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Grant funds Arizona-based collaboration for Alzheimer’s research

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHOENIX — A $5 million grant from a Switzerland-based scientific foundation has funded a collaboration between multiple Arizona institutions to research Alzheimer’s disease.

“Together, we think this is exactly what is needed to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the most impactful way,” Dr. Eric Reiman, who heads the research collaboration, said.

The group included Arizona State University’s Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium and researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

The group was already considered to be the nation’s leading model in collaborative research.

“We are excited about the chance to provide a public resource of information about genes for the field to discover new disease mechanisms and treatments,” Reiman said.

Typically, organizations compete to complete research on topics and publish it. But Reiman said the collaborative approach is a good example of the old adage, “two heads are better than one.”

“It capitalizes on complementary strengths of all of our institutions to address problems together in a more powerful than any of us could do on our own,” he said. “This new grant is a perfect example of that collaboration.”

NOMIS, the private Swiss foundation, gave the grant because the collaborative effort it observed was in line with it own mission of “supporting insight-driven scientific endeavors across all disciplines”.

“The new effort will allow us to build this more diversified portfolio of promising treatments that can then be studied in clinical trials,” Reiman said.

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