Press release: Research Down Syndrome Foundation Aims to Expand Research Agenda

Categories: Blog, Ds Research, News, Other

Marlborough, MA – June 7, 2017 – The LuMind™ Research Down Syndrome Foundation (LuMind RDS) announces Four Scientific Research Categories that will guide the expansion of the 2018 research agenda: 1) Prevent Alzheimer onset; 2) Improve cognition; 3) Develop gene therapies; and 4) Advance understanding. These Four Scientific Research Categories articulate the future focus of the organization as it builds on the successes of the current research portfolio that has been funded by the foundation since 2004. “This is another step in our vision to be a global leader in funding a comprehensive portfolio of research to meaningfully improve memory, cognition, and independence in individuals with Down syndrome,” notes Ryan Hartman, Chair of LuMind RDS Board of Directors. “With this dedicated focus, we look forward to continuing LuMind RDS’ legacy of excellence and broadening the organization’s current scope by prioritizing a comprehensive portfolio of cognition research for Down syndrome.”

According to Board Vice Chair, Hampus Hillerstrom: “These Four Scientific Research Categories help LuMind RDS align the research grants with the promising areas of discovery that have emerged since the organization was founded, including the latest tools and delivery progress in genetics and stem cell research. Our sole focus is to discover groundbreaking research and we are looking to increase the diversity in the pipeline of research we pursue, as well as incorporate additional innovative investigators whose research shows promise for safe and effective therapies or for advancing understanding of Down syndrome,” expands Hillerstrom.

Supporters of this organization can expect to see LuMind RDS continue to encourage industry-led clinical trials of therapeutic approaches to prevent Alzheimer onset and develop assessment scales and support registries and other necessary resources for clinical trials. We will continue to fund research directed at improving cognition, with an increased focus on translation of a few select promising targets and approaches. Now, in addition to the Alzheimer’s and cognition research categories, LuMind RDS will also support the development of promising gene therapies. The final category aims at advancing the understanding of Down syndrome through focused projects using pluripotent stem cells and sequencing/phenotyping.

The LuMind RDS research approach has led to significant accomplishments since the organization was founded by a visionary group of families affected by Ds and under the scientific leadership of late Dr. Michael Harpold.  LuMind RDS has identified 10 potential new drug targets to improve cognition, developed Ds-specific cognitive test batteries across the life-span, supported four major clinical trials, stimulated several large NIH initiatives and has established a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board dedicated exclusively to cognition research for Ds.

For more information about the LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation’s research grants, visit www.lumindrds.org or contact us at research@lumindrds.org. To support cognition research for individuals with Down syndrome, visit events.lumindrds.org/donate.

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