The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Genes to Therapies™ (G2T) Centralized Research Core group works in concert with the Alzheimer’s Genome Project™(AGP) and in partnership with Taconic Biosciences to create new Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse models. While the models are being validated, they are available to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grantees. Ultimately, all models will be made available to the scientific community at large. Providing these mouse models and other appropriate reagents to investigators not only will remove the time and effort necessary for each investigator to generate his or her own mouse models and reagents, but importantly, it will ensure all investigators are working with animal models that are consistently and reliably generated, documented and maintained.
Wilma Wasco, Ph.D., is responsible for the day-to-day organization of the Genes to Therapies™ (G2T) Centralized Research Core. She meets routinely with Dr. Tanzi as well as the members of the G2T Steering Committee and Meg Smith of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to outline and discuss progress with timelines and investigations as well as reagent generation and budgets. She will be responsible for determining what reagents are available from investigators or commercial sources while investigators are being recruited. In addition, she is the point person for Taconic and all other commercial or academic sources that will be used to generate reagents, as well as for the investigators who have been and will be recruited to work on each gene. It is envisioned that this will require, at a minimum, weekly email and phone interactions with each commercial or academic source and investigator. Dr. Wasco will travel to appropriate scientific meetings to meet with G2T investigators. If necessary, Dr. Wasco will be involved in any experimental work that is carried out within the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital—which may include cell culture and reagent testing and confirmation. Dr. Wasco has longstanding expertise in Alzheimer’s disease genetic studies; she played a significant role in the original discovery of the presenilin genes and is familiar with the techniques that will be used for the gene investigations. She also has a history of administrative project management; 80 percent effort will be devoted to this proposal.