Articles, Blog

Washington University to break ground on major neuroscience research hub

March 10, 2020


[Music plays] I was seven years old when my mom had told me that my dad had Alzheimer’s disease and he was going to forget stuff and eventually die. So I’m 38 years old, um, I live in Alabama, Montgomery Alabama, and I have children, I’m a mother. And I am living with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s an early onset form and it has affected our whole family: My grandmother, my father, my three uncles, my brother. And my children all three of my children have a 50% chance of having it as well. I came to Washington University to be in a drug trial. There’s brilliant doctors here at WashU. People like my family and there’s, you know, many other families like ours, we are going to be the key to a cure. And it just gives me a big sense of pride. My motivation for being a part of this research is my three children and hopefully they will be able to live in a world without Alzheimer’s disease. [Music plays] When I think about where Washington University can have a unique and indelible impact on human health it is in the area of the neurosciences. This is the next frontier of science in which new technologies and a coalescence of great talent at this university can help us address human suffering. Things like Alzheimer’s disease, depression, suicide and autism. But even more, how we can further understand the brain as the essence of what makes us human. And how we can realize our full potential as a society. One of the goals of the School of Medicine is to grow our research program and in order to do that we need high quality space. Because we have world-class neuroscience, we wanted to bring all of those neuroscientists together in one place to enable great collaborations and fantastic science. [Music plays] My lab focuses on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease – the way the disease progresses. And that allows us to identify new tests and potentially new targets to treat Alzheimer’s disease with. And as those are identified they can be developed by other groups into diagnostic tests and treatments in the clinic that could be used as part of medical care. The new neuroscience building is going to promote increasing amounts of experiments performed in whole organisms not simply with cells in a dish. And the significance of doing that is that the answers that we obtain will go much further to help us understand normal brain mechanisms as well as how to approach the problems having to do with injury and diseases of the brain. We know that the gut microbiome is linked to the development of the immune system. We’re learning how much the immune system plays a role in determining the course of neurodegeneration. So we can start connecting the dots. This new building will bring together the finest minds to attack these very vexing and complex and pressing problems from many different perspectives. One of the great things about the new building is that it’s organized into themes instead of into departments. There will be researchers from different departments studying things like neurodegeneration that are from neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, anesthesiology, who might be right next to each other. And I think that’s going to accelerate not only the science but also translation into patient care. One of the wonderful things about Washington University is we sit right next to a really strong innovation community, Cortex, which is full of inventors and entrepreneurs. And by placing our new building right at the edge of Cortex, we are enabling and strengthening a bridge between the university research and the innovators. So the partnership between academia and industry is important because discoveries are largely made in the laboratories of academia. The drugs and treatments are developed within industry. So bringing these two together is very important for Washington University and our mission of taking our fundamental science and turning it into better patient care. This building is a dream for us and an important step in transforming our unparalleled leadership in the basic sciences into new therapies that will change lives.

1 Comment

  • Reply TrapStar March 9, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    nice video keep it up bro

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