UCI researchers awarded $600,000 grant

The National Institute on Aging awarded researchers at UC Irvine a two-year, $600,000 grant to develop and study patient-derived stem cell lines.

The UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, or MIND, will create up to 40 sets of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are found in adult skin and blood samples, to explore the biology of Alzheimer's disease and test therapeutic approaches, according to a news release.

The iPS cells can be scientifically changed into stem cells to repair ailments like memory loss.

Because iPS cells can be generated from patients with a specific disease, they offer a new way to study the influence of genetics on disease risk and the progression of diseases.

"Few discoveries have as much potential to transform modern medical research as iPS cells," according to the release. "They're capable of giving rise to every cell type in the human body, including the key cell types implicated in Alzheimer's disease: neurons, astrocytes and microglia."

UCI hopes to assist in creating a repository of Alzheimer's disease iPS cells that can be accessed by scientists around the world. The Keith Swayne Family Challenge pledged to match every dollar raised up to $150,000 to help create the repository.

— Hannah Fry


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