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Alzheimer’s research gets $3.5M funding boost

Vancouver, BC – Neuroscientists at the University of British Columbia have received $3.5 million in funding over five years for dementia research. The funding is being provided by the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation at UBC.

The inaugural support, which is part of $15 million in provincial government funding for the foundation announced last month, will allow researchers at the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research at UBC Hospital, part of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, to continue investigations of changes in brain biochemistry and formations that occur in Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neurological disorders.

In addition, the funding will enable the lab to continue to provide services to researchers such as a brain tissue bank, screening of potential therapeutic agents and preparing test therapies.

Neuroscientists Dr Patrick McGeer and Dr Edith McGeer, both professors emeriti in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, direct the Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, established in 1956. The couple has a 50-year research collaboration, and their team is currently studying methods of preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“This grant will support the outstanding team of researchers the McGeers have assembled,” says Richard Vogel, president of the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation. “It will also ensure that the McGeers will continue to serve as volunteers and leaders of this world famous laboratory.”

More than 1,300 scientific publications have been issued from the Kinsmen Laboratory, and the McGeers have authorship in more than 700 of them. The couple have been members of the UBC community since 1954, and this year received the UBC Faculty of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award.