Oklahoma City, OK – Dr. Jordan J.N. Tang of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will receive the Pioneer Award from the National Alzheimer’s Association at a ceremony on September 19, 2001 at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Dr. Tang has been chosen as the recipient of this $1 million award for his breakthroughs regarding memapsin 2, one critical enzyme believed responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease.
“Four million Americans and their families struggle with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and this number will more than triple by 2050 unless we find an effective treatment or cure,” said Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Alan J. Stone. “Research such as Dr. Tang’s is our best hope for beating this horrible disease and the Alzheimer’s Association is very pleased to provide him with the Pioneer Award to support his important work.”
The Alzheimer’s Association established the Pioneer Award for Alzheimer’s Disease Research to recognize the nation’s elite scientists who have made groundbreaking contributions to Alzheimer’s research and to provide them with the resources and flexibility to continue their important work. The Pioneer Award, which provides $1 million over five years, is the Association’s largest grant and one of the largest available to scientists in the field of Alzheimer’s research.
Jordan J.N. Tang Ph.D. has been associated with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation since 1958. Dr. Tang’s research focuses on the structure and biological function of a specific family of proteins called “aspartic proteases,” or enzymes that cut other proteins.
Most recently, Dr. Tang and his team of researchers at OMRF identified a new human brain aspartic protease, memapsin 2, and discovered that it is intimately involved in the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Following that discovery, the research team designed and tested – for the first time – a potent inhibitor which can eliminate all the memapsin 2 activity in a test tube.
“The Alzheimer’s Association presents the Pioneer Award to call attention to the important work in the field of Alzheimer research,” said William Thies, Ph.D., Vice President of medical and Scientific Affairs for the national Alzheimer’s Association. “Dr. Tang is among the nation’s leading Alzheimer researchers and a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”
“The Alzheimer’s Association, Oklahoma Chapter, is pleased to join in partnership with the National office in recognizing this significant research taking place in out state,” said Judi Ver Hoef, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Oklahoma Chapter.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the premier source of information and support for the four million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. Through its national network of chapters, it offers a broad range of programs and services for people with the disease, their families, and caregivers and represents their interests on Alzheimer-related issues before federal, state, and local government and with health and long-term care providers. The largest private funder of Alzheimer research, the Association has committed nearly $120 million toward research into the causes, treatment, prevention, and cure of Alzheimer’s.