With $30 million in support, Brown launches Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research

By bringing together biomedical research and discovery with world-class physician-scientists advancing care for patients with Alzheimer’s, the center aims to accelerate the pace of development for novel treatments and cures.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – With support from two generous gifts totaling $30 million, Brown University is establishing a new Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research with the aim of building a world-class research program focused on early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The center will integrate the expertise of scientists and physicians at Brown’s Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science and the Division of Biology and Medicine, home to the Warren Alpert Medical School. Its launch is made possible by gifts of $25 million and $5 million from donors who wish to remain anonymous.

University leaders say the center will build on Brown’s existing strengths in Alzheimer’s disease research, which range from the study of risk genes, cognition and the biology of aging to development of new therapeutics and care of patients with dementia. By linking together scientific and clinical work across these areas, the center will create a uniquely interconnected program with the goal of breakthroughs that change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Brown President Christina H. Paxson said that with devastating consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impacting more families every year, the University will bring the full force of its scholars’ medical and brain science expertise to expedite progress toward new treatments. With faculty research fueled by federal funding, Brown ranks among the top 20 universities in the nation for research on the disease.

“This is truly a transformative moment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research at Brown,” Paxson said. “We have a robust foundation in place, and by bringing aboard new scholars, investing in facilities and creating the infrastructure to connect the incredible work already happening in our labs and clinical settings, our goal is to accelerate development toward novel treatments and cures in the fight against this devastating disorder.”

Diane Lipscombe, a professor of neuroscience at Brown who leads the Carney Institute, said that despite scientific progress, there is much to learn about the biology of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Addressing such complex diseases requires the integration of expertise across multiple fields of study.

“The aim of the new center is to convene that expertise at Brown,” said Lipscombe, who will serve as the initial director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. “Ultimately, our work will contribute to a more thorough understanding of the most fundamental mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration, which will enable earlier diagnosis as well as the creation of treatments that will not just slow degeneration but also prevent it.”

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