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Breakthrough Prize for Alzheimer’s Disease 2016

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

Breakthrough Prize given for Alzheimer’s research

Since 2013 an annual prize has been awarded for the most significant breakthrough in research major sciences. This year the prize has gone to research into Alzheimer’s disease. Backed by big companies, the prize is now worth $3 million.

The focus on one single scientist is captured in the Prize’s mission statement, which runs: “Knowledge is humanity’s greatest asset. It defines our nature, and it will shape our future. The body of knowledge is assembled over centuries. Yet a single mind can extend it immensely.”

The 2016 award has been given to neuroscientist Dr. John Hardy for his research into Alzheimer’s disease. Hardy received his award at a ceremony held at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The master of ceremonies was comedian Seth McFarlane.

Dr. Hardy’s research has focused on the underlying genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease. His most pioneering work has been with specific gene mutations that are connected with the disease. This was drawn from a study of a family in the U.K. where Alzheimer’s disease was disproportionately common. He found that chromosome 21 encoded an amyloid precursor protein, and that amyloid pathology is connected to Alzheimer’s disease. Hardy’s laboratory undertook full gene sequencing and identified a causative mutation.

Dr. Hardy later undertook research into the gene mutation and a protein termed tau, examining the connections here and the destruction of brain cells.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/breakthrough-prize-given-for-alzheimer-s-research/article/456063#ixzz3zPwerECU

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