Neurologist and Associate Professor, Division of Neurology, University of Alberta
Prion scientist, Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, University of Alberta
Dr. Valerie Sim is a prion scientist at the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases and a clinical neurologist specializing in rapidly progressive and atypical dementias at the University of Alberta Hospital and Kaye Edmonton Clinic.
After her obtaining her BSc(Hon) and MD at the University of Calgary, followed by neurology residency at University of Ottawa, Dr. Sim completed a post-doctoral fellowship in prion disease research at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH, Montana, under the supervision of Dr. Byron Caughey. She joined the University of Alberta, Division of Neurology in 2009 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in July, 2016.
In her research lab, Dr. Sim is interested in understanding how a prion’s size and shape can influence patterns of disease and risks of transmission. She isolates prion particles from infected brain samples using asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation, and tests how the disease targets different parts of the brain using a “prion-disease-in-a-dish” brain slice culture model. From light scattering analysis and protein biochemistry to animal treatment experiments, her research publications have received international media attention.
She is also passionate about promoting science communication and has published a TEDx talk on prion disease. Please see her website for more details: Sim Lab