UC Launches New $4M Alzheimer's Disease Initiative.

January 14, 2016

Tapping its extraordinary depth and breadth of expertise, the University of California (UC) has launched a new Alzheimer's Disease Initiative to support novel clinical studies. This initiative, UC Cures for Alzheimer's Disease, was created to accelerate the most promising Alzheimer's disease research. Projects could be proof-of-concept clinical trials or studies to validate a novel biomarker or imaging modality.

"Alzheimer's disease is a growing and unprecedented public health threat," said UC president Janet Napolitano. "Many of the world's best scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding and ultimately conquering Alzheimer's work at UC. This initiative is intended to more speedily translate some of their best ideas into new treatments and, hopefully, an eventual cure."

Sponsored by the UC Office of the President with a foundational grant of $4 million, the UC Cures initiative invites hundreds of laboratories throughout the 10-campus system to find new answers to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

"No public research university devotes more resources to the study and treatment of Alzheimer's disease than University of California," said John. D. Stobo, MD, executive vice president of UC Health. "In just the past five years, more than 130 UC investigators have conducted 350 research projects in the field, receiving roughly $339 million in funding support for both basic research and clinical trials."

The new initiative leverages the strength and experience of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) at UC San Diego and of UC Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (UC BRAID), a consortium of the five UC health campuses in which they share data and resources to improve health through ambitious research and clinical initiatives. As a BRAID partner, UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) manages the initiative.

"We are pleased that this initiative is being organized through UC BRAID, which has already coordinated numerous programs through our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites," said Gary S. Firestein, MD, Director of the CTRI, Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego, and Chair of BRAID for two years. The CTRI is a CTSA site.

The initiative will fund two projects selected by an independent review committee comprised of experts both within and outside UC, providing $1 million annually for two years from the Office of the President. Matching funds from the campus of origin can also be used. Each proposal will include collaboration across at least two UC campuses. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with external public or private entities, such as foundations or industry.

"We are delighted to provide oversight for the submission and selection of projects for this exciting new initiative," said Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, director of the CTRI Pilot Project program and scientific contact for the initiative.

More information:
UCLA CTSI Announces UC Alzheimer's Initiative RFA

Read the full news release about the Alzheimer's Initiative and the new ADCS director.
To find out more about the Alzheimer's Initiative RFA.

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