Dr. Ravinder Nagpal, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology, is awarded an early-career investigator grant by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Foundation’s to explore a potential link between infectious diseases and the causation of Alzheimer’s disease.
The award will fund ($30,000) a one-year exploratory project to examine the implication of microbial pathogenesis in neuropathogenesis and investigate how intestinal colonization and infection by specific pathogenic bacteria may trigger or worsen Alzheimer’s pathology via the gut-brain axis. Dr. Nagpal aims to examine if there is a role for specific opportunistic gut pathogens, such as Proteobacteria, Enterobacteria, Klebsiella, or Candida, in Alzheimer’s neuropathogenesis, and if so, then what mechanisms are involved therein. If found true, these findings will provide a new line of evidence to prove his hypothesis that Alzheimer’s disease does have a link to infectious diseases or a microbial mechanism, thereby paving the way for further larger studies to address Alzheimer’s from an infectious disease perspective.
Emerging evidence suggests Alzheimer’s disease may have a link to infectious diseases or a microbial mechanism, but limited funding in the field has left this potential link largely unexplored. The IDSA Foundation’s 2021 Microbial Pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative aims to bridge this gap by promoting novel research into a potential missing microbial link to Alzheimer’s disease, which could provide clues to a cure. This year, the Foundation received 78 exceptional projects from all over the world, of which 11 most outstanding ideas were selected by a convened review panel comprised of 18 experts from across the country to receive grants ranging from $30,000 for early-career investigators to $250,000 for established investigators to initiate or expand their research.
“It is an absolute pleasure and honor receiving this award from the prestigious IDSA. I am incredibly grateful to the IDSA for believing in our science. We are excited about this important and timely project that aims to shed new light on the intricated connection of gut microbial pathogenesis with neuropathogenesis thereby paving way for novel targets to prevent/ameliorate Alzheimer’s disease.” said Nagpal.
The grant supports various levels of researchers across all disciplines and spans the breadth of the microbial world. Projects span the breadth of the microbial world and may focus on bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and microbial synergy, among other possibilities. Funding for the Microbial Pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s Disease Grant program is supported through a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Germ Quest and The Benter Foundation. For more information about the grant and its awardees, visit IDSAFoundation.org/ALZ-research-grant.