Dr. Sabina Tahirovic from the DZNE site in Munich received funding from the Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e. V. (AFI), at a ceremony in Wiesbaden on January 18th, 2019. AFI awarded a grant of 120,000 euros. The award was presented by Prof. Thomas Arendt, Chairman of the AFI Scientific Advisory Board. In addition to Sabina Tahirovic, eleven other researchers were funded for their work in the field of Alzheimer's disease.
Tahirovic receives funding for her research project "Molecular signatures of therapeutically rejuvenated microglia". Typical for Alzheimer's disease are protein deposits of beta-amyloid. They accumulate in the brain and massively disrupt neuronal function Microglia cells are found in the vicinity of these beta-amyloid deposits, also known as plaques. They are part of the cellular immune system and only occur in the central nervous system (CNS). In their function as scavenger cells, they clean the brain from foreign bodies and cell fragments, but fail in clearing the plaques. Studies show that the stimulation of microglial cells actually boosts their performance. Sabina Tahirovic's goal is to gain a better understanding of this mechanism.
The funds will be used to finance a PhD position in Sabina Tahirovic's project for three years. On the other hand, a smaller part of the money will be used for laboratory materials such as antibodies.
The Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) is a non-profit association, which carries the donation certificate of the German Donation Council. Since 1995, AFI has used donations to support research projects by committed Alzheimer researchers and to provide free information material for the public. To date, AFI has supported 230 research activities with over 9.2 million euros and distributed around 800,000 guidebooks and brochures.