The National Institute on Aging has issued a call for public comment to help shape its first Eureka prize for research on Alzheimer’s disease and AD-related dementias (AD/ADRD). Eureka prizes were mandated in the 21st Century Cures Act. Signed into law in 2016, it requires the National Institutes of Health to create prize challenges to stimulate biomedical discoveries, especially for diseases for which the government spends disproportionately less on research than treatment. NIA leaders and staff want to know which problem the AD/ADRD prize should tackle, how much money to put on it, and how to judge entries.

  • NIA is seeking input on its new prize for ADRD research.
  • Reader, what do you think of the proposed ideas?
  • What’s the right dollar amount, and how should entries be judged?

“We hope to receive a lot of input,” said Melinda Kelley at NIA in Bethesda, Maryland. She noted that other institutes have benefitted from feedback when creating prize structures. Anyone from the research community, business sector, pharmaceutical industry, or patient organizations is welcome to contribute, she added.

In a request for information (RFI), NIA program staff proposed three ideas to address gaps in research: an algorithm to predict who will become cognitively impaired or develop AD; a PET tracer that measures synaptic integrity; and low-cost innovations to improve AD/ADRD care.

“If the ideas we put out are too mainstream, or don’t fit the prize model, we will gladly take that feedback,” said Kelley. The NIA also seeks comment on the dollar value of the prize and metrics for picking a winner. You have until December 31 to write in. Kelley pointed to for examples of other prizes being offered by NIH.—Gwyneth Dickey Zakaib


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External Citations

  1. RFI

Further Reading