The Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC), a group of institutions working together to understand and find ways to cure neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, has just received $5 million from the Huffington Foundation.
The NDC was launched with a starting $25 million donation from the Robert A. and Renee E. Belfer Family Foundation to three institutes across the state of Texas: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Huffington Foundation has long enlisted a considerable number of supportive institutions in the Texas Medical Center, including the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor, and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. The Huffington Foundation’s generous support has given the NDC a big start on its distinctive approach to understanding neurodegenerative diseases. The foundation’s funding for the NDC will aid in their advancement of targeted treatment options.
“Our aim is to find new therapies through novel research, and we’re on a fast track to achieve that, thanks to our colleagues at Baylor and MIT and due in large part to supporters such as the Huffington Foundation who understand the importance of philanthropy as the driving force behind this initiative.” – Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson.
The recent studies on neurologically degenerative diseases, cancer and other diseases of age showed a commonality among their molecular themes. It is though a more thorough knowledge of the biology working behind the progression of these diseases that the NDC hopes to discover treatments applicable to several health conditions associated with old age.
Members of the consortium are utilizing breakthrough genomic technology in order to distinguish new targets on a molecular level that could fight neurodegenerative diseases. To be more specific, affiliated researchers are working on the difficult task of “inhibiting and interrogating thousands of genes”, one by one, in order to pinpoint the genes that decrease levels of the proteins that drive the disease.