Sultan DarveshMD, PhD, FRCPC


Phone: 902-473-2490
Fax: 902-473-7133
Mailing Address: 
Suite 1308 Veterans’ Memorial Building
5955 Veterans’ Memorial Lane
Halifax, NS B3H 2E1
Research Topics:
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic agents for dementia
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurochemistry
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Behavioural neurology
  • Brain banking


  • PhD, University of New Brunswick (organic chemistry)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, University of New Brunswick (molecular biology)
  • MD, Dalhousie University
  • FRCPC, Dalhousie University (neurology)
  • Fellowship, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, University of Toronto (Behavioural/Cognitive neurology)

Research interests

Dr. Darvesh is a behavioural neurologist and trained organic chemist with interest in medicinal chemistry. His research has been instrumental in determining the importance and expression of butyrylcholinesterase in the human brain. His research focus is the development of therapeutic and diagnostic agents for Alzheimer’s disease, with butyrylcholinesterase as the target.

Selected publications

  • Macdonald IR, Maxwell SP, Reid GA, Cash MK, DeBay DR, Darvesh S. 2017. Quantification of butyrylcholinesterase activity as a sensitive and specific biomarker of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Alzheimer`s Disease. 58(2):491-505. PMID: 28453492
  • DeBay DR, Reid GA, Pottie I, Martin E, Bowen CV, Darvesh S. 2017. Targeting butyrylcholinesterase for preclinical single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 3(2): 166-176. DOI:
  • Darvesh S. 2016. Butyrylcholinesterase as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer Research. 13(10): 1173-1177. PMID: 27040140
  • Macdonald IR, Reid GA, Pottie IR, Martin E, Darvesh S. 2016. Synthesis and preliminary evaluation of phenyl 4-123I-iodophenylcarbamate for visualization of cholinesterases associated with alzheimer's disease pathology. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 57: 297-302. PMID: 26541777
  • Darvesh S, Hopkins DA, Geula C. 2003. Neurobiology of butyrylcholinesterase. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 4(2): 131-138. PMID: 12563284

Selected awards and honours

  • Research Lifetime Achievement Award, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University (2016)
  • DMRF Gunn Family Research Prize, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (2016)
  • Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation Irene MacDonald Sobey Endowed Chair in Curative Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University (2014)
  • Award for 20 Years of Service and Dedication, Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (2014)
  • Excellence in Research Award, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University (2005)



  • Professor, Department of Medicine (Neurology and Geriatric Medicine), Department of Medical Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
  • Assistant Dean, Research - Clinical Departments, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Faculty of Arts and Science, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of New Brunswick


  • Staff Neurologist, Department of Medicine (Neurology and Geriatric Medicine), QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS
  • Consultant Neurologist, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS

Research collaborations and partnerships

  • Team Member, National Brain Banking Network and Synapses and Metabolomics, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA)
  • Key Partner and Affiliated Scientist, Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre (BIOTIC)
  • Collaboration with Dr. B. Finsen, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark
  • Collaboration with Dr. C. Geula, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
  • Collaboration with Dr. N. Greig, Drug Design and Development Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health

Entrepreneurial activities

  • Scientific co-founder, Treventis Corporation


  • Lectures in neurology, clinical clerks and residents
  • Tutor, patient contact sessions in clinical neurology with second-year medical students,
  • Tutor, case-oriented problem solving sessions with third-year medical students
  • Functional neuroanatomy, PhD (Psychology) elective

Professional & community activities

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2015–present)
  • Executive Committee, Brain Repair Centre, Dalhousie University (2012–present)
  • Associate Editor, Current Alzheimer Research (2009–present)
  • Advisory Council to the Board of Directors, Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (1999–present)
  • Director, Maritime Brain Tissue Bank (1994–present)