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Brewer in his laboratory
Brewer portrait

July 2, 2009

SIU Med School Receives NIH Grant to Study Alzheimer Disease

A research scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a five-year federal grant from the National Institute of Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health, for the study of aging associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  The total budget for the grant is $1,478,692.

Gregory J. Brewer, Ph.D., professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology, is the principal investigator for the project.  Brewer’s research will use mice with a form of Alzheimer’s disease to determine whether a reduction in cellular energy contributes to memory loss in the aging brain.  The study also will examine whether nerve cells in the brain use glucose, a metabolic fuel, differently as a result of aging.  The research may lead to the development of new ways of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Brewer’s research has received funding for 30 years from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and now totals more than $6.2 million.  His previous research has focused on two- and three-dimensional neural networks as well as how aging contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.

Brewer joined the SIU faculty in 1980.  He earned his doctorate at the University of San Diego (1972) and his bachelor’s degree from the California Institute of Technology (1968).  Brewer was the Damon Runyon Memorial Fund for Cancer Research postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1972-74).