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The Making of Medicine

Leading the Way on Alzheimer’s

I'd like to introduce you to John Lukens, PhD, the inaugural director of our new Harrison Family Translational Research Center in Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Dr. Lukens has been with the School of Medicine since 2014. He performs groundbreaking research into the role of the immune system in brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders, making him well positioned to lead our new research center devoted to developing the next generation of treatments for Alzheimer's and related diseases.

The new center has been made possible by a $30 million gift from the family of the late David and Mary Harrison, two of UVA’s most generous benefactors. It will be located within the upcoming Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology at Fontaine Research Park.

“I am honored to lead this new center which will bring together a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians to develop innovative strategies to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” Dr. Lukens said. “This is a particularly exciting time to be involved in translational neurodegenerative disease research, as there is tremendous untapped potential in harnessing the immune system, microbiota and cellular-based therapies to limit the neuronal loss that underlies all neurogenerative disorders.” 

The Manning Institute of Biotechnology is coming together really quickly now -- lots of exciting things happening. I'll keep you posted!

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