Dr. Jane Rylett is a molecular neurobiologist and Alzheimer’s disease researcher recognized for her contributions in the field of cholinergic neurobiology. She is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, and a Scientist in the Molecular Medicine Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute. She received training in Physiology and Pharmacology at the BSc level, and the PhD in Pharmacology, followed by postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the University of London (England) and neurochemistry at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Germany). She was recruited to a faculty position at the University of Western Ontario as the Rubinoff Scholar in Geriatrics. She was appointed to the position of Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aging in August 2019.
Dr. Rylett’s laboratory addresses fundamental questions in the regulation of cholinergic neuron function, and how neurochemical communication by these neurons may be altered in aging and disease. Cholinergic neurons control diverse physiological processes including learning and memory, sleep and movement, and their degeneration early in the development of Alzheimer’s disease accounts for much of the loss of cognitive function. Her research has been funded by several agencies, including Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Alzheimer Society of Canada, Alzheimer’s Association [USA], Ontario Mental Health Foundation and Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. She has received numerous research awards, including the Claude P. Beaubien Award from the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the AltaPharm Senior Scientist Award from the Pharmacological Society of Canada. Dr. Rylett was appointed by CIHR Governing Council as Chair of the Institute Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute of Aging and served as a Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and Alzheimer Society of Canada. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for contributions made through volunteer work and community activities related to Alzheimer’s disease and the aging population.