Page 11 - Abacoa Community News - June '21
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      FAU FeAtURes

      ASBMB Fellow                                                                                         created to advance health through pioneering research
                                                                                                           and practical applications.
         Herbert  Weissbach,                                                                                  “We are excited to receive these important grants
      Ph.D., professor emeritus in                                                                         from the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease
      Florida Atlantic University’s                                                                        Research Program,” said Janet Robishaw, Ph.D., senior
      Center for Molecular Biology                                                                         associate dean for research and chair of the Department of
      and Biotechnology (CMBB),                                                                            Biomedical Science in the Schmidt College of Medicine.
      Department of Chemistry                                                                              “Using collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches,
      and Biochemistry within the                                                                          our researchers are striving to understand basic biological
      Charles E. Schmidt College                                                                           mechanisms and cultivate new strategies to combat
      of Science at FAU’s John                                                                             Alzheimer’s disease in South Florida and beyond through
      D. MacArthur Campus in                                                                               patient-centered research and discovery.”
      Jupiter was selected as a Fellow of the American Society for                                            The Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research
      Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Fellows   create medical stories, as well as with directors and actors   Program was  established to fund  research aimed  at
      are recognized for their meritorious efforts to advance   to produce realistic and captivating stories for television.   preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
      the molecular life sciences through sustained outstanding   In 2017, he was selected as a medical communications   Objectives include improving the health of Floridians by
      accomplishments in areas such as scientific research,   fellow for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Metzner has worked   researching better prevention, diagnoses, treatments and
      education, mentorship, commitment to diversity and service   on projects with ABC, HBO, CBS, FOX, and Netflix with   cures for AD, expanding the foundation of knowledge
      to the society and scientific community.           some of the greatest storytellers in the industry.  relating to prevention, diagnoses, treatment and cures, and
                                                           Metzner graduated in 2012 from the Wilkes Honors
      Wilkes Honors College                                College at FAU as a Flagler scholar with a double   stimulating economic activity in Florida in areas related
                                                                                                           to AD research.
                                                                                                             “About 580,000 people aged 65 and older are living
      Distinguished Alumni Selected                      concentration in biological chemistry and visual arts with     with Alzheimer’s disease in Florida and that number is
                                                         a passion to unite the arts and sciences. He completed the
      Into FAU Hall Of Fame                              M.D. program at the University of Central Florida and   expected to soar to 720,000 by 2025. Alzheimer’s disease
                                                         continued his post-graduate training as a general surgery   is the sixth leading cause of death in Florida and more
         The Florida Atlantic University Alumni Association   resident at UT Health San Antonio, one of the leading   than 527,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the
      (FAUAA) hosted its annual Hall of Fame and Distinguished   trauma centers in the country.            disease in our state,” said Randy Blakely, Ph.D., executive
      Alumni ceremony and reception recently. The event brought      Four researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s   director, FAU I-BRAIN. “These grants from the Ed and
      together alumni to celebrate the accomplishments of their   Schmidt College of Medicine and Charles E. Schmidt   Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program will
      most outstanding peers. Alumni from seven of FAU’s   College of Science have received grants totaling   help to propel our researchers’ pioneering work.”
      colleges were honored for their career accomplishments,   $641,818 from the Florida Department of Health’s Ed
      and  Dr.  Michael  Metzner,  B.A.  ’12,  a  graduate  of  the   and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program.   FAU Researchers Receive
      Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, was introduced as a   Award recipients also represent the FAU Brain Institute   Grants To Combat
      2021 inductee into the FAUAA Hall of Fame.         (I-BRAIN), which advances neuroscience research,
         Dr. Metzner is a medical advisor and associate producer   technology and education, and the FAU Institute for   Alzheimer’s Disease
      for ABC studios. He currently works with writers to help   Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH),
                                                                                                              More than five million
                                                                                                           Americans are living with
                                                                                                           Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
                                                                                                           and as many as 16 million
                                                                                                           will have the disease in
                                                                                                           2050. The cost of caring
                                                                                                           for those with AD and
                                                                                                           other dementias totaled
                                                                                                           about $277 billion in 2018,
                                                                                                           increasing to $1.1 trillion
                                                                                                           (in today’s dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three
                                                                                                           seniors who dies each year has AD or another dementia.
                                                                                                              “Our researchers have received these grants from the Ed
                                                                                                           and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program
                                                                                                           to advance scientific research and clinical care for one of
                                                                                                           the most complex diseases that impacts our aging patient
                                                                                                           population in Florida and elsewhere,” said Gregg Fields,
                                                                                                           Ph.D., executive director, FAU I-HEALTH. “As Alzheimer’s
                                                                                                           disease and other related dementias continue to rapidly rise,
                                                                                                           research is imperative to help us understand what causes the
                                                                                                           disease, help us develop effective treatments, improve patient
                                                                                                           care, and ultimately one day find a cure.”
                                                                                                              The FAU projects supported by the Ed and Ethel Moore
                                                                                                           Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program are:
                                                                                                              “A Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease”
                                                                                                           (Qi Zhang, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biomedical
         NoN-Toxic cancer immunotherapy                                                                    science, FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine): To date,
                                                                                                           clinical trials for drugs for AD based on the amyloid
                                                                                                           hypothesis have been lackluster, leading to a renewed search
         Available NoW                                                                                     for alternative theories and different pathogenic factors.
                                                                                                           Extensive genome-wide association studies of sporadic AD
                                                                                                           have consistently identified genetic risk factors associated
         Safe and Effective!                                                                               with cholesterol (Chol) metabolism and cell membrane
                                                                                                           trafficking. More and more evidence has shown that neuronal
                                                                                                           Chol deficiency, rather than surfeit, is a causative factor for
         This is the Original Immunotherapy that                                                           aging-associated brain disorders, including AD. For this
                                                                                                           project, Zhang will focus on rebalancing brain cholesterol,
         balances and optimizes your immune system to                                                      especially at nerve terminals, to reduce and even reverse
         fight almost any type of cancer.                                                                  neurodegeneration. By combining the power of induced
                                                                                                           human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) and novel mouse
                                                                                                           models, this preclinical project will provide new pathological
         Hundreds of successes over the years.                                                             insights as well as novel therapeutic strategies for AD.
                                                                                                              “Role of Hypoxia in Triggering Alzheimer’s Disease
         Continuously available since 1977                                                                 Pathogenesis: Sulindac as a Potential  Therapeutic
                                                                                                           Intervention” (Howard Prentice, Ph.D., a professor of
         in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island                                                                  biomedical science, FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine):
                                                                                                           Oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction are key
                                                                                                           factors in neuronal hypoxic injury and in development
                                      See our website for more info:                                       of AD; however, there is no effective therapy that targets

                                                                     these mechanisms. Prentice previously demonstrated that
                                                                                                           the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) sulindac
                                                                                                           protects the myocardium against hypoxia/ischemia through
              or call for more information: Toll-free number (561) 766-0878                                the mechanisms of ischemic preconditioning, independent
                                                                                                           of its NSAID activity. For this project, Prentice and his team
                                                                                                           FAU Researchers Receive Grants on page 14
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