Bluma Tischler Postdoctoral Fellowship

This Competition is Currently Closed

The Bluma Tischler Postdoctoral Fellowship Award is for MD or PhD graduates in Medicine, Biochemistry, Genetics, or associated disciplines carrying out research on the biochemical or genetic aspects of intellectual developmental disorders or other neurological disorders.


$20,400 for one year. Holders of the award may apply for a second year.


Applicants must hold a postdoctoral appointment at the University of British Columbia for the full duration of the fellowship (see criteria here). No citizenship restrictions apply.  The amount of funding currently held by the candidate may be taken into consideration.

Application Procedures

A completed application consists of:

1. Application for the Fellowship
a.) Complete, sign and scan the Application Form in either PDF or Word formats.
b.) Submit the Application Form via the online portal (currently closed).

2. Post-secondary transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
Copies of transcripts are accepted but must be initialed by the candidate’s supervisor of postdoctoral research (and then emailed to: Initialing of official transcripts is not required, and can be sent to:

Dr. Wendy Robinson
c/o Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Coordinator
317-2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3

3. Letters of support from three sponsors
One letter should be from the proposed supervisor of the candidate, and the others from individuals familiar with the candidate’s academic and research abilities.  Sponsors are asked to comment on the applicant’s research potential and achievements, interpersonal skills, academic abilities, and greatest strengths and weaknesses. Letters should be sent directly from the sponsor, addressed to Dr. Wendy Robinson, Assistant Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, and emailed to:

Complete applications must be received by: Likely March, 2019.

Previous Recipients

Dr. Jerome Robert is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine working under the supervision of Dr. Cheryl Wellington. Dr. Robert studies the role of the brain vessels in the pathology and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, the leading cause of dementia with over 44 million affected persons and an economic burden of over $600 billion worldwide. In addition to the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangle and beta-amyloid (Ab) plaques, the pathological hallmark of AD, the role of brain vessels in the development of the disease is increasingly recognized with deposition of Ab deposition in the vessel wall and vascular degeneration. In the Wellington lab, Dr. Robert developed a unique model of human brain vessels in the test tube, which reproduced AD pathology. His proposal will now use this model to test the hypothesis that high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the “good” cholesterol) may help to reduce Ab-mediated damage to cerebral vessels and thereby serve as a resilience factor for dementia. His proposed studies will fill critical gaps in understanding how human brain vessels serve as a key interface between brain and body, and set the stage toward personalized medicine approaches to assess dementia risk and develop preventative and therapeutic strategies.


Tobiansky, Daniel--Bluma Tischler 2016Dr. Daniel Tobiansky is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kiran K. Soma and Dr. Stan B. Floresco. His proposal will test the novel hypothesis that testosterone is synthesized in the brain (neuro-testosterone) and influences motivation via the dopamine system. Anergia (i.e., a general lack of motivation) is one of the most intractable symptoms of depression. Depression and related disorders, in turn, account for nearly 80 percent of all psychiatric disorders in Canada. In clinical studies, testosterone treatment ameliorates symptoms of depression, but systemic testosterone treatment can increase the risk of prostate cancer and other adverse events. Examining the biochemical pathways and dietary manipulations that specifically increase neuro-testosterone synthesis may provide innovative treatment options for depression without exposing the prostate and other peripheral tissues to testosterone. In addition, these studies have clinical relevance for men being treated for prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer are typically treated with abiraterone and other drugs that reduce androgen synthesis or action. Importantly, abiraterone crosses the blood-brain barrier, but it is unclear whether abiraterone has side effects on the brain or cognition. The proposed studies will shed light on these issues and provide novel insights into the roles of testosterone in mental health.