A native of Montreal, Yves Joanette is the Scientific Director of the Institute of Aging, a member-institute of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He is also Executive Director of the CIHR Dementia Research Strategy, a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a full professor at the University of Montreal.
Professor Joanette is an eminent cognitive neuroscientist who studies communication in the elderly, a cohort who numbers are rapidly increasing and which we are all likely to join. His research has had a major impact on dementia, most notably on the study of cognitive deficits in older adults, and aims to improve quality of life for the elderly. He has advanced our knowledge of neurofunctional reorganization, brain lesions and Alzheimer’s disease. His team has developed important clinical tools, including the Protocole Montréal d'Évaluation de la Communication.
Originally a speech therapist and audiologist, Yves Joanette went on to earn a doctorate in neurological sciences from the University of Montreal. He then completed post-doctoral research at Timone University Hospital Centre in Marseille and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris before becoming a junior, and then senior, scholar with the Medical Research Council of Canada (now the CIHR). From 1992 to 1997, he was director of his university department. From 1997 to 2009, he was director of the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM). From 2009 to 2011, he was president and Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, and chaired that agency’s board.
He is a pioneer in geriatric research, and his international reputation for excellence has garnered him several prestigious distinctions, including the André Dupont Prize in 1990 and the Eve Kassirer Prize in 1995. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Université Lumière de Lyon, in France. In 2016, Yves Joanette was elected to chair the World Dementia Council, a position that allows him to continue to spearhead action on the crucial issues involved in ensuring that people maintain an active lifestyle as they age.