Friends of Alzheimer's Center grant to support
novel amyloid research

Dr. Kimmo Hatanpaa, assistant professor of pathology at UT Southwestern, was awarded a $60,000 research grant from the Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center.

"This is really important for my research," Dr. Hatanpaa said. "I have some very preliminary results and I want to take my research forward, and this award came at just the right time for me."

Dr. Hatanpaa studies the metabolism of amyloid proteins, which can accumulate into amyloid plaques in the brain - a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

"He examines the specific proteins that are responsible for the cutting of a long amyloid protein to the short amyloid protein," said Dr. Roger Rosenberg, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center.

"He hopes to identify possible sites where drugs might be used to slow down this process. This could lead to an effective therapy.

"It's very innovative, very good science."

Dr. Rosenberg chairs the scientific committee that makes recommendations to the Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center about potential grant awardees. He holds the Abe (Brunky), Morris and William Zale Distinguished Chair in Neurology.

"Finding the answer to Alzheimer's and finding the means of preventing and curing it is among our very top priorities here at UT Southwestern," said Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern, as he presented the research award to Dr. Hatanpaa during the Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center's spring public forum.

The Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center, established in 1996 to provide financial support for Alzheimer's research at UT Southwestern, has donated $350,000 in seed grants to young researchers in the last seven years.

"Each one of the investigators who received these grants has said the support was pivotal to the collection of preliminary data necessary for the successful submission of a major grant to the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer's Association or other funding agencies," he said.

The Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center currently has 71 members - most of whom have a friend or family member whose life has been touched by Alzheimer's disease.

One hundred percent of the group's membership contributions go directly to support Alzheimer's research at UT Southwestern.


Rachel Horton