University Hospitals Physician Receives Major Grant for Alzheimers Research

Cleveland, Ohio — Could our blood hold the molecular secrets to a fountain of youth, preventing age-related brain disorders? Can targeting red blood cells and blood vessels keep our brains healthy and prevent dementia? 

Mukesh Jain, MD Mukesh K. Jain, MD

Mukesh K. Jain, MD, Chief Scientific Officer for University Hospitals and UH Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI) and Chief Research Officer, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, will lead a multidisciplinary team of notable researchers from across the country to help answer those questions.

Dr. Jain is the recipient of a $9.6 million grant awarded by the American Heart Association-Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment, a new collaborative funding initiative launched earlier this year. His grant is one of three major grants funded by the initiative the American Heart Association (AHA) announced at its Annual Meeting Nov. 11 in Chicago. 

Dr. Jain, Program Director on the project, and HDI Director of Neurotherapeutics Discovery Andrew Pieper, MD, PhD, Co-Program Director, will lead a distinguished team comprising Jonathan Stamler, MD, President, HDI, and researchers from HDI, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, UH Neurological Institute, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania and Cleveland Clinic. 

The red blood cell-blood vessel unit controls the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Dr. Jain and his team will examine how connections between the red blood cells, blood vessels and the brain are altered during aging and disease.

“I am thrilled to head up a multidisciplinary team of eminent leaders in cardiovascular and neurobiology to advance a new scientific concept that transforms our understanding of the critical determinants underlying brain health,” Dr. Jain said. “I am confident that these new scientific insights will also provide the foundation for the development of novel therapies to treat age-related dementia.”

The Jain team’s research will help advance the scientific knowledge of how the brain ages from a totally new, as-yet unexplored approach that holds considerable promise, notes Daniel I. Simon, MD, President, Medical Centers & Chief Academic Officer, UH health system. “University Hospitals is honored to be one of three national recipients of this prestigious research award that leverages our unique strengths in the Harrington Discovery Institute to translate fundamental discovery into new therapies that change standard of care,” he said. “We look forward to working with the American Heart Association and Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group to accelerate the development of new therapeutics to enhance brain health and combat dementia.”

The other two research teams selected for funding through the AHA-Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment are headquartered at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. The initiative represents a $43 million commitment in research funding for innovative approaches to combat age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

UH Press Release, dated November 20, 2018
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