Rapid Response 2013

The Rapid Response program provides seed funding for high-risk, high-reward, totally novel ideas. Projects each receive up to $150,000 for up to 18 months of research. Like all programs, applications must be translational research that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

Rapid Response 2013 Program Materials

Rapid Response 2013 Awardees


Development of a targeted synaptic therapeutic for the treatment of ALS

Grantees: Dr. Gary Armstrong , Dr. Pierre Drapeau , Dr. Richard Robitaille

Project Description Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder of the brain and spinal cord. ALS starts in midlife and progresses from muscle...

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Development and validation of salivary tau as a biomarker for early Alzheimer’s Disease

Grantees: Dr. Howard Chertkow , Dr. Hyman Schipper , Dr. Mervin Gornitsky , Dr. Hemant Paudel

Project Description Recent evidence from biomarkers (brain imaging and spinal fluid tests) indicate that clinical diagnosis of dementia may be occurring as much as 15 years after biomarkers show...

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Lipid nanoparticles for the treatment of Huntington’s disease

Grantees: Dr. Pieter Cullis , Dr. Blair Leavitt

Project Description Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a molecule that can specifically stop the production of particular “target” proteins in the cell by binding to a particular messenger RNA...

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The development of a novel biomarker for ALS and FTD based on epigenetic studies of C9orf72

Grantees: Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva , Dr. Zhengrui Xi , Dr. Carmela Tartaglia , Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati , Dr. Julia Keith , Dr. Lorne Zinman , Dr. Erin Knock

Project Description Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is characterized by behavioral/language changes, while Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is result of the degeneration of motor neurons leading to paralysis. The most common...

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A blood test for Alzheimer’s based on fluorescence spectroscopy

Grantees: Dr. Peter Stys , Dr. Shigeki Tsutsui , Dr. Eric Smith , Dr. Phil Barber

Project Description Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that is reaching epidemic proportions as the population ages. Despite enormous research effort, currently there are no truly effective treatments and...

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Tau Ligand for the Diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Retired CFL Athletes

Grantees: Dr. Carmela Tartaglia , Dr. Sylvain Houle , Dr. Kieran Murphy , Dr. Charles Tator , Dr. Karen Davis , Dr. Dave Mikulis , Dr. Robin Green , Dr. Alan Wilson , Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati

Project Description Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease with tau pathology that manifests years after concussive or subconcussive events. Clinical CTE cases are described as...

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The SYNERGY mouse: a bi-genic synucleinopathy model

Grantees: Dr. Julianna Tomlinson , Dr. Michael Schlossmacher , Dr. Steffany Bennett , Dr. Diane Lagace , Dr. Carolina Cieniak , Dr. Omar M. El-Agnaf

Project Description Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson disease (PD) are related, progressive neurodegenerative disorders that remain incurable due in part to the lack of adequate animal models...

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A Therapeutic Vaccine for ALS Directed Against Misfolding Specific Epitopes of Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase 1

Grantees: Dr. Beibei Zhao , Dr. Neil Cashman , Dr. Leslie Grad , Dr. Scott Napper , Dr. Judith Silverman

Project Description Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, is one of the most common motor neuron diseases affecting 4-8 out of 100,000 people worldwide each year. 2,500...

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Protein expressions in the rat hippocampus following deep brain stimulation of the fornix area

Grantees: Elise Gondard

Supervising Advisor: Dr. Andres Lozano Project Summary Deep brain stimulation (DBS) refers to the therapeutic delivery of electrical current through implanted electrodes in precisely targeted areas of the brain. It...

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Identifying Clinical and Paraclinical Predictors

Grantees: Gregory S. Day

Supervising Advisor: Dr. Gene Johnson Project Summary Clinical heterogeneity in age-associated neurodegenerative disease presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for clinicians and researchers alike. Individual factors, including education,(1) lifestyle (i.e.,...

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