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Happy New Year — and welcome to the new subscribers who’ve joined our WAM community. We hope you are feeling recharged after the holidays. We at the WAM Newsletter are starting out the new year with a bang. First, we participated in the California Governor’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s Prevention, Preparedness, and a Path Forward roundtable discussion at UC Irvine on the morning of 1/15/20; then we announced a major gift of $250,000 to expand the UCI MIND Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Research Initiative (“UCI WAM Initiative”).

Thank you, Alisha Ballard and the Living Legacy Foundation for your generosity and commitment to funding women-based Alzheimer’s research. The first recipients of the UCI WAM Initiative were Matt Blurton-Jones, PhD and Sunil Ghandi, PhD whose cutting edge study showed that human microglia transplanted into female and male mouse brains react differently, with female brains exhibiting an increase in pro-inflammatory molecules, a reaction not observed in male brains. The study results were so impressive that it has earned the scientists for UCI Mind an additional $2 million grant from the NIH. Congratulations!

The morning’s roundtable was conducted by the Task Force appointed by Governor Newsom to develop a comprehensive Alzheimer’s prevention and preparedness plan for the state. WAM founder Maria Shriver is heading the Task Force, which is bringing together stakeholders in the fight against Alzheimer’s from around the state to help shape a bold path forward to deal with this devastating health crisis. The Task Force will make its recommendations to the Governor in a report this December.

We will be announcing the recipients of the 2019 WAM Grants in early March 2020. Stay tuned!

Cover photo from left to right: Erin Stein, WAM Executive Director, Sunil Gandhi, PhD; Anshu Agrawal, PhD; Alisha Ballard, Executive Director Living Legacy Foundation; Maria Shriver, WAM Founder; Mathew Blurton-Jones, PhD; Josh Grill, PhD, Director of UCI Mind; and Sandy Gleysteen, Director of WAM Strategic Partnerships.