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SCEI Active Grants

Three research grants involving SCEI researchers as co-principal investigators are presented below.

Asian Cohort for Alzheimer's Disease (ACAD)

A $40.6 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is funding the development of the Asian Cohort for Alzheimer’s Disease (ACAD) study at Penn Medicine and 15 other academic medical centers across the United States and Canada. ACAD is recruiting adult participants aged 60 years or older, of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese ancestry. The grant builds on a two-year, NIA-funded pilot grant awarded in September 2020 to assess the feasibility of the ACAD study design. As of May 2023, more than 1,800 individuals have joined the interest list for the study, with 713 formally consented to enroll. The goal of the new grant is to expand enrollment and recruit at least 5,000 participants over five years. This study aims to discover genetic variants and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease among Asian Americans and Canadians (ASAC). Sites throughout the US and Canada will recruit participants using consortium-designed protocols tested for feasibility. Demographic data, medical and family history, neuropsychological test, and saliva samples will be obtained. Analysis will use genotyping single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and high throughput sequencing. NIH/NIA (UPENN Subaward), Role: C0-PI

80 Years and Older Vision & Hearing Important Persons Project (80VIP)

This proposal will develop the infrastructure to evaluate neurosensory loss in community-dwelling adults aged 80 years and older, a key age group that will increase 600% in the next 30 years, an increase faster than any other age strata or minority group. Information from this proposal will develop the infrastructure for a future multicenter study to forecast health care costs, develop novel interventions, and augment healthy living and prevent morbidity such as institutionalized care R34 NIH (Devers Eye Institute), Role: C0-PI

Intrauterine Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, DNA Methylation, and Vision Disorders in Preschool Children

The project aims to conduct a case-control study nested within the Multiethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS) and retrieve neonatal dried blood spots (DBS) that had been collected by the California State’s Genetic Disease Screening Program from MEPEDS children at their birth. Using these bio specimens, we will 1) assess the relationship of cotinine level in DBS and tobacco dosimeter based on DNA methylation marks with strabismus, bilateral decreased visual acuity, and hyperopia; and 2) investigate epigenetic susceptibility loci for hyperopia in preschool children. R01 NIH/NEI (USC Subaward), Role: C0-PI