NIH awards Ky. center $20.5M to study Alzheimer’s, dementia

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 6, 2022 -- The National Institute of Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded a team of researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging a $20.5 million grant to study Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.

The P01 award will support around 35 researchers across six different labs and is dubbed Strategies for Targeting Astrocyte Reactivity in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (STAR-ADRD). The project name serves a double meaning because astrocytes are star-shaped cells. With this grant, the researchers plan to study the role of astrocytes in these brain disorders, which show changes in neurodegenerative diseases.

For instance, astrocytes tend to cluster around areas that have amyloid deposits, but scientists don't fully understand what these cells do: Do they respond to brain damage? Or do they drive the damage? Answering those questions could lead to better neurodegenerative brain treatments, the researchers said.

The four separate projects comprising the grant will be led by Chris Norris, PhD, Donna Wilcock, PhD, Dr. Pete Nelson, PhD, and Olivier Thibault, PhD.

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Last Updated 9/6/2022 9:10:06 AM