American Academy of Neurology: Section of Neurogeriatrics; Member of Education and Liaisons Committee

  • Canadian Congress of Neurological Services: Active Member (1997 – present)

  • American Academy of Neurology: Active Member (1986 to present)

  • ALS Society of British Columbia: Board Member 1986 – 1988; Advisory Board Member 1988 – 1990

(b) Memberships on other societies

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): Biological and Clinical Aspects of Aging – (2005 – present)

  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons: Member Core Nucleus Committee for Neurol. (2002–2007)

(c ) Memberships on Scientific Committees and Boards

  • Pharmacare Services Division, BC: Member, Alzheimer’s Drug Therapy Initiative Working Group (April 2007 to present)

  • National Institute on Aging (US) Advisory Panel on prevention of dementia trial with ASA (Sept 2007)

  • Int. Clinical Trial of MPC 7869 in the Treatment of AD: Member, Data Safety Monitoring Board(Oct 2003- 2006); Sponsor – Myriad Pharma.

  • RIS 232 Clinical Trial of Risperidone in the Treatment of Dementia: Chair, Data Safety Monitoring Board (Dec 2001- Mar 2003); Sponsor – Johnson and Johnson

  • InDDEX Study: International Clinical Trial of Rivastigmine for Mild Cognitive Impairment: Chair, Diagnosis Monitoring Committee (1999 – 2004); Sponsor – Novartis Pharmaceuticals

  • International Clinical Trial of Dehydroepiandrosterone for Alzheimer’s Disease: Chair, Data Safety Monitoring Board (1997-1999); Sponsor – Neurocrine Pharma

(d ) Editorships

  • Journal of Neurological Sciences (2002 – present) – Editorial Board

  • Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders (2002 – present) – Editorial Board

  • Brain Aging (2001- present) – Editorial Board

  • Geriatrics Canada (The Journal of the Canadian Geriatrics Society) [2001 – 2005] Editorial Board

  • Research and Practice in Alzheimer’s Disease (2001 – present) – Associate Editor

  • International Psychogeriatrics (2000 – 2003) – Associate Editor

  • Canadian Alzheimer’s Review (1997 – present) – Editorial Board

  • Alzheimer’s Digest (1997 – 1999) – Editor in Chief

  • Health over 50 (1997-1998) – Editorial Board