BrightFocus Grantee Honored for Amyloid Imaging in the Human Brain

Martha Snyder Taggart, BrightFocus Editor, Science Communications
  • Science News
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Rik Ossenkoppele: HAI 2016 Young Investigator Award Winner
Rik Ossenkoppele, PhD
Congratulations to BrightFocus 2014-16 grantee Rik Ossenkoppele, PhD, of Vrije Universiteit (VU) Medical Center, Amsterdam, for his recent achievement in winning the Young Investigator Award at the 2016 Human Amyloid Imaging (HAI) Conference (Miami Beach, FL, January 13-15). Ossenkoppele’s BrightFocus-funded research focuses on tau aggregation which now, like amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques, can be visualized in the brains of living humans using PET scans. Using that technology, he’s investigating the role of tau, including its relationships with Aβ, brain shrinkage, and impaired communication between brain cells.

Last year also was a  big one for Ossenkoppele. In May, he published two articles in JAMA Neurology on his BrightFocus-funded research. Both studies received international attention because they help confirm that Aβ peptide levels start to build up and aggregate long before Alzheimer’s symptoms develop, and are predictive of disease. Read the story and a Q/A with Ossenkoppele on the BrightFocus website: “Big Data Confirm Amyloid’s Role in Early Alzheimer’s.”