By Bio-IT World Staff
September 18, 2013
| The National Institutes of Health distributed $45 million in new funding today to support innovative new studies of Alzheimer’s disease. Grants were awarded for clinical trials organized by Washington University, St. Louis; Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Phoenix; University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Broad Institute, Harvard University, and Rush University; the University of Florida; and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. (List and details are available here
The studies all reflect research goals in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease External Web Site Policy. Of the funding, $40 million is from an allocation from the Office of the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, with additional funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the lead Institute within NIH for Alzheimer’s research.
“As many as 5 million Americans face the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease, which robs them of their memories, their independence, and ultimately, their lives,” Collins said in a press release. “We are determined, even in a time of constrained fiscal resources, to capitalize on exciting scientific opportunities to advance understanding of Alzheimer’s biology and find effective therapies as quickly as possible.”
At Mount Sinai, the NIH grant will enable the research team and partner institutions to build upon the discovery published earlier this year in the journal Cell of a network of genes as a key mechanism driving Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (LOAD) through involvement in the inflammatory response in the brain.
Eric Schadt, The Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, will be a principal investigator in the study. “With this grant, we can continue to build and refine our predictive model of Alzheimer’s disease to yield valuable insights into the complex mechanism of the disease and potential therapies. In the same way that sophisticated predictive mathematical models drive decision making in the global financial markets, our field of medical research has begun to rely on network models to derive meaning from vast amounts of patient data, enabling better understanding and treatment of human disease,” Schadt said in a statement.