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The UNLV Foundation is honored to recognize the generosity of Ted and Maria Quirk, who recently established an endowment to create the Pam Quirk Brain Health and Biomarker Laboratory (Quirk BBL) within the Department of Brain Health in the UNLV School of Integrated Health Sciences. The gift was made in memory of Ted’s sister, Pam, who tragically succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease last December.
The Quirk BBL, co-directed by Jeffrey Cummings MD, ScD, and Jefferson Kinney, Ph.D., is devoted to the banking, measurement, and discovery of biomarkers (such as blood tests) indicative of brain disease. Biomarkers provide insight into the biology of brain disease and provide an essential foundation for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
“My sister was the most generous person I’ve ever known, and I wanted to do something meaningful in her memory,” shares Ted. “Jeff Cummings is a world-renowned leader in Alzheimer’s disease research. We are excited to support the extremely important work that he, Dr. Kinney, and their Brain Health team are performing at UNLV.”
UNLV Vice President of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and UNLV Foundation President Rickey N. McCurry says that “laboratories across UNLV are engaging in life-changing research, and when donors like the Quirks support their work, it allows these teams to move more swiftly towards developments that make the lives of those within our community, and the world, better.”
The brain health team will use the laboratory to advance research into biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, accelerate treatments for these devastating disorders, and help millions of patients and their families.
“The Quirk BBL is poised to make important advances in brain health,” explains Dr. Cummings, the Research Professor and Director of the Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience. “Thanks to the generosity of the Quirks, we are one step closer to translating novel biomarker discoveries made in our lab into improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.”
Photo: Left to right – Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, Maria Quirk, Ted Quirk, Dr. Jefferson Kinney, and UNLV School of Integrated Health Sciences Dean Ronald Brown celebrate the naming of the newly endowed UNLV Pam Quirk Brain Health and Biomarker Laboratory.