Major Highlights 2013-2014

Major Highlights from the Institute for the 2013-14 Year


  • Funding awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the first national induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell bank for Alzheimer’s disease. The ability to reprogram cells to make them pluripotent like an embryonic stem cell (including cells obtained via biopsy from elderly subjects) is perhaps one of the most significant achievements in biology over the past decade, and will allow researchers the opportunity to generate a personalized cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease and to evaluate new therapies.
  • Assistant Professor Mathew Blurton-Jones and Director of the ADRC Stem Cell Core has been award a 5- year grant from the National Institutes of Health for investigations focusing on the effects of TREM2 mutations in AD iPS cells and microglia. Preliminary data facilitated by the UCI MIND ADRC iPS Cell Core facility was instrumental in the success of this application. Dr. David Cribbs, Associate Director of UCI MIND is a collaborator on this newly funded project.
  • Successfully renewed a NIH Program Project grant (which involves five investigators (Cotman, Cribbs, Glabe, LaFerla and Tenner) and is focused on understanding the role that Alzheimer’s disease risk genes have in the brain, particularly on inflammation.
  • Successfully renewed the 5-year training grant on the Neurobiology of Aging, thereby providing a mechanism to support some of the most talented basic science and clinical graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Teaching and training of the next generation of scientists and clinicians is at the core of the UCI MIND mission.
  • 90+ Study of UCI MIND Dr. Claudia Kawas was featured on 60 Minutes bringing widespread national recognition to Aging Research at UCI.
  • UCI MIND increased the number of subjects evaluated in its Memory Assessment and Research Clinic to 400 subjects.
  • Recruited new faculty member, Dr. Michael Yassa, whose focus is on biology of memory and processes of cognitive decline using advanced neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing.
  • Dr. Charles Glabe, Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and a UCI MIND faculty working exclusively on antibodies to amyloid as diagnostic, therapeutic and research tools, was listed as the most cited UC Irvine scientist in 2013-14 Highly Cited Researchers published by the reputable Thomson Reuters.
  • Dean Frank LaFerla, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior and a UCI MIND faculty member was also one of 10 UC Irvine scientists listed as the most cited in their field in 2013-14 Highly Cited Researchers published by the reputable Thomson Reuters.
  • Successful outreach to the community, highlighted by its annual conference on Alzheimer’s disease.
  • UCI MIND hosted a successful gala at the Lyon Air Museum, which helped raise funds for Alzheimer’s disease research at UCI MIND.