The Tanz CRND has made a number of important contributions to research in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly on Alzheimer's disease. The association of late-onset Alzheimer's disease with the Epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E was co-discovered there in conjunction with Duke University in a team led by Allen Roses. Two of the genes associated with most aggressive forms of Alzheimer's disease, namely presenilin 1 and presenilin 2 were discovered there. In addition, a robust model organism for the amyloid pathology of Alzheimer's disease was created there. The Tanz CRND have also contributed to knowledge about candidate therapies for Alzheimer's disease that are currently under investigation, including amyloid vaccines and scyllo-inositol.
The Tanz CRND was established in 1990 via philanthropic support from the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, a group of private individuals led by Drs. Mark Tanz and Lionel Schipper. The Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegeneration is currently located at the Tanz Neuroscience Building on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. The founding director of the institute was Professor Donald Crapper McLachlan, and is currently directed by Professor Peter St George-Hyslop.