Tomorrow’s Leader in Alzheimer’s Disease Research Award

Posted November 22, 2007

The Alzheimer’s Association, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute award the Tomorrow’s Leader in Alzheimer’s Disease Research prize, honoring the legacies of two pioneering Alzheimer researchers – George G. Glenner, M.D., and Leon J. Thal, M.D. The award intends to recognize the work of promising M.D. or Ph.D. Alzheimer’s disease investigators who have made pivotal recent contributions to the goal of eliminating Alzheimer’s.


The award is modeled on other genius grants, and as such, the prize may be used for any purpose at the discretion of each awardee. The partners will award three prizes of $100,000 each year based on the quality of the applications.

Glenner (1928–1995) headed the molecular pathology section and chaired the Department of Medicine and Physiology at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institutes of Health from 1958 to 1980. In 1982, he assumed a post as research pathologist in the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. Two years later, Glenner and his assistant, Cai’ne Wong, announced the isolation and identification of beta-amyloid and its connection with Alzheimer’s. Their watershed research set the cornerstone for the amyloid hypothesis, the leading theoretical framework for understanding Alzheimer’s and the basis of the most promising emerging “disease-modifying” treatments.

Thal (1944–2007), a visionary in conceptualizing and designing Alzheimer clinical studies, led an unparalleled clinical research effort, including some of the trials that established the most important current symptomatic treatments. Since 1994, Thal headed the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), an 80-site clinical research consortium in the United States and Canada. He also directed the University of California at San Diego’s Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Center, established in 1984 as one of the original five centers funded by the National Institute on Aging. In addition, he chaired UCSD’s Department of Neurosciences.

The Partners’ Commitment

Partner logosThe Alzheimer’s Association, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute are committed to recognizing outstanding investigators early in their careers to encourage them to stay in the field and help to accelerate the search for effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. Each partner has pledged $100,000 per year for a current total of three prizes of $100,000 each per year. The partners invite interest from other organizations willing to participate at the $100,000 level to expand this opportunity in the future.


November 1: Qualifying Letter Open Receipt Date

November 30: Qualifying Letter Deadline (5:00 PM, Eastern)

December 7: Notification of Qualification and Open Receipt of Application

January 4: Application Deadline (5:00 PM, Eastern)

February 2008: Award Notification

II. Eligibility and Nondiscrimination Statement


To avoid disqualification, investigators are encouraged to carefully consider these eligibility requirements before applying.

  1. Applicants must have the MD and/or PhD degree, be early in their research career and be below the rank of full professor (Postdoctoral Fellows may apply).
  2. Applicants must have demonstrated commitment to and early achievement in the field through published research that advances the understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and that will accelerate the development of effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Applicants must be supported by their home institution, which must agree to receive and administer the Prize money without retaining overhead or indirect costs.
  4. Applicants, if selected, must be able to:
  • attend the announcement of the receipt of the prize
  • be available for limited public relations activities related to the Prize
  • make a short public presentation of their work and how they used the prize in an appropriate venue approximately one year after receipt of the prize, and
  • serve for one year on the selection committee for the next Prize round

Nondiscrimination statement

The Tomorrow’s Leader Prize Committee and partners do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, color, nationality or ethnic origin, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam Era Veteran or disabled veteran, in the selection of the Prize awardees.

III.   Application Procedures

Submitting a Qualifying Letter on-line via proposalCENTRAL

The purpose of the Qualifying Letter is to ensure that all applicants are eligible for the competition and meet required criteria.  The first step in applying to the Tomorrow’s Leader Award is to submit a Qualifying Letter through the proposalCENTRAL on-line application system.  The Tomorrow’s Leader Prize selection process uses proposalCentral as a central clearing house for information from Prize nominees, as do more than 30 other organizations sponsoring grants and awards. Through the proposalCentral website, those submitting Qualifying Letters will find the Tomorrow’s Leaders specific protocol. First time users must register and fill out a Professional Profile in proposalCENTRAL to begin the application process.

The Qualifying Letter and the completed application must be submitted online by the applicant (LIMITED TO ONE PAGE). Hard copies of the Qualifying Letter will not be accepted  Qualifying Letters will not be accepted after the deadline date. No exceptions will be made.

Qualifying Letter (not to exceed 1 page) must include:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Contact information for the applicant (complete mailing address, telephone number, fax number and email address)
  • Institution(s)
  • Brief description of how the applicant has demonstrated commitment to and early achievement in the field through published research that advances the understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and that will accelerate the development of effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Submitting the application On-line via proposalCENTRAL

Once the on-line Qualifying Letter is approved, e-mail notification will be sent granting access to the on-line application at proposalCENTRAL. The online system must be used to submit an application – hardcopies of applications will not be accepted.

The applicant must ensure and to verify that:

  1. The application is received by the receipt date/time deadline.
  2. The application is complete and correct prior to submission. Only a single online copy of an application will be accepted.

The Application Requirements include:

  • Applicant Information Page
  • Institution and Contacts Page
  • Statement of Merit including  an indication of the applicant’s five most significant publications with two to three sentences of description for each publication (limit two page)
  • Two letters of support (one letter must come from outside the applicant’s home institution)
  • Applicant CV
  • Institutional Agreement Letter from the home institution indicating the institution’s agreement to receive and administer the award without retaining overhead or indirect costs, as well as agreeing to allow the awardee discretionary spending.

IV. Review Procedures

All proposals are subject to a two-stage review process carried out with an on-line system. In the first stage, Qualifying Letters are reviewed and rated by three to four peer scientists affiliated with the sponsoring institutions (Tomorrow’s Leader Review Board). Applicants will be notified if their Qualifying Letter has been accepted by the Review Committee for application submission. 

The second stage includes review of the full application and discussion of the merit of each applicant. This second review is carried out by the Tomorrow’s Leader in Alzheimer’s Disease Award Review Board, which includes representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations.

V. Contact Information

This program announcement is posted in full-text and PDF formats on the website of:

The Alzheimer’s Association:

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund:

Lou Ruvo Brain Institute:

For additional information, please contact: [email protected]