2014 INDUCTEE Max Cynader, PhD Brain & Mind


February 24, 1947

(Berlin, Germany)


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1972)

Awards & Honours:

2008: Member of the Order of Canada

2007: Order of British Columbia

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Picture of Max Cynader

Shaped our understanding of brain plasticity

Portrait of Max Cynader

A leading neuroscientist who transformed views on the nature of the brain

Dr. Cynader is a passionate spokesperson for brain health, often using his unique ability to explain complex concepts in lay terms to capture the interest of local, national and international audiences. Through his research, scientists now understand the extreme importance of the plasticity of the developing brain on processes as diverse as developing stereoscopic binocular vision, learning to speak a new language, learning to read, and developing the capacity for making moral judgments.

Key Facts

His research underpins much of the recent emphasis in public policy and the media on the importance of the first few years of life

Authored more than 200 scientific articles and presented more than 350 papers at national and international scientific meets

Is the Principal Investigator in Canada’s Network of Excellence in Stroke

Holder of several patents

Contributed to technology development including gene therapy products to treat brain diseases and a new “listening chip” found in devices from intelligent hearing aids to advanced dictation systems

Was a semi-finalist in the Canadian Astronaut Programme

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Dr. Cynader’s vision of bench to bedside medicine and his capacity to make that vision a reality ensures that the impact of his research will be felt by patients all across Canada. In addition, Dr. Cynader continues to serve the public through his effective communication of the importance of brain research as well as his ability to bring together multidisciplinary experts to address the major questions of brain health.

Picture of Max Cynader


  • Max Cynader inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Kingston, Ontario

  • Oversaw the expansion of the Brain Research Centre

    Now the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, the centre is housed in a 147,500 square foot facility.

  • In recognition of his leadership in neuroscience, Dr. Cynader became a Canada Research Chair in Brain Development until 2016

  • NeuroVir was sold to a German biotechnology company that took NeuroVir’s technology into clinical trials

    Brain & Mind

    Dr. Cynader was one of the scientific founders of NeuroVir, a Vancouver-based biotechnology company developed to create gene therapy products for the treatment of brain diseases. He also co-founded the Wavemakers Research Company.

  • After a decade at UBC, Dr. Cynader was appointed Founding Director of the Brain Research Centre

    Brain & Mind

    Under his leadership, the centre has become a leading neuroscience entity that boasts over 250 researchers.

  • Joined the University of British Columbia as Professor and Director of the Ophthalmology Research Group

  • While at Dalhousie University, awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council as one of Canada’s outstanding young scientists


The pace of discovery is continuing to accelerate.