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Ellison Foundation Provides U of Washington $6M for Alzheimer's Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Ellison Foundation announced on Sunday a $6 million gift to the University of Washington Alzheimer's Disease Research Center to accelerate the drug discovery pipeline for the disease. 

UW will use the investment to carry out four tasks, including implementing exome sequencing to test patients' genes to determine their risk of developing AD. Also, researchers will use patient-derived stem cells to test potential therapeutics at the Quellos High-throughput Screening Core at UW Medicine. Additionally, UW plans to recruit a senior scientist to lead the clinical trials team, which will test drugs on human volunteers. Lastly, UW will test a new imaging tool called functional magnetic resonance imaging to detect physiological changes in the brain, which may be a prelude to dementia. 

"When we know more about the genetics behind Alzheimer's disease and more about the drugs that may work on our patients, we'll be able to move on to our second phase: drug testing in clinical trials," UW Medicine CEO Paul Ramsey said in a statement.