The prizes recognize scientific progress toward new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of tau protein in the brain, including Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Program recipients are nominated by peers and colleagues based on published and peer-reviewed research and are selected based on the quality of their research, leadership, mentoring, and impact within the scientific community.
This year's recipients include David M. Holtzman, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and Chair of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who was awarded $250,000 in support of his discovery that apoE4 — a protein involved in the metabolism of fats in the body — is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; and Celeste Karch, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who will receive $150,000 in support of her efforts to better understand how tau genetics influence tau biology and inform paths for therapeutic intervention.
"The Rainwater Charitable Foundation is thrilled to honor Dr. Holtzman and Dr. Karch for their relentless efforts in the neurodegenerative disease field," said Dr. Amy Rommel, scientific program director for the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. "These researchers were chosen by a qualified committee of international scientific leaders of differing fields and backgrounds, and we are confident Dr. Holtzman and Dr. Karch's research will pave the way for even more advancements in the study of tauopathies."