2019 Robert Newcomb Interdisciplinary Team Science Award

Section 1

Pathways to Cures:
Translational Science Research Day
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation

Announcing Our
2019 Robert Newcomb Interdisciplinary Team Science Award Recipient
Robert Newcomb

This award was established to highlight and honor individuals who have played a formative role in bringing together teams of researchers from diverse, trans-, multi-, and interdisciplinary backgrounds in studies and projects that have advanced biomedical and clinical research. Bob (Robert) was a quintessential “team player.” His many skills as an athlete and coach, his dedication to teaching, commitment to translational research at UC Irvine, and outstanding leadership in statistical analysis of complex problems uniquely positioned Bob to catalyze and incubate teams of investigators. Nothing was more delightful to Bob than to bring together talented and enthusiastic scientists, students, and staff in pursuit of finding real solutions and discoveries that would advance clinical care and research.

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease continues to increase from an estimated 5.6 million today to 16 million by 2050. Advances in understanding the mechanisms that underlie age-related cognitive decline will allow for effective interventions and substantially reduce the burden on families as well as government and social programs. This is the goal of the BEACoN Collaboratory at UC Irvine.

The Biomarker Exploration in Aging, Cognition, and Neurodegeneration (BEACoN) Collaboratory, led by Dr. Michael Yassa, was initiated to translate findings from animal models of aging to the human condition using a number of convergent approaches. The BEACoN research team combines expertise from neurobiology, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, physics, informatics, metabolomics, pathology, statistics, and computational science. The team’s experimental approaches include cutting-edge multimodal neuroimaging, pathology, multi-omics, genetics, epigenetics, salivary bioscience, sleep EEG, actigraphy, and computational modeling. BEACoN fosters a vibrant intellectual environment for training graduate students, clinical trainees, and postdocs, significantly elevating the intellectual landscape and the contributions of the project. Students work with faculty to actively lead discussions, present papers and data, and motivate the research questions. The research program has been dubbed by several of the students a "scientific playground", as they have felt the liberty to explore questions of interest, with expert guidance from the faculty on best practices in analytics and design. The program is supported by several major grants from the National Institute on Aging and has catalyzed additional successful grant submissions by members of the team.

BEACoN has forged strong collaborations with multiple domestic and international partners, leveraging expertise and cohorts not otherwise available at UCI. Key collaborations include a strategic partnership with Rutgers University which enables the application of biomarker discovery tools and methods in the African American community in the Newark area, as well as a partnership with the University of Tsukuba in Japan, which has allowed uses of the team’s biomarkers to measure the efficacy and assess mechanisms of exercise interventions in young and older adults.

Join us in celebrating Dr. Michael Yassa and the BEACoN team!

 Register now for the ICTS Awards Dinner; space is limited.

The 11th Annual ICTS Awards Dinner

"People Who Make a Difference in Human Health"

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation


Event Website | Register Here