November 3, 2023

Penn Medicine Receives $5 Million Grant to Study Next Generation of Dementia Treatments

Penn Medicine News

Penn physicians and scientists will lead studies on underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with a grant from the Delaware Community Foundation

October 30, 2023

David Wolk and Edward Lee
David Wolk, MD, and Edward Lee, MD, PhD

PHILADELPHIA—Building upon the expertise in dementia research and care across Penn Medicine, the health system has been awarded a  $5 million grant from the Delaware Community Foundation to support the Penn Institute on Aging’s (IOA) work to develop the next generation of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Led by David Wolk, MD, and Edward Lee, MD, PhD, the IOA will collaborate with teams who have identified and validated potential therapeutic targets to translate basic science research into treatments that address the root causes of ADRD.

Specifically, the funds will support development and translation of novel therapeutics and approaches for more effective targeting and enhanced efficacy of therapies that change how ADRD develops over time. Funds will also support expansion of tissue and biofluid repositories, DNA sequencing, and biomarker testing, facilitating discovery and testing of potential targets for new therapies.  

“Newly approved Alzheimer’s drugs are an exciting development for patients already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, as they can slow the development of debilitating symptoms, like memory loss and impairment of judgement. But these drugs don’t prevent the disease from developing in the first place,” said Wolk, a professor of Neurology, and co-director of the Penn Memory Center. “It is our hope that the collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians at Penn Medicine will build on the already groundbreaking research on dementia and help us develop treatments that can one day stop the disease in its tracks.”

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