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The Springboard Challenge: Making a Difference in NDD and NID

Partners HealthCare announced the Springboard Challenge planning grant awards at the World Neuroscience Innovation Forum in London earlier this year. In announcing the awards, we challenged the Forum’s participants to come up with a solution that would impact the care, treatment, or diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and convert the Forum’s week-long discussion on the critical issues facing the field into concrete action.

Three planning grant awards of $50,000 each will be provided through the generous support of Partners Healthcare and the Wellcome Trust. The awards are intended to fund the planning and logistics work necessary to lay the groundwork for their proposed solution. Each team will receive a mentor from industry or the venture capital community to assist them in developing their proposals. Teams receiving an award are expected to seek follow-on funding from foundations, government, or companies to implement their solutions.

After a rigorous review by thought leaders in the neurodegenerative disease field from academia and biopharma, three internationally-based teams were selected to receive a Springboard Challenge award. We would like to congratulate the following teams on their selection!

  • Timothy Clark, PhD, a computer scientist at MGH Neurology, and a multi-disciplinary team from MGH, Harvard Medical School, MIT, and Imperial College London will receive an award to develop a predictive analytics machine-learning platform to advance the study and development of new drugs and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Aravind Ganesh, MD, who is clinical neuroscience fellow at the University of Oxford, and his team from Advanced Health Analytics, a digital health start-up based in the UK, was selected by the committee to develop an innovative software platform that assists patients and their caregivers in how to cope with the effects of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Nazem Atassi, MD, a neurologist at MGH, along with research scientists from academia and industry (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Biogen), will assemble a think tank to meet over the course of one year to develop novel medical imaging-based tools and agents that detect neuroinflammation.

We would like to congratulate our teams on their fantastic proposals and look forward to tracking their progress over the coming year.