Professor Basak Receives Grants from Alzheimer’s Research Fund
Dr. Chandramallika Basak
The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease recently awarded Dr. Chandramallika Basak of UT Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity $165,000 in grants over the next three years for her research into mild cognitive impairment in older adults.
Basak, an assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is one of six researchers in Texas who received the grant. An outside panel of peers led by Dr. Ronald C. Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minnesota, made the selections.
The grant will allow Basak to extend her work on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) into new populations of older adults. MCI is a stage of cognitive decline where memory problems become noticeable enough to affect daily functioning, yet have not progressed to dementia. According to the National Institute on Aging, those with MCI develop Alzheimer’s more often than those without MCI.
“I’m thrilled to be receiving this grant on successful aging from the Darrell K Royal Fund,” Basak said. “I appreciate the board of advisors and their supporters for creating this funding opportunity for early to midcareer investigators so that we can continue to further our independent research agendas.”
The awards, announced Sept. 5, total $825,000 in grant funding for Alzheimer’s research in Texas. Created by fundraising efforts from the Ben-Willie-Darrell 4th & Goal Gala in 2013, the grant money will go directly to advance scientific research in Texas.
“The economic and social costs of caring for our afflicted parents and grandparents are much too high, and will continue escalating unless we come up with effective ways to stop and prevent Alzheimer’s.”
“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most important public health challenges facing our society,” said Petersen, who is also a Darrell K Royal Research Fund scientific advisor. “The economic and social costs of caring for our afflicted parents and grandparents are much too high, and will continue escalating unless we come up with effective ways to stop and prevent Alzheimer’s.”
At the 2014 gala, the Fund’s advisory board members also presented grant funds to UT Austin’s Dr. Maya Henry and Dr. Marie Monfils; and UT Southwestern’s Dr. Steven Patrie, Dr. Florian Plattner and Dr. Murat Durakoglugil.
The fund was founded on the legacy of Darrell Royal, the legendary Texas Longhorns football coach who died from complications due to Alzheimer’s in 2012. The Fund’s grant initiative supports early-to-mid career Texas-based scientists and seeks to encourage collaborative research endeavors.
“Mild cognitive impairment is an important issue, both because of the problems it brings to sufferers and its association with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Michael Rugg, director of the Center for Vital Longevity. “We as scientists are indebted to the resources and support of organizations such as the Darrell K Royal Fund, which are providing important philanthropic initiatives to support research into the aging mind and how to protect it from the ravages of dementia and disease.”
Proceeds from future events will continue to fund the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
“I am humbled by the great work of the DKR Fund in its efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which has impacted so many of our lives,” said Edith Royal, Darrell Royal’s widow. “I hope that through the continued efforts of this great team, we will find a cure.”
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].