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With the incidence of Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative disease on a sharp rise, including right here in Nevada, UNLV’s department of brain health within the UNLV School of Integrated Health Sciences is addressing two critical areas: the need for improved detection and treatment, and the need for more doctors and researchers who specialize in this area of neuroscience.
Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, director of the Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience at UNLV, along with professor Jefferson Kinney of the Pam Quirk Brain Health and Biomarker Laboratory, which was recently endowed by Ted and Maria Quirk in honor of Ted’s sister, Pam, explain how work at UNLV is connecting researchers around the globe in their quest to address brain health.
UNLV Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience
The principal activity of the UNLV Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience is the study of the drug development pipeline for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. These observations provide a better understanding of the science of clinical trials and the science behind new drugs and biomarkers being assessed in clinical trials.
A biomarker is a measure of disease or a response to treatment. For example, if cholesterol is detected in blood, treatment is initiated to prevent a heart attack or stroke. According to Dr. Cummings, we are in an exciting period of growth in the availability of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, including a blood test used for detection, with more blood tests under development.
Biomarkers are critical to success in clinical trials and help to detect side effects of drugs as well as the development of new treatments.
Pam Quirk Brain Health and Biomarker Laboratory
This recently endowed lab will allow UNLV to accelerate its efforts to develop new biomarkers, provide a biobank resource for UNLV researchers and measure known biomarkers critical to research. The endowment also helps to encourage worldwide collaboration with the global scientific community.
In addition to groundbreaking research, the Lab provides a hands-on opportunity to participate in critical research for post-doctoral students from the School of Integrated Health Sciences and students from the School of Medicine. Through their work, students have an opportunity to publish, which helps to advance their careers.
Photo: Biomarker Lab at UNLV Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience; courtesy of UNLV School of Integrated Health SciencesBack to All