Davis family makes transformative investment to address “one of the greatest, unresolved mysteries of our time”
Boston, MA—July 13, 2020—Brigham and Women’s Hospital announces a $25 million gift from Andrew and Kate Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund to establish The Davis Alzheimer Prevention Program at the Brigham. This significant investment will be used to accelerate the work of Dennis J. Selkoe, MD, and Reisa A. Sperling, MD, MMSc, two pioneering Brigham neurologists who are leading research efforts to predict and ultimately prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
“Nearly 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today and experts predict that number will triple in 30 years,” says Andrew Davis, a trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund and the President of Davis Selected Advisers, an independent investment management firm based in New York City. “My family and I see this as one of the greatest, unresolved mysteries of our time and want to do everything possible to put an end to the devastation of this disease. We are honored to be able to advance the work of Dr. Selkoe and Dr. Sperling, who unequivocally have the most impressive and promising record of excellence, diligence, and research in this space.”
“Our talented team of Alzheimer’s researchers have dedicated their lives to finding ways to disrupt this disease,” says Brigham and Women’s Hospital President Betsy Nabel, MD. “We are exceedingly grateful to the Davis family for their transformative gift that will significantly accelerate our work and bring us closer to our ultimate goal of eradicating Alzheimer’s.”
At the Brigham, Selkoe and Sperling have a combined 60 years of experience studying and deciphering the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. Selkoe, who serves as co-director of the Brigham’s Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, is the visionary behind the amyloid hypothesis, which explains how the build-up of amyloid protein in the brain causes the cascade of Alzheimer’s disease. Sperling, who serves as director of the Brigham’s Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment, designed and leads the A4 Study, the world’s first prevention trial in normal older individuals with biomarker evidence of Alzheimer’s, focused on preventing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s before it starts.
Under their leadership, The Davis Alzheimer Prevention Program will enable the Brigham to expand our understanding of the human brain, validate Alzheimer’s prediction and diagnostic methods, and evaluate new treatment approaches. The Davises’ generosity will also empower Selkoe and Sperling to accelerate plans to build a new prevention trial platform that will allow more rapid assessment of promising Alzheimer’s therapies.
Selkoe says, “The Davis family’s remarkable investment will enable us to transform the way we understand, diagnose and, most importantly, prevent the disease that unfairly robs so many people of their minds and their lives.”
Sperling adds, “We are extraordinarily grateful to the Davis family for their generosity, trust, and partnership. This gift comes at a particularly opportune time as we intensify our efforts to find successful interventions for all people, including older individuals from communities of color who are disproportionately affected by dementia.”