A new approach to seeking therapies for Alzheimer’s disease

Golde in UF Health article

A system approach to targeting innate immunity in AD

NIH U01 AG046139-01
UF PI: Todd Golde, Department of Neuroscience
Non-UF PI(s): Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, Steven Younkin, Nathan Price
UF Co-Is: Jada Lewis, Christopher Janus, Yona Levites, Paramita Chakrabarty
Non-UF Co-Is: Dennis Dickson, Leroy Hood
Award date: 09/17/13
Year 1 budget: $1,602,041
5-year total project budget: $7,877,538

As many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimers disease, and the numbers are increasing as the Baby Boomer population ages. Todd Golde, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience, and his colleagues at UF, at The Mayo Clinic Florida and at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle are working to speed up the process of finding therapies for this disease.

His team will focus on how genetic alterations to the innate immune system  the cells and mechanisms the body uses to fight potential microscopic invaders  may be implicated in Alzheimers disease. Once they have identified these genetic alterations based on the data they generate, they can manipulate these pathways in mouse models with parallel pathologies to see how changes to the innate immune system might change the disease process. The big data approach will allow the researchers to more quickly target areas of potential interest.

There is a huge unmet need with Alzheimers disease, said Golde, director of the UF Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Medicine. The economic costs for Alzheimers disease are now higher than those of heart disease and cancer, and as there are no therapies that modify the course of the disease, this is a devastating disorder for both patients who suffer from it and their families. With this grant, we hope to accelerate the discovery of possible disease-modifying therapies.

Golde is a professor of neuroscience and is also a member of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.

Published in On the Same page by Dr. David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.