Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Consortium Receives $5M for Genomics-based Neurodegenerative Disease Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Neurodegeneration Consortium this week said that it has received a commitment of $5 million from the Huffington Foundation to help fund the consortium's genomics-based work in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The gift will go toward NDC's research using genomic technology to identify new molecular targets to treat neurodegenerative diseases. NDC collaborators are inhibiting and interrogating thousands of genes, one at a time, in order to identify those that may decrease the levels of proteins that cause disease.

NDC was created in the fall with a $25 million challenge gift from the Robert A. and Renee E. Belfer Family Foundation to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The $25 million gift is contingent on the consortium partners raising a matching $25 million in private philanthropy. To date, the consortium has raised more than $15 million in matching contributions, led by the Huffington Foundation, MD Anderson said.

Work being carried out by NDC collaborators include a project by Baylor's Huda Zoghbi and colleagues who are conducting high-throughput screens in three model systems — human cells, fruit flies, and transgenic mice — to integrate information with data from the human genome in order to identify potential targets for new therapies.

Also, MD Anderson's Institute for Applied Cancer Science's Ming-Kuei Jang and Philip Jones are researching innate protective mechanisms that promote health neurons after injury and aging.

Another project being evaluated targets the development of diagnostic tools for the early detection of neurodegenerative disease before symptoms are evident, and for determining response to new therapies, MD Anderson said.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.