“Interest from infectious disease experts was way up this year,” says Leslie Norins, MD, PhD, CEO of Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, Inc. The group, which encourages investigation of microbes as overlooked triggers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), exhibited for the second year at IDWEEK2019, held in Washington in early October.
The message of the exhibit was that researchers with knowledge of and experience in studying known microorganisms should become aware of, and apply for, the recently increased supply of research grants enabling probes of Alzheimer’s disease pathogens.
Dr. Norins says potentially millions of dollars in new research grants can be allocated by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, which early this year elevated investigations of infectious agents in AD to “high priority” status. He commented that the mix of attendees at IDWEEK2019 seemed well suited to undertake the desired studies, as it comprised experienced infectious disease clinicians, microbiologists, and epidemiologists.
He added, “Successful completion of NIA’s proclaimed new openness to funding research on microbes in AD will rest on whether or not they appoint appropriately knowledgeable and experienced professionals to the panels that judge the grant applications. If they don’t, it’s all a big waste of everybody’s time.”
Another five research grants, up from two in 2018, are targeted at AD in 2019 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America Foundation, the main sponsor of IDweek. Applications for those close soon.
Exhibit booth traffic was heavy, Dr. Norins says. Over 1,00 attendees registered, and over 500 flyers describing the new grants were handed out. More than 400 registrants won a free “Super Scientist” t-shirt.
(See some winners below).