Expertise in Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery

There are currently no treatments to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Building on Indiana University School of Medicine’s well-established expertise in Alzheimer’s disease research, the drug discovery center aims to address challenges in discovering new therapeutic targets and drugs for the disease and accelerate development of promising new treatments.

Led by Alan Palkowitz, PhD, the Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery center has partnered with researchers from Purdue University to leverage the extensive expertise of both institutions in Alzheimer’s disease biology and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. Researchers identify the best drug targets—typically proteins in the body that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease—from a list of potential candidates compiled by researchers nationwide, and discover new molecules that bind to those targets to control their function. In early stage laboratory research, scientists test these molecules to determine if they have potential to be further developed and evaluated in patients.

IU School of Medicine is one of only two institutions in the United States selected by the National Institute on Aging to improve, diversify and reinvigorate the Alzheimer’s disease drug development pipeline.

What is drug discovery?

Capitalizing on New Understandings of Alzheimer’s Disease

The team will initially focus on proteins related to the neuroimmune system. There is a growing body of evidence that neuroinflammation may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, opening a new avenue for research and drug discovery.

Collaborating to Bring New Drugs to Patients

Through partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the most promising molecules will advance to the next stage of research. These companies often have greater resources to lead extensive testing required for a drug to win regulatory approval.

Sharing Data to Enable Global Research

The data, methods and tools generated by the drug discovery center will be available to researchers from academia, non-profit research organizations, biotech and the pharmaceutical industry for use in drug discovery and basic biology research.

Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Investigators

Alan Palkowitz, PhD

Alan Palkowitz, PhD

Senior Research Professor of Medicine
Bruce T. Lamb, PhD

Bruce T. Lamb, PhD

Executive Director, Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Research Institute