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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Florida International Dean and Nobel Laureate Kick Off Alzheimer’s Study

Dr. Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Florida International University (FIU) Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, is working with Nobel Laureate Dr. Andrew V. Schally to assess peptides known as growth hormone receptor (GHR) antagonists in an effort to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in a transgenic animal model.

Dr. Schally sits on the scientific advisory board of the Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation (NSCFF) headed by Dr. Jeffrey L. Horstmeyer, which convened the collaboration in support of its core mission to serve patients suffering from neurodegenerative conditions. The initial award from NSCFF will fund studies by the two scientists that could ultimately have a major impact on Alzheimer’s therapy.

“This represents a unique opportunity to find a way to mitigate a devastating disease,” said Dr. Guilarte. “It’s my distinct pleasure to work alongside such an esteemed scientist as Dr. Schally, who has devoted a lifetime to understanding the function and clinical application of these peptides.”

Dr. Guilarte’s research explores the impact of environmental pollutants on neurodegenerative and mental disease. His work uses behavioral, cellular and molecular approaches, ranging from studies using primary culture of brain cells to the application of brain imaging technologies. In addition to serving as dean of Stempel College, he has an active research lab in the department of environmental and occupational health within the School of Public Health and directs “Brain, Behavior and the Environment,” one of FIU’s emerging preeminent programs.

Funding was awarded July 6, by the Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation, for $158,466.