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Grant program to spur new research on Alzheimer's disease by encouraging collaboration

New York, NY June 18, 2012 - The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) announced today a new grant program that will support collaboration among young scientists from different scientific disciplines, to help tackle some of the most vexing questions about Alzheimer's disease. Known as The Collaborative Research Awards Program in Alzheimer's Disease, the new initiative is supported by The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation, in partnership with AFAR, which manages the program.

"These investigators are already playing a key role in the development of new knowledge about Alzheimer's disease," said Stephanie Lederman, EdM, Executive Director, AFAR. "It is our hope that, by fostering collaboration across disciplines, we will spur creative approaches that will advance the care of those with the disease."

Grants will be given to alumni grantees of the New Investigators in Alzheimer's Disease program, who will collaborate on interdisciplinary basic and translational research projects. To date, the Program has funded 26 New Investigators in the United States and Israel. The primary goals of this program are to support important research in areas in which more scientific investigation is needed to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and to stimulate career development of junior researchers.

Martin H. Blank, Jr., COO and Co-director of The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation says "The current program has a track record of fostering extraordinary research careers in aging and Alzheimer's disease. The collaborative program will allow these talented researchers to expand into projects that extend beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to create multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and integrative research to ultimately help those with this devastating disease."

John Fishel, consultant to the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation, adds "This initiative will create an environment that can help spur discovery. We will be supporting the best and brightest, and enabling them to combine their skills to put new ideas into action."

Medical research increasingly demands that investigators move beyond the confines of their own disciplines and explore new models of interdisciplinary research teams. This is particularly the case in Alzheimer's disease research, due to the complexity of the human brain and the disease itself.

The new program addresses the growing need for researchers to address Alzheimer's disease one of the most devastating age-related diseases, for which there is currently no effective treatment. Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible brain disorder that develops gradually and results in memory loss, and behavior and personality changes in its victims. According to recent estimates by the Alzheimer's Association, the number of Americans aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease will reach 16 million by 2050.

Two collaborative grants of up to $40,000 each will be awarded to research teams over the next two years. For more information, visit AFAR's website at

Contact: Ashby Andrews
American Federation for Aging Research

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