Searching for answers, HudsonAlpha launches Alzheimer disease research initiative

Brain neurons photo by Nick Cochran, PhD

The statistics surrounding Alzheimer disease are staggering. More than five million Americans have Alzheimer disease. The cost of Alzheimer will be $259 billion in 2017 alone. The human cost of Alzheimer and other dementias also continues to grow. According to the Alzheimer Association, the number of deaths from Alzheimer has increased 89% since 2000.

That is why HudsonAlpha launched the Impacting Alzheimer Disease initiative. Our unique study will provide a valuable and unprecedented dataset for Alzheimer disease research. But we need your help. At HudsonAlpha, scientists are on the forefront of leading technology to help us better understand Alzheimer disease and other neurological diseases.

“We know there is a significant genetic component to Alzheimer and related dementias,” said Rick Myers, PhD, president and science director of HudsonAlpha. “Now, we can truly begin to explore those root causes and search for new therapies and prevention strategies.”

With our scientists’ expertise and unparalleled experience, along with our cutting-edge technology, HudsonAlpha is uniquely positioned to conduct this groundbreaking research and make significant headway in the fight against Alzheimer disease.

“We are collaborating with an outstanding team of experts to accelerate early detection of genomic markers of Alzheimer Disease, which brings us closer to the ultimate goal of effective therapies,” said Nick Cochran, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Myers lab.

Rick Myers, PhD, Ken Kosik, PhD, and Nick Cochran, PhD

Dr. Kenneth Kosik, Harriman Professor and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was featured in the national media for his work in Colombia. Through his work, he has discovered a large extended family with the genes for early onset Alzheimer. Collaborating with Dr. Kosik, HudsonAlpha will have the ability to study these patient samples to learn new information – and possibly identify potential treatment options – not only for this family, but others suffering from this debilitating disease as well.

In addition, HudsonAlpha is also analyzing patient samples from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Memory Disorders Clinic.

“UAB and HudsonAlpha have a history of collaboration,” said Erik Roberson, MD, PhD, the Patsy W. and Charles A. Collat Professor of Neuroscience at UAB. Dr. Roberson is also the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UAB. “We are excited to work together on this Alzheimer disease project.”

The Impacting Alzheimer Disease initiative is critical, allowing HudsonAlpha scientists to explore the possibilities of finding cures and treatments for Alzheimer disease in three distinct ways:

  • Identifying new causes: To better understand why certain individuals are at higher risk of developing this devastating disease.
  • Early detection: To allow those at risk to begin promising new treatments before damage is widespread.
  • Discovering new therapeutic approaches: To provide greater chances of success at battling this disease. The treatment tools currently available are not enough.


With your support, we can explore the possibilities of finding cures, prevention measures and improved treatments for Alzheimer disease. To learn more and support HudsonAlpha’s Alzheimer disease research, visit