Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) were recently awarded an $11.1 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to fund a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE).
The five-year award marks the first-ever COBRE grant in Southern Nevada and will fund three resource cores and three research projects related to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
“We are thrilled to be forming Southern Nevada’s first Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in partnership with UNLV,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, Director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Principal Investigator for the COBRE grant. “To be awarded such a competitive federal grant to tackle the medical mysteries behind such horrific diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is a testament to the caliber of the area’s medical capabilities and collaborative efforts with UNLV.”
Three research initiatives will be funded using the COBRE grant. The first, led by UNLV psychology professor Jefferson Kinney will assess novel models of Alzheimer’s with particular attention to the role of the immune system. The second project, led by Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Dr. Ryan R. Walsh, will use neuroimaging and neuropsychology to advance understanding of Parkinson’s, specifically cognitive impairment associated with the disease. The final project, led by Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Dr. Sarah Banks, will use neuropsychology, combined with cutting-edge imaging techniques, to understand commonalities between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A clinical core to provide patients for the projects will be led by Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s Dr. Kate Zhong. UNLV’s Supercomputing Center, directed by Joseph Lombardo, will provide database and statistical support.
This COBRE grant is slated as a five-year funding process with $2 million to be awarded each year and can be renewed. The grant demonstrates the strong partnership between the Center and UNLV, illustrating their mission to grow the scientific and medical landscape of Southern Nevada.
“This award cements UNLV’s longtime research collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and advances our shared mission to find answers to complex health issues affecting so many in our community and around the world,” said Thomas Piechota, UNLV vice president for research and economic development.