Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center
The Friends of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center are dedicated to promoting awareness of the illness and raising funds for research projects at UT Southwestern. Annual contributions of $500 provide for membership in the Friends, but larger gifts to provide financial support for Alzheimer’s research are appreciated. Members receive the Alzheimer's Disease Center Newsletter and are invited to attend educational programs featuring local and national medical experts.
One hundred percent of membership contributions directly support Alzheimer's research at UT Southwestern in the form of a grant to a promising early career faculty member studying Alzheimer's or related diseases. Since its founding in 1996, the group has raised approximately $1 million for grants to researchers.
This year, a $65,000 grant was awarded to Todd Eagar, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology. Dr. Eagar studies the mechanisms of an experimental DNA vaccine against beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
Recent past recipients have included:
- Janine Prange-Kiel, Ph.D. (2009), assistant professor, Department of Cell Biology. Dr. Prange-Kiel was funded for her project, “Hippocampal Aromatase Expression in Alzheimer’s Disease.”
- Yuji Nagada, M.D., Ph.D. (2008), assistant professor, Department of Pathology, was funded to study “Prevention of AD by the Aging-Suppressor Gene Klotho.” Aging is the major risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and Dr. Nagada’s research examines characteristics of the Klotho gene that slow the aging process.
The Center continues to grow and develop clinical and research programs. Faculty members at UT Southwestern have been awarded more than $700,000 in peer-reviewed grants for pilot studies from the ADC and the Friends of the ADC. This investment has been enriched by 21-fold as pilot studies have led to federal or Alzheimer’s Association grants totaling $15 milion.
Progress in basic science funding for Alzheimer's disease has been a major objective for our ADC and ranks us as one of the important center's contributing to AD research. We have more than 30 individuals on our faculty conducting Alzheimer's Disease Clinical and Research Programs, and our center is recognized nationally as one of the most productive. We published in excess of 160 peer-reviewed scientific papers, chapters, and editorials in the past two years.