Meet the Dean

Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP(C), FAAN, FCAHS

Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Distinguished University Professor, Western University


To reach the Dean, contact:
Jessica Jamieson
t. 519.661.2111 x89258
f. 519.850.2357

For general inquiries, please call: 519.661.3459

Mailing address:

Office of the Dean
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Clinical Skills Building, Rm. 3701a
Western University
London, ON N6A 5C1 Canada

Dr. Michael J. Strong is Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Distinguished University Professor at Western University. He also holds the Arthur J. Hudson Chair in ALS Research. He undertook his undergraduate training in biochemistry and medicine at Queens University in Kingston (1976 – 1982), neurology training at Western University (1982 – 1987), and postgraduate training at the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies (director - D. Carleton Gadjusek, Nobel Laureate) at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland under the supervision of Ralph M. Garruto, PhD (1987 - 1990). 

Dr. Strong is a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, and served from 2000 to 2010 as the Chief of Neurology and Co-chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the London Health Sciences Centre and Western University. He has also served as Co-chair of the Canadian ALS Research Consortium and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the ALS Society of Canada. Dr. Strong is the lead investigator for the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Institute (ONDRI), which received $28.5M in sponsorship funding from the Ontario Brain Institute.

Dr. Strong is the editor of the text “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the Frontotemporal Dementias” (Oxford University Press, 2010), “Dementia and Motor Neuron Disease” (Taylor & Francis Press) co-editor with Professor Pamela Shaw of the text “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (Blue Book Series).  He has published over 165 peer-reviewed articles and 29 chapters, edited 4 textbooks and given over 150 invited lectures nationally and internationally related to his research in ALS.

Dr. Strong was awarded the Sheila Essay Award in 2005 and the Forbes Norris Award in 2008, and is the only Canadian to have received both international awards for ALS research. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology in 2008. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

His research has focused on understanding the cellular biology of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and has led to an understanding of the mechanisms by which intracellular deposits of protein (composed primarily of neurofilament) are formed, and how these aggregates contribute to the disease process of ALS.  This has led to Dr Strong’s laboratory defining novel mRNA binding proteins that contribute to alterations in the stability of neurofilament mRNA in ALS. 

This includes TDP-43, 14-3-3 proteins, mutant SOD1 proteins – each of which has been found to be linked to the pathogenesis of protein aggregates in ALS.  Most recently, his laboratory has identified RGNEF as a novel human NFL mRNA binding protein. In addition, both his clinical and laboratory research have focused on understanding the nature of cognitive changes in ALS. This has led to a series of studies, ultimately demonstrating that cognitive changes in ALS are associated with alterations in the tau protein metabolism. This discovery represents a fundamental shift in our understanding of the biology of ALS.

For more information about Dr. Michael Strong, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University please visit his profile page.