ADRC Developmental Projects

2024-2025 ADRC Developmental Project Announcement

The 2024-2025 ADRC Developmental Project RFA is now available!

Application Deadline: February 5, 2024
ADRC Developmental Projects RFA

ADRC Developmental Projects

Each year, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) will fund up to two developmental projects, pending availability of funds, to support basic, translational or clinical research within the theme of heterogeneity in the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) continuum.

Special emphasis will be given to projects that address the theme of AD heterogeneity, but consideration will also be given for projects that are more novel, offer an area of research underrepresented in the ADRC or at Penn, and are transdisciplinary, expanding the breadth of collaborations.

Funded Projects

PI: Thomas F. Tropea, DO, MPH, MTR

Dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurological disorder associated with the accumulation of tau and beta-amyloid in the brain. However, alpha-synuclein (aSyn) deposition that is typically associated with Parkinson’s disease commonly co-occurs in people with AD. The co-occurrence of these pathologies in the brain has been associated with worse cognitive and functional outcomes. Until recently, measuring aSyn was only possible at autopsy. However, a novel approach called aSyn-seed amplification assay (aSyn-SAA) to measure aSyn in the cerebrospinal fluid is highly sensitive and specific for differentiating individuals with aSyn pathology from those without. Here we propose to measure aSyn-SAA in the cerebrospinal fluid from people with neuropathology confirmed AD with and without aSyn pathology and separately in people who have been followed at the UPenn ADRC and have extensive clinical characterization. The purpose is to validate in an independent cohort the association between aSyn-SAA and aSyn pathology, to further describe associations between aSyn-SAA and quantitative aSyn pathology in different brain regions, and to determine associations between aSyn-SAA and clinical progression. These findings will support future research grant applications to understand how best to deploy the use of amyloid-specific therapies considering the potential impact of non-AD pathologies on AD course.

  • 2022-2023
    Single Extracellular Vesicle BEAMing for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PI: Jina Ko, PhD