At the annual HudsonAlpha Spring Benefit in April, HudsonAlpha unveiled the Memory and Mobility (or M&M) Fund to support new projects and continue existing work on a variety of devastating neurodegenerative diseases that impact many people around the world.
Nearly one out of every seven households in the United States is affected by a neurological disorder like Alzheimer, Parkinson or Huntington disease. Yet these diseases that cause the progressive loss of memory, mobility or both have no cure.
Our first major goal with this fund is to sequence the genomes of more than 1,500 patients with Alzheimer disease and Alzheimer-related dementia. The M&M Fund will support the sequencing and the research to pinpoint the genetic causes of these disorders. Because neurodegenerative diseases are interconnected, this project will help the team uncover genetic clues about diseases like ALS, Parkinson, Huntington disease and more.
In association with the launch of the M&M Fund, the Foundation hosted a seminar on Parkinson disease in May. Rick Myers, PhD, HudsonAlpha president and science director, described the new M&M fund and the importance of funding research to better understand neurodegenerative disorders. Haydeh Payami, PhD, HudsonAlpha-UAB joint faculty, described progress towards personalized prevention and treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Randall Moreadith, MD, PhD, discussed HudsonAlpha associate company Serina Therapeutic’s new polymer drug currently in clinical trials that may provide Parkinson’s patients with much better treatment options. After the seminar, Lisa and Rich Spratt, representatives of the Parkinson’s Support Group of Huntsville, presented Rick Myers with a generous donation of $3,000 to support the M&M Fund.