- By Kevin Punsky
Mayo Clinic Researchers Receive $1.2 Million from new Florida Program to Study Alzheimer’s
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Three researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida have received $1.2 million from the newly funded Florida Health Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Research Program to study various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. The program was created earlier this year to improve the health of Floridians by researching prevention and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
The grant award recipients include:
- Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist and neuroscientist who will focus on how the disease affects African Americans. Her study is entitled: “Florida consortium for African-American Alzheimer’s disease studies (FCA3DS).”
- Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., a neuroscientist who will study early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Her study is entitled: “Identification of novel AD genes and disease associated pathways through FPADS: a Florida Presenile Alzheimer's Disease Subjects registry.”
- Guojun Bu, Ph.D., a neuroscientist who will target the effects of gender on the disease. His study is entitled:
“ApoE and gender effects on Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy.”
“We are very excited about these grants, which will provide new opportunities for Alzheimer’s disease patients to participate in research studies at Mayo Clinic in Florida,” Dr. Ertekin-Taner says. “We hope that each of these studies will
lead to advancement in our knowledge of this devastating condition that will in turn benefit our patients in Florida and worldwide.”
Florida has more Alzheimer's patients than any other state except California. The number of Floridians diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is nearly half a million (480,000). By 2025 that number is expected to grow by 50 percent to 720,000.
“The study our team is working on aims to discover genetic factors that increase risk for Alzheimer's disease in African-Americans,” Dr. Ertekin-Taner says. “Though Alzheimer’s is twice as common in African-Americans, they remain an understudied population, which leads to a major knowledge gap and healthcare disparity.”
The state’s Alzheimer’s research program was passed during the 2014 legislative session and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Research grants are awarded through a competitive, peer-reviewed process that identifies and funds the best proposals to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The goal is to expand Alzheimer’s disease research in Florida. Researchers at any university or research institute in the state are eligible to apply.
The program is named after the grandparents of Rep. Matt Hudson, speaker pro-tempore of the Florida House of Representatives and a leading advocate for Alzheimer’s research.
“I’m thrilled to see so many promising Alzheimer’s research projects get funded through the Ed and Ethel Moore fund,” Rep. Hudson says. “Today marks a giant leap forward in finding a cure to this debilitating disease that affects so many Floridians.”
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