Medical College Scientist Awarded Two-year $100K
Alzheimer’s Assoc. New Investigator Research Grant
alleviate age-induced deficits in synaptic plasticity and memory. We will test whether neurogranin can reverse these beta-amyloid induced
deficits.”
     Dr. Gerges is one of 48 scientists in the nation to win New Investigator grants in 2008, according to Tom Hlavacek, Executive Director of
the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.  
     “The awards provide the next generation of scientists with funding and advance research while supporting early-career development of
researchers who have earned their doctoral degrees within the last ten years,” said Hlavacek.
          In fiscal year 2008, the Alzheimer's Association funded more than $26 million in research initiatives, including $25.4 million in grants
to 131 individual investigators. Proposals were chosen by peer review, from a very competitive field of 599 applications.  Since 1982, the
Alzheimer’s Association has committed over $250 million to more than 1,700 best-of-field grant proposals.
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About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is a national non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of
research and to enhance care and support for individuals, their families, and caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern
Wisconsin provides information, education, and support to people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, their families, and healthcare
professionals throughout an 11-county region. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease and chapter services visit www.alz.
org/sewi or call the toll-free, 24-hour Helpline at 800-272-3900.

About The Medical College of Wisconsin:
The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee www.mcw.edu is a private, freestanding academic institution dedicated to leadership and
excellence in advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury through education, discovery, patient care and
community engagement. A major national research center and academic medical center, its faculty physicians and scientists direct or
collaborate on more than 3,000 research studies, publish over 1,400 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and provide care in virtually every
specialty of medicine to approximately 297,000 patients annually.
     Nashaat Gerges, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy
at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has received a two-year, $100,000 New Investigator
Research Grant from the national Alzheimer’s Association.  His goal is to learn how a
substance called beta-amyloid, which accumulates in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease,
alters the function of neurogranin, a protein essential for  learning and memory.  His
research may lead to new therapeutic strategies for the disease.
   “Neurons communicate with each other through tiny contacts called synapses,” says Dr.
Gerges. “Their ability to regulate their strength is called synaptic plasticity, and it is the
cellular basis of learning and memory. There is growing evidence that beta amyloid
accumulation causes synaptic plasticity deficits.  Neurogranin levels are reduced in many
cognitive disorders, and agents that increase neurogranin, such as vitamin A, can partially