The Goizueta Foundation donates $50 million to Emory University to establish the Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health, renaming the landmark initiative announced in May 2021 as the Emory Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute.
The Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health will use large-scale data collection and analysis with patients and the health care community to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat brain disease.
“Neurodegenerative diseases, for too long, have been viewed as hopeless—just as cancer used to be,” says Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves. “But with this milestone investment, Emory will deepen its focus on research and personalized, innovative care for patients.”
According to Allan Levey, MD, PhD, founding director of the Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health and professor of neurology in the Emory University School of Medicine, discovering and accelerating ways to inform preventative medicine and creating personalized treatment strategies to make sure that drugs, procedures, and lifestyle interventions are effective for every patient are critical areas of focus for the new Institute.
Converging research indicates that many neurological and psychiatric diseases share an early stage — beginning long before symptoms appear — when brain changes go undetected. This pre-symptomatic period holds prime opportunities for disease prediction and prevention, but researchers must first determine why some people develop symptoms while others do not. Genetics, education, diet, social determinants of health, lifestyle and other factors play shared roles, which means that studying brain diseases and providing care in silos keep disease prediction out of reach.
Key goals of the new Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health include:
- Advance research to inform clinical care by standardizing assessments of brain function across brain diseases with shared symptoms and genetic causes.
- Establish a repository for biospecimens to fuel development and application of next-generation biomarkers.
- Develop a data technology platform for integrating clinical and research data enabling advanced analytics.
- Identify and diagnose brain disease at the earliest stage possible, optimize treatment, and ultimately prevent disease.
Early plans for the Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health include working collaboratively across teams in multiple areas including neurology, psychiatry, primary care and sleep medicine. The goal will be to recruit participants and receive their consent to collect data over a six-year period from the more than 50,000 unique patients seen annually at the Emory Brain Health Center.
The Goizueta Institute @Emory Brain Health will initially focus on personalized medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, epilepsy, stroke, and depression.