Boston - A University of Virginia professor has been awarded a $100,000 grant by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to continue his groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly, which currently affects 5.2 million Americans and their families.
George S. Bloom, Ph.D., will use the grant to continue his studies on a strain of antibodies thought to be able to recognize the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s.
“Dr. Bloom’s research is making great strides in the quest to better understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “We believe his lab’s groundbreaking work could lead to further treatment options, giving hope to the millions of people and their families living with Alzheimer’s.”
Dr. Bloom is a professor of biology in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Cell Biology of the School of Medicine.
The grant will allow him and his lab to continue their investigation of the building blocks of beta-amyloid and tau, the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These building blocks, called oligomers, range in degrees of toxicity, and Dr. Bloom’s research has identified a highly malignant and self-replicating strain.
Dr. Charles G. Glabe from the University of California at Irvine recently developed a new collection of antibodies that are able to identify multiple proteins associated with Alzheimer’s. The antibodies identified unseen lesions in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bloom will conduct research to determine if any of the Glabe antibodies recognize the beta-amyloid or tau oligomers that the Bloom team identified and whether the antibodies can prevent their formation.
“We are thankful for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grant that will help us continue this important research,” said Dr. Bloom. “Their support and vision of the critical role research plays in better understanding Alzheimer’s will move us closer to new diagnostic and therapeutic tools and eventually to a cure for this disease.”
"This grant gives an important boost to Professor Bloom's research," said Meredith Jung-En Woo, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, "and will lead to deeper understanding of Alzheimer's disease throughout the medical community."
Over the past ten years the federal government’s investment in Alzheimer’s research and education has decreased. Since its inception in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has raised more than $17 million and invested all of it directly into research. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has no endowment and no financial or intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible.
“The groundbreaking work of Dr. Bloom and his team’s collaboration with Dr. Glabe’s at UC-Irvine is a very encouraging step forward in Alzheimer’s research,” said Armour. “Research is critical to finding a cure and better treatments, and Cure Alzheimer’s Fund looks forward to more achievement and success from the University of Virginia and Dr. Bloom’s team.”
Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, Vice President and Dean of the U.Va. School of Medicine and a renowned Alzheimer's authority, said, “With our aging population the cost of Alzheimer’s care – both in financial and emotional terms – is fast becoming a major burden for families and society. Support for research and care is vital if we are to meet these challenges. We are grateful to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund for their recognition of Dr. Bloom’s work.”
About Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a 501c3 public charity whose mission is to fund research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer’s disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is characterized by a venture approach to philanthropy, which targets funding to specific research objectives. All expenses and overhead is paid for by its founders and all contributions go directly to research. The foundation has no financial of intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a national organization with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh. For more information, visit www.curealzfund.org.
About The University of Virginia
Founded in Charlottesville by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is a top-25 public university that serves as a national model for excellence through innovation and collaboration in its missions of teaching, research, public service and health care.
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