Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity has joined an international initiative, led by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, to build a resource that will expand Alzheimer’s disease genetic studies in 13,000 people of African ancestry and Hispanic/Latinx groups. This work will address the social determinants of health and will lead to new therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease.
The five-year, multisite initiative includes investigator teams from Columbia University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Ibadan, in Nigeria, which will lead efforts in nine countries in Africa.
The study is funded by a $46 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Led by Goldie S. Byrd, Ph.D., director of the Maya Angelou Center, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine team will lead community-engaged research, outreach, recruitment and retention efforts conducted across the U.S. sites.
“Increasing diversity in Alzheimer’s disease research and clinical trials is one major step toward closing gaps in Alzheimer’s disease health disparities,” Byrd said. “A large portion of marginalized and minoritized communities suffer from poorer health outcomes and shorter lifespans because of social drivers, such as where they live and sleep, what they eat and do, and everyday discrimination and stress.”