CURE ALZHEIMER’S FUND PRESENTS THE JEFFREY L. MORBY PRIZE FOR EXCEPTIONAL RESEARCH

Posted May 28, 2024


Presented by Jacqui Morby, Co-Founder of Cure Alzheimer's Fund, to Dr. Holtzman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


WELLESLEY, Mass., May 30, 2024 — Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease, has announced the recipients of the inaugural Jeffrey L. Morby Prize. Senior author David M. Holtzman, M.D., and first author Xiaoying Chen, Ph.D., both of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, were selected by their peers for their paper “Microglia-Mediated T Cell Infiltration Drives Neurodegeneration in Tauopathy,” published in Nature in March 2023.

The Morby Prize is named in honor of the late Co-Founder of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, Jeffrey L. Morby, who inspired the nonprofit’s mission 20 years ago to fund research as a path to ending Alzheimer’s disease. The prize was presented to Dr. Holtzman by Jeff’s wife,  Jacqui Morby, who is also a Co-Founder of Cure Alzheimers’ Fund. Mr. Morby passed away in September 2023.

Established this year, the Morby Prize will be awarded annually to the senior and first authors of a recent scientific publication that transforms the fundamental understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and opens new paths to translate scientific results into effective ways to prevent, diagnose or treat the disease. This year’s award included $200,000 for the senior author’s lab for Alzheimer’s disease-related research.

“Recognizing researchers for a paper selected by peer scientists for breakthrough thinking and benefit to the Alzheimer’s community befits Jeff’s wonderful legacy of empowering scientists to achieve rigorous and innovative science,” said Meg Smith, CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “The many extraordinary CureAlz-funded projects that resulted in published papers in 2022 and 2023 made the competition for this award fierce, and the endorsement of this paper by their peers speaks to the importance of the work of Drs. Holtzman and Chen and their co-authors. Their compelling data challenge the old paradigm that the adaptive immune system has little role in neurodegenerative disease, and by doing so opens new avenues to explore for effective intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Added Dr. Holtzman: ”Both Xiaoying Chen and I and our many outstanding co-authors are very honored to receive recognition for the work in our recently published paper. There remain many unanswered questions about the exact role of the adaptive immune response in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. I think this work along with work from others in the field is pushing us to understand how important adaptive immunity is in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies, as well as whether targeting it will ultimately be therapeutically beneficial to people.”

About The Holtzman Lab

David M. Holtzman, Ph.D. is a neurologist and neuroscientist who has focused much of his efforts over the past 30 years on trying to better understand mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, particularly as they are relevant to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Xiaoying Chen, Ph.D., was a postdoc research associate in the Holtzman Lab and is first author of the winning paper. The Holtzman Lab at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has published extensively on the neurobiology of apoE as it relates to the innate immune system and how apoE and other factors such as neuronal activity and sleep influence Aβ and tau metabolism, their accumulation, and their effects in the brain. For more information, visit HoltzmanLab.Wustl.edu.

 About Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has provided 848 grants to more than 300 of the world’s leading researchers and contributed $202 million to research. Its funded initiatives have been responsible for many key breakthroughs in understanding the causes and pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has received a 4-star rating for more than 12 consecutive years from Charity Navigator. Our Board of Directors, Trustees and a core group of other donors direct their donations to CureAlz overhead expenses so that 100% of general donations go to our research program. For more information, visit CureAlz.org. To learn about the impact of Alzheimer’s on women and women working toward a cure, visit WomenandAlzheimers.org.