CNDR was founded in 1991 and was awarded a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant established the first and only NIH-funded Alzheimer's Disease Center in the Delaware Valley, part of a network of 29 cooperating NIH-funded centers throughout the nation. Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D. and John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D. founded and co-directed CNDR until 2002 when Dr. Lee assumed the role of Director, with Dr. Trojanowski as Co-Director.
Together, Drs. Lee and Trojanowski lead a team of over 50 University of Pennsylvania researchers, including Penn undergraduates, School of Medicine graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, and research associates, on a variety of projects that are funded by several NIH and foundation grants.
Since its founding, CNDR has contributed to a dramatic expansion in basic and clinical research programs on neurodegenerative disorders at Penn. CNDR provides leadership, training/education, and core support to augment and enhance ongoing collaborative studies as well as to stimuate new investigations into the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases - and to translate progress in the lab to clinical practice. Researches pursue a comprehensive array of research activities that extend from basic science methods of test tubes and cell culture systems to those involving animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Commensurate with the growth of programs related to CNDR, Penn is now recognized as a leading academic center for basic and clinical research on neurodegenerative disorders.