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Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience will expand breadth and impact of research

With Tufts neuroscientists advancing the fight against Alzheimer's disease as part of a growing effort at the School of Medicine to shed light on the workings of the human brain, philanthropic support is being sought for a new Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience that will expand the breadth and impact of this research.

Recent rankings placed Tufts' neuroscience department among the Top 10 at U.S. medical schools. Research being done at Tufts is expected to have significant impact on the treatment of epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and other diseases.

For example, a research team led by Giuseppina Tesco, assistant professor of neuroscience, has zeroed in on a protein that may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer's, potentially leading to new treatments for the neurodegenerative disease. The findings were published in May in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Another assistant professor of neuroscience, Leon Reijmers, has been named an Alzheimer's Association New Investigator for his research into cognitive impairments during the early stages of Alzheimer's. Reijmers' research into the way memories are stored in the brain recently led him to receive the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award, which supports early-career scientists who take innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research and provides $1.5 million over five years.

The university has made a major commitment to what is regarded as one of the great unexplored frontiers of science. Philip Haydon, Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and chair of neuroscience, has set an ambitious goal for the program. "We are going to become the best," he says.

Philanthropy is seen as key to realizing that goal.

The envisioned Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience will fuel research into the causes and treatments of serious neurological disorders. The hope is to raise more than $15 million to support faculty recruitment, graduate and post-doctoral research, and laboratory renovation.

Professors Barbara Talamo and John Kauer, the two pioneering neuroscientists who built the foundation for neuroscience research at Tufts, were honored at a reception as part of a Neuroscience Ambassadors Day hosted by the department on May 12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. The event featured discussions by Tufts neuroscientists on depression, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety disorders, and brain cancer.

To learn how you can support the Fund for Innovation in Neuroscience at Tufts, please contact Leslie Kolterman, senior associate director of development at the School of Medicine, at 617-636-2777 or