The 2019 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases goes to Randall Bateman, Washington University, St. Louis. Bateman is being recognized for his work on the underlying biology of AD and for his commitment to finding new therapies to treat the disease. He will receive the award, which comes with a $100,000 prize, May 6 at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Randall Bateman

Alzforum has covered Bateman’s work extensively. Together with David Holtzman, also at WashU, Bateman developed a carbon-13-based method for measuring de novo synthesis of Aβ, the primary component of amyloid plaques (Jun 2006 news). With this stable isotope labelling kinetics, aka SILK, Bateman and colleagues went on to show that drugs can slow Aβ production, that people who carry familial AD mutations generate more Aβ in the brain and clear it more slowly, and that sleep helps flush the peptide from the brain (Apr 2009 news Jun 2013 news; Jan 2018 news). 

More recently, Bateman has pioneered an extremely sensitive mass spectrometry test to measure Aβ in the blood (Jul 2017 conference news). The test detects a slight dip in the Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio as the longer, stickier peptide begins to accumulate in the brain. Blood test accuracy could rival PET scans and CSF analysis, but at a fraction of the cost (Aug 2018 news). 

Bateman has been a driving force behind the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) based at WashU, using biomarker data to chart the natural history of the disease from its beginnings 15–20 years before symptom onset (Sept 2018 news). He started the DIAN Trials Unit to test potential AD therapies in secondary and primary prevention trials (April 2015 conference news; Aug 2017 conference news). In 2012 Bateman won a MetLife Award for his work (May 2012 news).—Tom Fagan


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News Citations

  1. CSF Aβ—New Approach Shows Rapid Flux, May Help Evaluate Therapeutics
  2. Studies Reveal New Hope, Old Problems With AD Biomarkers
  3. In Familial AD, Aβ Production Up, Clearance Down
  4. Skimping on Sleep Makes For More Aβ in the Brain
  5. Finally, a Blood Test for Alzheimer’s?
  6. With Sudden Progress, Blood Aβ Rivals PET at Detecting Amyloid
  7. In DIAN, Serial and Cross-Sectional Biomarker Trajectories Diverge
  8. As DIAN Plans Trial Number Two, the Goal Is to Go Big
  9. Planning the First Primary Prevention Trial for Alzheimer’s Disease
  10. Jack, Van Broeckhoven, Bateman Recognized With MetLife Awards

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