The Pasqual Maragall Foundation announces the winners of the first call for its research grant program Pasqual Maragall Researchers Program (PMRP). With a total endowment of 1.5 million euros, this initiative that seeks to promote innovative projects in the research of Alzheimer's and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases has established itself as the most relevant private scholarship program in Spain dedicated to research in this field.
Thanks to this first call and through the selected projects, the PMRP program will support excellence research led by other centers in Spain, will further strengthen the Foundation's research activity and will open new perspectives in addressing Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases related to aging.
"These grants want to boost the search for solutions against dementia. They are an investment in the future of scientific research and a firm commitment to the health and well-being of our society. Through this program, we reaffirm our commitment to the research of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases related to age, with the conviction that science will guide us towards a future in which they are eradicated", declared Arcadi Navarro, director of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.
The project led by Pablo Martínez-Lage, from the CITA-alzheimer Foundation, aims to identify epigenetic signatures that could help define risk profiles for Alzheimer's disease. "The project we have presented wants to study more thoroughly the mechanisms of the disease from the point of view of epigenetics. In addition, it discusses the possibility of acting on these mechanisms through a non-pharmacological intervention, risk factor control and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle", has declared Martínez-Lage. Alberto Lleó Bisa (Fundació Institut de Recerca de l'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) collaborates in this project, as well as Maite Mendioroz Iriarte (Miguel Servet-Navarrabiomed Foundation), which will strengthen the research in this field.
Another of the awarded projects was that of Hugo Peluffo, from the University of Barcelona and also affiliated with the Pasteur Institute in Montevideo, Uruguay, which will focus on the relationship between aging and Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, it will explore how the immune cells of the nervous system, known as microglia, influence the aging process and the late onset of Alzheimer's. "There is genetic evidence that associates microglia with Alzheimer's and, therefore, it would play a very relevant role in the development of the disease. These cells are very important for the brain because they contribute to cleaning the nervous tissue, for example, the amyloid beta protein," explained Peluffo. Also in this sense, the collaboration with Michael Heneka (University of Luxembourg) will expand the scope of this research.
Finally, the project of José Vicente Sánchez Mut, of the Superior Council of Scientific Research at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante, will investigate "resilience" in Alzheimer's disease, exploring why some individuals with high pathology of the disease do not develop symptoms. "The support of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation is a recognition of our work and a step forward in the consolidation of our group on a national and international scale. In particular, it will allow us to investigate how interventions on sleep quality can rescue patients' cognitive abilities despite the pathology and identify new therapeutic strategies to increase resilience to the disease", explained Sánchez Mut.
New call for PMRP scholarships
Following the success of the first edition of the program, which received more than 60 applications, the Pasqual Maragall Foundation has today announced a new call for PMRP grants, with a new allocation of 1.6 million euros.
The grants of the Pasqual Maragall Researchers Program are directed to individual projects led by a principal researcher, or collaborative projects (of a maximum of three groups) directed by a consortium coordinator that takes its research activity to public research bodies or non-profit in Spain.
Interested researchers can find more information on the website https://fpmaragall.org/en/pasqual-maragall-researchers-programme/ and send their inquiries to email@example.com.