An anonymous family donated $150,000 to support the research efforts of Associate Professor Andrei Irimia after hearing him present his work on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its link to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
The funds were used to purchase specialized computing equipment capable of detecting brain changes that are not easily identifiable by humans. Irimia intends to use this equipment to gain a better understanding of how early changes in brain structure during middle age can predict the risk of Alzheimer’s onset several decades later. His research, which relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning, involves analyzing over 500,000 sites in the human genome to identify genetic risk factors in middle-aged individuals.
“This powerful hardware has the potential to allow clinicians to better identify who is most at risk for Alzheimer’s,” said Irimia. “I am grateful for this critical support that advances our ability to develop tailored monitoring, preventive interventions and, eventually, treatment for this devastating disease.
Top image courtesy of the Irimia Lab