The Brain’s GPS System and the Nobel Prize for Medicine

nobel medal in medicine

On Monday, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced [1]. The prize was awarded to a team of scientists for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system — an “inner GPS” —in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.

The prize of 8-million-Swedish-krona ($1.2-million USD) was divided, with one half to Dr. John O´Keefe, age 75, at at University College London and the other half jointly to a husband-and-wife team, Dr. May-Britt Moser, age 51, and Dr. Edvard I. Moser, age 52, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, for discovering how the brain creates a map of the space around us and how we can navigate our way through a complex environment.

NIH, Industry and Non-profits Partner to Accelerate Identification of Disease Targets

Last month, the National Institutes of Health, 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several nonprofit organizations launched an unprecedented partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.

Accelerating medicines partnership

Genetic Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease Impacts the Blood Brain Barrier

The most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) disrupts the blood brain barrier, impeding oxygen and nutrient flow to the brain and exposing the brain to systemic toxins, according to a recent investigation led by scientists from the University of Rochester Center for Neurodegenerative and Vascular Brain Disorders [1].

Blood brain barrier

Pain and the Prognosis for Dementia

While researchers are busy developing sophisticated laboratory tests to predict who will eventually succumb to Alzheimer’s disease, a seemingly mundane observation may provide one of the strongest predictors yet identified: pain.

Pharmacology of aging why age matters

No Sympathy for Biomedical Research in Omnibus Bill

The omnibus budget deal approved by House and Senate appropriations committees last week only partially restores biomedical research funds cut by the sequestration.

Us Capitol Building