The UW ADRC is one of thirty-one Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) and Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs) at major medical institutions across the nation, funded by the NIH National Institute on Aging. Researchers at these centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for Alzheimer’s disease patients while, at the same time, focusing on the program’s long-term goal—finding a way to cure and possibly prevent Alzheimer's. For patients and families affected by Alzheimer's, the ADRCs and ADCs may offer information about the disease, services, and resources and opportunities for volunteers to participate in drug trials, support groups, clinical research projects, and other special programs for volunteers and their families.
Research into neurodegenerative diseases happens at centers across the University of Washington. How does the UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, in affiliation with the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center, fit into this world?
First and foremost, we aim to be a resource of basic and clinical research materials, data, and collaborations.
Programs and centers in direct interaction with the UW ADRC and our resources, funding, and databanks.
Adult Changes in Thought Study (ACT) at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute and UW - Since 1986, the ACT Study has followed over 5,000 aging participants from the community from age 65 and older, collecting information on health and cognitive function every 2 years. Some develop dementia, and some agree to donate their brains at the end of life. ADRC researchers leverage this extensive data resource to identify the environmental and genetic factors that increase the risk of brain disease and find ways to help communities delay or avoid dementia. (UW Team Members)
AMP-AD - an initiative of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) powered by the NIH, 6 biopharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The program aims to transform the current model for developing new diagnostics and treatments for chronic diseases. Instead of identifying etiology of disease, the goal of AMP-AD is to accelerate the discovery of therapeutic targets for AD. ADRC affiliate member Dr. Ben Logsdon, Senior Scientist at Sage Bionetworks, leads the network working group of AMP-AD.
Biology of Aging, UW
- The Nathan Shock Center for Aging - one of six NIA funded Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging across the United States. The center provides leadership in the pursuit of research into the biology of aging, symposia, and resources to support the community investigators studying aspects of the basic biology of aging at the University of Washington and nationwide. Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, the Nathan Shock Center's co-director, runs ADRC Project 1: Mechanisms Linking Normative Aging with Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Genetic Approaches to Aging Training Grant - This program supports pre- and post-doctoral trainees through an National Institute on Aging (NIA) Training Grant. The UW ADRC's Founding Director, Emeritus Professor Dr. George M. Martin, is also the Founder and Associate Director of the Genetic Approaches to Aging Research Training Grant.
Center for Precision Diagnostics (CPDx), UW Medicine - A state of the art CLIA Certified and CAP Accredited clinical genetic testing program. CPDx researchers help ADRC's Suman Jayadev to perform whole exome sequencing for the Ellison Therapeutic Pipeline Project. Read: Talking Exomes
Ellison Therapeutic Pipeline Project - Seattle-area philanthropists Tom and Sue Ellison gifted $6 million to the UW to launch the Therapeutic Pipeline Project to accelerate Alzheimer's disease treatments. Read: Talking Exomes
Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC), UW
IBIC is a research resource center at the University of Washington for advancing knowledge of the organization of the human brain in health and disease. IBIC focuses and fosters expertise in cognitive neuroscience, human MRI-based neuroimaging, and medicine, across departments and colleges at the UW.
Directed by the ADRC's Dr. Thomas Grabowski, IBIC provides expert support for designing, conducting, and analyzing experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging and supporting MRI approaches such as high resolution structural imaging, diffusion imaging, and advanced MR spectroscopy. Dr. Grabowski leads ADRC Project 3: Dynamic Functional Connectivity MRI in Preclinical AD
Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), UW - The UW ADRC's Dr. Dirk Keene collaborates with Dr. Jessica Young's lab, based at ISCRM, on a project to use human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and improve the search for effective treatments. Read: Presto-Change-o! Neurons in A Dish
UW Medicine - Many UW ADRC key researchers and members hold faculty or fellowship positions in UW Medicine departments.
- Department of Neurology
- Department of Pathology
- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Division of Gerontology and Geriatrics
- Neurosciences Institute
Related Programs & Sources of Collaborators
The ADRC aims to promote neurodegenerative disease research in the wider scientific community. Here is a list of progams and centers of excellence related to our goals.
Allen Institute For Brain Science - ADRC researchers collaborated with the Allen team to produce the open-access database, Aging, Dementia and TBI Study, a detailed neuropathologic, molecular and transcriptomic characterization of brains of control and TBI exposure cases from a unique aged population-based cohort from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.
Healthy Aging and Longevity (HALo) Research Institute, UW
- HALo supports new research initiatives and encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration by aging researchers throughout the University. Directed by the ADRC's Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, the center's goal is to understand the biology of aging and what causes an organism to switch from youthful and healthy to aged and infirm. The collaborators use this understanding to extend healthspan—the length of life spent free from severe age-related disease. This paradigm-shifting approach, to focus on slowing the aging process and extending healthspan, in order to add another decade or two of healthy, productive life for most people.
- The Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) within the University of Washington School of Public Health is the Coordinating Center of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Brain Research Network. The network was created to address a pair of growing public health challenges: promoting cognitive health and addressing the needs of increasing numbers of older Americans living with cognitive impairment.
Huntington's Disease Society of America HDSA Center of Excellence at UW Medical Center - The UW Medical Center has had the privilege of caring for Huntington’s Disease patients and their families for over 60 years and is recognized as an HDSA Level 1 Center of Excellence. Our multidisciplinary team is led by neurologists (neurogeneticist and movement disorder specialists) and includes a social worker, nurse, genetic counselors, clinical coordinator, research coordinator, and consulting psychiatrist.
Nuclear Medicine/Radiochemistry program, UW
Pacific Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research (PUC) - Based at Stanford University, PANUC funds studies of the genetic risk factors for cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease. (UW Team Members)
Quellos High Throughput Screening Core at ISCRM, UW
School of Nursing, UW
- deTornyay Center for Healthy Aging - The center promotes healthy aging through its support of research and education in the field of gerontology.
- Northwest Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging - The center organizes the Elder Friendly Futures Conference, a forum for hundreds of healthcare providers, community professionals, research educators, students and others to share and learn about healthy aging and how to be part of an elder friendly future. Elder Friendly Futures features two full days of educational sessions, networking opportunities, engaging exhibits, research poster presentations, roundtable discussions and the always-popular films discussion.