Dr. Black has had continual peer-reviewed funding since 1986. Her research has focused on the cognitive sequelae of stroke and stroke recovery, the differential diagnosis of dementia, and the use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behaviour relationships in stroke and dementia.
With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, she is currently conducting prospective studies on the utility of quantitative structural and functional imaging in diagnosis and monitoring of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, vascular and other dementias, and on the interactions of Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease.
Dr. Black also conducts collaborative research on sensorimotor recovery after stroke using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and on praxis, neglect and attentional processes in stroke and dementia. She was the co-principal investigator of a clinical trial on the efficacy of amphetamine with physiotherapy to facilitate motor recovery after stroke. She has over 600 publications and has been actively engaged in treatment trials for stroke, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
Dr. Black currently serves on the executive committees of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research (ISTAART) and the International Society for Vascular Behavioural and Cognitive Disorders (VAS-COG). She was also the co-chair of the Alzheimer's Imaging Consortium (International Congress of AD) from 2009-2011. She is on the steering committee for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Consortium and serves on the data publication committee. She serves on the Ontario Stroke Network (the governing body of the Ontario Stroke System) and was a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Stroke Strategy from 2005-2009. She was head of the division of neurology, department of medicine at Sunnybrook from 1995-2006. She has received outstanding mentorship awards from the Institute of Medical Sciences (2001) and the department of medicine (2009), University of Toronto. Dr. Black was the Inaugural Director, Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (2012-20), she has directed Sunnybrook’s Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program (2006-) and became Scientific Director, Dr. Sandra Black Centre for Brain Resilience and Recovery (2020-), funded for $10M by anonymous donation. Her research career bridges dementia and stroke, using standardized neuroimaging, genetic, clinical and cognitive measures to elucidate brain-behavior relationships, with recent focus on Alzheimer/Small Vessel Disease interactions. Publications: 709 papers (70 invited) (Google HI 120; >67,000 citations). Recognitions include: Dean’s UofT Lifetime Achievement Award, U of Waterloo Honorary Doctorate, Lifetime Achievement Award--AAN’s Society of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology (2020), Appointment as Member, Order of Ontario (2012) and Officer, Order of Canada (2015) citing contributions to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia. She was also recently awarded the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize, Office of Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (2021) which recognizes Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to treatment, amelioration or cure of brain disorders.
BrainLab's multidisciplinary team includes expertise from a broad range of backgrounds including neurology, psychology, radiology, computer science, and many more.