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New NIH Alzheimer’s center to accelerate translational research

Researchers will explore disease mechanisms, translate findings to support people with Alzheimer’s and their families

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have announced a new Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (CARD) on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The new center is being constructed to support basic, translational and clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD). Efforts will complement and enhance the work of thousands of researchers working across the globe to find a treatment or cure for these devastating diseases.

Expected to open its doors by Fall 2021, CARD will emphasize innovation, collaboration, transparency, rapid and wide data sharing, and advanced technological resources to accelerate the translation of scientific findings into real-world applications. The center will leverage the latest research approaches, collaboration opportunities with top researchers, and the unique resources of the NIH Clinical Center to enhance understanding of the mechanisms of AD/ADRD and identify likely targets to treat and prevent these disorders.

CARD is designed to encourage researchers within and outside of NIH to propose ideas and participate in a multi-disciplinary scientific environment focused on bridging basic, preclinical and clinical research in new ways. CARD researchers will conduct rapid screening of new ideas and approaches to quickly implement green-lit projects.

From its NIH campus location, CARD will benefit from close collaboration with intramural researchers across NIH Institutes and Centers working in a variety of scientific disciplines, as well as visiting academic and industry scientists. CARD will also focus on generating foundational data resources for the scientific community and equipping researchers with the expertise needed for the translation of discoveries to therapies. This will help ensure that its influence in the field will extend far beyond the NIH.

In addition, CARD will offer multiple opportunities for early career researchers, including access to technology and expertise, and seed funding as part of its effort to develop, train and diversify the research workforce.

The establishment of CARD is a crucial step forward in augmenting and building on existing efforts in the AD/ADRD research community. NIA and NINDS will continue to share updates as the new center takes shape.