The European Research Council has awarded an Early Career Research (ERC) starting grant to the neurologist Marc Suárez-Calvet, MD, PhD, who will use data from the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study for his new project entitled “Identification of age-related Human Blood factors as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease” (acronym: HeBe).
The overall aim of the project, named after the Ancient Greek goddess of eternal youth, is to discover blood factors with a rejuvenating or ageing effect on the human brain that could become therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related brain diseases.
Marc Suárez-Calvet will define extreme biological age phenotypes in participants of the Alfa + study, conducted at the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), based on the difference between biological and chronological age. Afterwards, he will use advanced proteomics and metabolomics to measure these factors in BBRC’s cohort, but also in research participants from the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study.
The main hypothesis of the awarded project is that higher levels of rejuvenating blood factors decrease the rate of neurodegeneration, while higher levels of ageing blood factors increase the rate of neurodegeneration.
The study will be performed at BBRC, where the researcher was working over the last two years with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant, in collaboration with the University of Göteborg.