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Columbia University Medical Center awarded $3 million to drive Alzheimer's genetics research

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) will receive a $3 million grant from the Merrill Lynch Foundation to support research into the genetic influences involved in Alzheimers disease and other neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

The new Merrill Lynch-funded research is an expansion of work already under way by researchers at Columbia Universitys Taub Institute. The focus of this new effort will be in identifying the genetic roots of Alzheimers disease in unique populations and in understanding the functions of these genes, including the recently published discovery of a new genetic variant implicated in late-onset Alzheimers disease.

This important grant from Merrill Lynch will accelerate our search for genetic clues into the cause of Alzheimers Disease, said Richard Mayeux, M.D., co-director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimers Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center. My hope is that a greater understanding of the genetic influences will allow us to develop treatments to reduce the chances of high-risk individuals becoming afflicted with this devastating disease.

The Merrill Lynch Foundation is honored to support Columbia Universitys Taub Institute in their groundbreaking efforts to undercover the root causes of Alzheimers, said Eddy Bayardelle, president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation. Creating lasting partnerships with leading organizations to better the healthcare, human services, and education in our community is the mission of our Foundation.

This new funding will allow Dr. Mayeux and other Taub investigators to further investigate SORL1, a major new gene implicated in late-onset Alzheimers, whose discovery was described in the February issue of Nature Genetics. Dr. Mayeux and his colleagues at several other academic medical centers uncovered this gene.

The research will focus on two primary areas. First, the grant will allow for the recruitment of gen
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Contact: Craig LeMoult
cel2113@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
15-Feb-2007


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