About the Lab




  • "Mad Cow Girl; Twisted Prion" performed by The Crested Hens

Sim Lab

Welcome to the Sim Lab.


Tax deductible donations can be made to support my research. At the moment this must be done through cheque payable to:

University of Alberta

Please ensure that SIM 27659 is written in the memo field.

Cheques should be mailed to:

Dr. Valerie Sim
Centre for Prions, 204 BARB, University of Alberta
8710 - 112 St, Edmonton, AB T6G 2M8

Who are we?

I am a clinician scientist (neurologist) with an interest in rapidly progressive dementias caused by proteins that misfold. I lead a research team looking into the pathogenesis of these diseases at the level of protein structure and the brain.

Where are we?

Our lab is located in the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases (CPPFD) in the Brain and Aging Research Building (BARB) at the University of Alberta.

Why are we here?

We primarily study prion diseases, which include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk, moose and reindeer, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, and scrapie in sheep. These diseases result when a normal protein, the prion protein (PrP), misfolds into a higher beta sheet state and aggregates in the brain. A rapid neurodegeneration follows, which, in people, usually includes dementia, ataxia, visual hallucinations and myoclonus, ending with akinetic mutism. The diseases are always fatal and there are no treatments.

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Last updated: 2019-05-31