This month meet Dr. Jack Jhamandas -
Distinguished University Professor, Division of Neurology,
Department of Medicine, University of Alberta Hospital
1. Where were you born/where are you from?
I was born in Mombasa, Kenya and spent my childhood there before going to the United Kingdom to complete my high school and eventually coming to Canada in 1970. I have done all my university, medical and subspecialty (Neurology) and research training in Canada.
2. When and how did you decide to become a doctor?
I never planned to become a medical doctor. Growing up, I wanted to be a nuclear physicist, but at university got interested in application of physics to biology (Biophysics) that eventually led to studying Medicine and Neurology. Serendipity and the influence of key mentors has played a large role in shaping my academic career.
Dr. Jhamandas in the lab.
3. What led you to specialize in Neurology?
I was introduced to Neuroscience or the study of the brain in my early graduate studies and Neurology was thus a logical choice for a medical field that I chose to specialize in. I came back to do additional research training in Neuroscience, my first love, so that I could combine a career as a physician and a scientist. I consider the study of brain and neurological diseases one of the greatest mysteries and enduring challenges of our times.
4. What do you do for fun?
Life is pretty full when you have a career as a clinician-scientist but I read and spend as much time as I can with my family and friends
5. What is your favourite local hangout?
I don’t have a “hangout” anymore but used to visit my close friend from undergraduate days and owner of Zenari’s at his restaurant downtown.
Dr. Jhamandas speaking at the University Hospital Foundation's 2019 Presidents Brunch event.
6. What has support from the University Hospital Foundation meant for your Alzheimer’s research? What will continued support from UHF mean for these programs like these in the future?
The greatest challenges in solving the puzzle of Alzheimer’s disease require a type of research we often call “high risk high reward”. This type of research is not typically funded by granting agencies and the work of the University Hospital Foundation is critical if we are going to find a cure for a devastating condition such as Alzheimer’s and others like it. Our program and the team of researchers, which includes the next generation of health professionals and scientists, is totally committed to developing a cure for Alzheimer’s and the University Hospital Foundation is our greatest ally in this endeavor.
7. What would you like to say to all the supporters of UHF who are committed to advancing healthcare in Alberta?
Sincere appreciation and a great debt of gratitude for the donations that you as supporters of the UHF have and continue to provide us so that we may tackle and solve the greatest of health problems that face humankind. The supporters of the UHF place Alberta at the forefront of the delivery of exemplary clinical care for our patients, which is fueled by world class research.