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The Making of Medicine

Alzheimer’s Discovery Makes Elite 8 in STAT Madness!

A discovery from our John Lukens, PhD, and his team has made it to the Elite 8 of STAT Madness, an online tournament to crown 2022's biggest biomedical advance.

Lukens' discovery went head-to-head in the Sweet 16 with a heart failure finding from our Kenneth Walsh, PhD, and collaborators. It was a close competition, but the Lukens discovery edged ahead at the end, earning 52% of the public vote.

STAT Madness is sponsored each year by the prominent STAT health news site to increase awareness of biomedical research and its importance. You can vote once per day at

UVA Health started with three contenders for 2022's discovery of the year. But Lukens' finding now has bumped out our two other candidates, meaning the only institution to defeat a UVA entry in this year's contest has been UVA.

Lukens and his team discovered a molecule in the brain responsible for orchestrating the immune system’s responses to Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. This could let doctors supercharge the body’s ability to fight those and other devastating neurological diseases.

It's a great discovery, and I hope it goes all the way in STAT Madness. Please make sure to vote daily at!

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