Associate Professor
UBC Hospital S152
2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T2B5
Vision Statement:

To understand the neurological basis of cognition and the pathological mechanisms leading to dementia, with a goal to improve the care and finding a cure for patients suffering from cognitive impairment and dementia

Research Interests:

Behavioural Neurology, Cognition and Dementia, Genetic Epidemiology, Biomarkers in Dementia, Brain Imaging in Dementia, Clinical Trials

Research Summary:

Near half a million Canadians suffered from dementia in 2008. This number is predicted to double to over one million (~2.8% of the Canadian population) by 2038. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer Disease (AD), representing about 2/3 of all dementia. Other common disorders leading to dementia includes cerebrovascular disease, frontotemorpal lobar degeneration, and Lewy Body Disease. A number of these disorders have a high heritability with familial clusters. Mutations in several genes have been identified to cause familial Alzheimer and frontotemporal dementia. Other genetic and environmental risk factors also contribute to the development of dementia. The different types of dementias often have a typical clinical profile, although there is significant overlap between the syndromes. Importantly, there is no clinical test during life that could identify the different types of dementia pathology. In my research, I am examining the various factors that contribute to the cause of dementia, and I am exploring new laboratory and imaging techniques that can help us identify and differentiate the different types of dementia at the earliest stage. We are also involved designing and carrying out clinical trials to investigate novel therapeutics as well as non-pharmacologic intervention for treating different types of dementias at various stages, with the ultimate goal to find a cure for these devastating conditions of the brain.

Recent Publications:

Link to Google Scholar and PubMed

Awards & Recognition:

CIHR Clinical Genetics Investigatorship, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research – Post-doctoral Fellowship

Granting Agency Subject COMP Funding Details Amount Year Principal Investigator Co-Investigator(s)
Peter Wall Institute on Advanced Studies Music Therapy in neurological disorders C $50,000 2014 R. Hsiung R. Sharon, L. Frisch
Alzheimer Society of Canada / PARF Characterization of Mixed Dementia due to Alzheimer and subcortical vascular pathology C 150000 per year $300,000 2013-2015 R. Hsiung C. Javoca, V. Sossi, A. Rauscher, O. Benavente, J. Pettersen
CIHRMOP-126130 Complex Mental and Social Activities to Promote Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Chronic Stroke C $150,235 2013-2017 T. Liu-Ambrose J. Eng, R. Hsiung, C. Goldsmith, P. Graf, P. Hall, L. Middleton
CIHR Mining the ADNI database – what can we learn about Alzheimer’s? C 50000 $100,000 2013-2015 MF Beg, C Jacova R. Hsiung
CIHRBSB- Clinical, Pathological, Genetic and Biomarker Studies of Frontotemporal Dementia C 275000 $1,250,000 2013-2018 IRA Mackenzie; H Feldman R. Hsiung, C Jacova, V Sossi,M Beg, J Stoessl
CIHR Diagnostic Biomarkers for pre-dementia Alzheimer Disease C 250000 per year $1,000,000 2013-2017 Gautier S; JIA  Jianping R. Hsiung, D. Sadovnick, D. Doudet, P. Rosa-Neto
CIHR Clinical Genetics Investigatorship: Translational Genetic Research in Dementia C 140000 per year $280,000 2012-2015 R. Hsiung  
NSERC/ CIHR Novel Diagnostic Methods for Imaging Amyloid Beta in the Eye in Association with Alzheimer’s Disease C $490,052 2012-2015 Melanie Campbell R. Hsiung, Thomas Ruth, Paul Schaffer, Zoya Leonenko
CIHR / Alzheimer Society of Canada A randomized control trial on out- patient group music therapy on moderate Alzheimer Disease C $199,152 2010 – 2013 R. Hsiung C. Jacova, K. Kirkland, A. Phinney, B. L. Beattie
NIH / NIA / CIHR ADNI-GO & ADNI- 2 – Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative C $210,000 2009 – 2015 R. Hsiung P. Lee, B.L.Beattie
  • Emma Dowds (MSc candidate)
  • Dr. Anupama Roychowdhury (Dementia Fellow)
  • Dr. Michael Marnane (Behavioural Neurology/Dementia Fellow)
  • Carmen Householder-Pedari (MSc candidate)
  • Lillian Yang (MSc candidate); Co-supervisor
  • Talitha Greenwood (MSc candidate)
  • Elizabeth Dao (PhD candidate)