Associate Professor

Lorraine Kalia

Department of Medicine


Toronto Western Hospital: University Health Network (UHN)
399 Bathurst St. , McL 7th Flr, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5T 2S8
Research Interests
Brain & Neuroscience, Molecular & Cell Biology
Appointment Status

Lorraine Kalia, MD, PhD, FRCPC is a scientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute and Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. She is also a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders at the Toronto Western Hospital. She is an assistant professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.


Research Synopsis


My research aims to understand the key molecular pathways responsible for neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and to develop novel therapies by targetting these pathways.

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder for which we have no cure. It is associated with prominent death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, and the mainstays of treatment are dopaminergic therapies. However these therapies only alleviate symptoms and are associated with substantial adverse effects. There are no available treatments that slow or stop the progressive neurodegeneration. Our research program is based on the hypothesis that understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease will lead to the development of these much needed disease-modifying therapies.

We currently focus on two major goals:

  1. To elucidate the critical molecular mechanisms responsible for neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease, and
  2. To identify therapeutic agents that can modulate or target these molecular mediators of neurodegeneration.

To achieve these goals, we use a comprehensive approach involving molecular biology techniques, in vitro biochemical assays, cellular models, and in vivo experiments using invertebrate and vertebrate systems.


Recent Publications


Kalia LV & Lang AE. Parkinson’s disease. Lancet 2015;386(9996):896-912.

Kalia LV, Lang AE, Hazrati LN, Fujioka S, Wszolek ZK, Dickson DW, Ross OA, Van Deerlin V-M, Trojanowski JQ, Hurtig HI, Alcalay RN, Marder KS, Clark LN, Gaig C, Tolosa E, Ruiz-Martinez J, Marti Masso JF, Ferrer I, Lopez de Munain A, Goldman SM, Schüle B, Langston JW, Aasly JO, Giordana MT, Bonifati V, Puschmann A, Canesi M, Pezzoli G, Maues de Paula A, Hasegawa K, Duyckaerts C, Brice A, Stoessl AJ, Marras C. Clinical correlations with Lewy body pathology in LRRK2-related Parkinson’s disease, JAMA Neurol 2015 Jan;72(1):100-5.

Kalia LV, Kalia SK, Lang AE. Disease-modifying strategies for Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord 2015;30(11):1442-50.

Beilina A, Rudenko IN, Kaganovich A, Civiero L, Chau H, Kalia SK, Kalia LV, Lobbestael E, Chia R, Ndukwe K, Ding J, Nalls MA; International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium; North American Brain Expression Consortium, Olszewski M, Hauser DN, Kumaran R, Lozano AM, Baekelandt V, Greene LE, Taymans JM, Greggio E, Cookson MR. Unbiased screen for interactors of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 supports a common pathway for sporadic and familial Parkinson disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014;111(7):2626-31.

Dimant H, Kalia SK, Kalia LV, Zhu LN, Kibuuka L, Ebrahimi-Fakhari D, McFarland NR, Fan Z, Hyman BT, McLean PJ. Direct detection of alpha-synuclein oligomers in vivo. Acta Neuropathol Commun 2013;1(1):6.

AlDakheel A, Kalia LV, Lang AE. Pathogenesis-targeted, disease-modifying therapies in Parkinson disease. Neurotherapeutics 2014;11(1):6-23.

Kalia LV, Kalia SK, McLean PJ, Lozano AM, Lang AE. Alpha-synuclein oligomers and clinical implications for Parkinson disease. Ann Neurol 2013;73(2):155-69.

Kalia LV, Brotchie JM, Fox SH. Novel nondopaminergic targets for motor features of Parkinson's disease: review of recent trials. Mov Disord 2013;28(2):131-44.

Kalia LV, Mozessohn L, Aviv RI, da Costa L, Lang AE, Shadowitz S, Masellis M. Hemichorea-hemiballism associated with hyperglycemia and a developmental venous anomaly. Neurology 2012;78(11):838-9.

Pitcher GM, Kalia LV, Ng D, Goodfellow NM, Yee KT, Lambe EK, Salter MW. Schizophrenia susceptibility pathway neuregulin 1-ErbB4 suppresses Src upregulation of NMDA receptors. Nat Med 2011;17(4):470-8.

Kalia LV, Kalia SK, Chau H, Lozano AM, Hyman BT, McLean PJ. Ubiquitinylation of alpha-synuclein by carboxyl terminus Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP) is regulated by Bcl-2-associated athanogene 5 (BAG5). PLoS One 2011;6(2):e14695.

Kalia SK, Kalia LV, McLean PJ. Molecular chaperones as rational drug targets for Parkinson's disease therapeutics. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2010;9(6):741-53.

Kalia LV, Kalia SK, Salter MW. NMDA receptors in clinical neurology: excitatory times ahead. Lancet Neurol 2008;7(8):742-55.

Kalia LV, Pitcher GM, Pelkey KA, Salter MW. PSD-95 is a negative regulator of the tyrosine kinase Src in the NMDA receptor complex. EMBO J 2006;25(20):4971-82.

Salter MW, Kalia LV. Src kinases: a hub for NMDA receptor regulation. Nat Rev Neurosci 2004;5(4):317-28.