NEW YORK, NY (June 7, 2014) Researchers from Columbia University's Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and Departments of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Systems Biology are part of a five-university collaboration receiving a $12.6 million, four-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk.
At Columbia, the Consortium for Alzheimer's Sequence Analysis (CASA), is led by principal investigator Richard Mayeux, MD, MSc, chair of neurology and the Gertrude H. Sergievesky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center. Other Columbia co-investigators include Christiane Reitz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the Taub Institute, and Badri Vardarajan, PhD, an assistant professor of bioinformatics in the Departments of Neurology and Systems Biology.
CASA investigators will analyze whole exome and whole genome sequence data generated during the first phase of the NIH Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Program, an innovative collaboration that began in 2012 between NIA and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), also part of NIH. They will analyze data from 6,000 volunteers with Alzheimer disease and 5,000 older individuals who did not have the disease. In addition, they will study genomic data from 111 large families with multiple Alzheimer disease members, mostly of Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic descent to identify rare genetic variants.
"Identifying variants in genes related to Alzheimer's disease will enable the CASA team to search for therapeutic targets that might one day reduce the economic and human burden caused by this devastating disease," said Dr. Mayeux. "This is an exciting opportunity to apply new genomic analyses and technologies to improve our understandi
|Contact: Karin Eskenazi|
Columbia University Medical Center