As a non-profit health care system, Banner Health relies on grants to support research initiatives that advance medicine. The funding awarded to Banner Health clinicians, researchers and scientists from institutes and partnerships result in nearly $200 million in grants being actively managed throughout the system. As a result of these grants, Banner Health is able to mount research initiatives that drive breakthrough discoveries in the detection, treatment and prevention of illnesses.
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) was awarded a $27.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the lead Federal agency supporting scientific research on Alzheimer’s disease. This grant was issued to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in 2021 to support longitudinal research spearheaded by Dr. Eric Reiman, MD aimed at better understanding genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
This Banner Alzheimer’s Institute study, conducted by Dr. Reiman in partnership with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the Mayo Clinic, follows 300 healthy adults between 50 and 90 years of age who are at six levels of Alzheimer’s disease risk and possess APOE genes. Research participants include those with two copies of the APOE4 gene, who are at the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and those with two copies of the APOE2 gene, which is believed to reduce the risk of developing the disease. This grant-funded research breaks new ground in evaluating established and developing biomarkers and will help advance our understanding of the roles genetic and non-genetic factors can play in Alzheimer’s disease risk and prevention.
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Banner Sun Health Research Institute, two Banner Health Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia care, were recently awarded a distinguished grant expected to total $15.7 million over 5 years. These funds, received in 2021 from the National Institute on Aging, were awarded to seven Arizona research institutes.
This grant funding allows Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Banner Sun Research Institute to provide ongoing support to the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). A congressionally designated National Institute of Health Center of Excellence, the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center uses the grant funding to perform Alzheimer’s research and clinical trials, as well as provide care to patients.
In 2017, the NOMIS Foundation, a private foundation based in Switzerland focused on supporting innovative research efforts across multiple scientific disciplines, awarded a $5 million grant to the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation to support the development of a scientific data set that could ultimately become one of the most valuable resources for Alzheimer's disease research. This multi-year projects is a collaborative effort between Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, fellow members of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium including the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Arizona State University-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute and researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
This project will analyze high-quality brain tissue samples from donors with and without Alzheimer’s disease to facilitate the isolation and sequencing of donors’ inherited genes and aid in the identification of molecular networks that may correlate to increased or decreased risk levels for the disease at which new treatments could be aimed in the future. The Brain and Body Donation Program at Banner Sun Health Research Institute plays a pivotal role in making these brain tissue samples available.
As this human brain data set is combined with other data sets, the results will be a robust set of data at a scope never before seen, providing a public molecular data source with the power to propel future scientific research efforts forward and advance the potential for future Alzheimer's disease treatment and prevention.
Starting in 2020, the Gates Ventures will be providing $771k per year for four years, to support an invaluable shared resource of blood, cerebrospinal fluid and imaging data. Recent focus on the development of blood-based biomarkers demonstrates the need for a resource of blood or cerebrospinal fluid samples available from end-of-life persons who subsequently donate their brains.
Banner Sun Health Research Institute’s Brain and Body Donation Program and its local partners contributed data of end-of-life research participants for the first amyloid and tau PET validation studies, leading to their approval by FDA. With this support from Gates Ventures, Banner Sun Health Research Institute’s Brain and Body Donation Program is becoming an invaluable resource of annual blood samples, including but not limited to those in their last years of life, to aid in the validation of blood-based biomarkers. The funding supports the acquisition and storage of annual blood collection of 400 participants, and the complementary collection of cerebrospinal fluid samples and imaging (MRI, Tau PET, and Amyloid PET) of 100 participants
The Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Banner Sun Health Research Institute partnered in a breakthrough program called the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative. This effort aimed at identifying biomarkers that could lead to Parkinson’s disease. Such information could help researchers diagnose Parkinson’s earlier and potentially develop drugs to slow the progression of neurodegenerative disease. This $40-million international research undertaking spanned over five years and included multiple industry partners and clinical sites.
As one of over 30 research teams across the country participating in the NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative, Banner Research will seek to understand, treat and prevent post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), of which Long COVID is a form. PASC symptoms involve multiple organs and systems and researchers seek to understand why it is manifesting in so many different ways. This study will focus large portions of the population who have been affected by Long COVID to help researchers better understand the cause of lingering symptoms and the long-term effects of the disease.
Businesses, corporations and foundations can support our shared mission of improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve through corporate giving and partnership. Learn more about how your charitable gift, sponsorship or partnership can help drive scientific research that leads to life-changing discoveries or contact Banner Research to learn more about clinical trial funding and supporting the advancement of medicine.