Sandra Black

Medicine (DEPMD)


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room A421, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4N 3M5
Research Interests
Rehabilitation Health Services Studies, Speech-Language Pathology, Social and Cognitive Rehabilitation Sciences, Stroke Recovery, Exercise, Brain Imaging Biomarkers and Determinants of Recovery, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Cerebral Small Vessel Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Spectrum Disorder and Frontotemporal Dementia (Behavioural Variant, Primary Progressive Aphasia), Apraxia and Aphasia, Clinical Trials in Dementia and its Prevention, Neuroimaging Biomarkers and Brain-Behaviour Relationships

Sandra Black, MD, FRCP(C) is an internationally renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist, Professor of Medicine (Neurology), Sunnybrook HSC and Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. A leading clinical trialist in dementia, she is the Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a collaborative network of five institutional UofT memory programs. She is Sunnybrook Site Director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program Director at Sunnybrook RI. She has published over 550 papers (Google H 108; >68,000citations) in a 30-year research career that has bridged dementia and stroke, using neuroimaging to study brain-behavior relationships, with a recent focus on relationships of Alzheimer’s and small vessel disease. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012), earned UofT Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), and the Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo (2018). She was named to the Order of Ontario in 2011, cited as an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System, and appointed Officer to the Order of Canada in 2015 for her contributions to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

Research Synopsis

A clinician scientist/cognitive neurologist uniquely recognized internationally as a research leader/clinical trialist in both stroke and dementia, I pioneered a paradigm shift toward recognition that interactions of Small Vessel Disease and protein misfolding disorders are important mechanisms driving brain aging, neurodegeneration, stroke and its recovery. With dual credibility, I put SVD, cognition and behavior on the agenda of stroke care, and vascular contributions on the agenda of dementia care.

Recent Publications

  1. Alber J, Alladi S, Bae HJ,  Barton D, Beckett L, Bell J, Berman SE, Biessels GJ, Black SE, et al. White Matter Hyperintensities in Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID). Knowledge Gaps and Opportunities. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions (in press Feb 2019)
  2. Auriat AM, Ferris JK, Peters S, Ramirez J, Black SE. Jacova C, Boyd LA. The Impact of Covert Lacunar Infarcts and White Matter Hyperintensities on Cognitive and Motor Outcomes After Stroke. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. (Epub ahead of print Feb 2019). PMID: 30409743 FDN 159910
  3. Zukotynski K, Kuo PH, Mikulis D, Rosa-Neto P. Strafella A. Subramaniam RM, Black SE. PET/CT Imaging of Dementia. American J of Roentgenology. (Epub ahead of print Aug 2018). PMID: 29949415
  4. Saeed U, Mirza SS, MacIntosh BJ, Herrmann N, Keith J, Ramirez J, Nestor SM, Yu Qinggang, Knight Jo, Potkin SG, Rogaeva E, St. Hyslop PS, Black SE, Masellis M. APOE-ε4 associates with hippocampal volume, learning, and memory across the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. (Epub ahead of print May 2018) PMID: 29782824 MOP 13129 FDN 159910
  5. Fujioka T, Dawson DR, Wright R, Honjo K, Chen JL, Chen JJ, Black SE, Stuss DT, Ross B. The effects of music-supported therapy on motor, cognitive, and psychosocial functions in chronic stroke. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences. (Epub ahead of print May 2018). PMID: 29797585

Honours and Awards

  • D.Sc. (Hon), Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo (2018)
  • Leaders Circle Recognition Award, Leaders Circle, Metro Convention Toronto Centre (2016)
  • Dean’s Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine (2015)