3rd SCOR Young European Researcher Prize for Alzheimer’s Research
The 3rd SCOR Young European Researcher Prize, financed by the SCOR Corporate Foundation for Science, was awarded to Dr Lawrence Rajendran of the University of Zurich.
Lawrence Rajendran’s remarkable work notably deals with the genes that predispose people to develop Alzheimer’s disease. For neurodegenerative diseases it is often impossible to isolate one responsible gene, which was previously the case for Alzheimer’s disease. However, the emergence of functional genomics methods and computational tools has led to advances in the understanding of the complex molecular networks underlying the disease.
Lawrence Rajendran’s work also deals with the link between food and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Consuming too much protein, which is found for example in red meat, incites the brain to use this source of energy instead of consuming the proteins present in its own cells. This overconsumption encourages an accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain’s cells. These amyloid proteins formed in the brain play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from nutritional recommendations, Lawrence Rajendran’s work opens the way to possible medical developments, with the use of medication that encourages the brain to refuse this external source of protein and focus instead on its own resources.
The SCOR Corporate Foundation for Science is proud to support the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation for the third consecutive year through this SCOR Young European Researcher Prize. Extending and reinforcing a partnership initiated by SCOR in 2008, the SCOR Corporate Foundation for Science teamed up with the research programme of the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, signing a sponsorship agreement on 12 June 2013 that commits the SCOR Corporate Foundation for Science to the payment of EUR 1 million over five years. As well as creating an annual award for young European researchers, the agreement notably enables the Research Foundation to continue to observe a cohort of patients as part of a long-term study of Alzheimer’s sufferers, and to promote cooperation with foreign scientists in the field of research into this disease.