• Press Release

Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Researcher Wins Rainwater Prize for Outstanding Innovation in Neurodegenerative Research

Recognizes scientist’s contribution to understanding tau-related diseases

  • New York, NY
  • (December 14, 2021)

The Rainwater Charitable Foundation has named Alison M. Goate, DPhil, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor and Chair of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as this year’s winner of the Rainwater Prize for Outstanding Innovation in Neurodegenerative Research. The prize recognizes Dr. Goate’s “significant contribution to our understanding of tau-related diseases,” such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation,” said Dr. Goate. “The Rainwater Foundation has played an important role in bringing a variety of scientists together to combat the devastation wrought by tau-related brain diseases, which affect millions of patients and their loved ones.”

Tau-related brain diseases, or tauopathies, are a group of neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with the appearance of abnormal versions of tau proteins in neural tissue.

Dr. Goate is a pioneer in the field of dementia research. Studies in her lab have led to the discovery that certain mutations in genes called APP, PSEN1, and MAPT are linked to some inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Currently, her lab uses advanced cell and molecular techniques to investigate how genomic risk factors may cause the neural damage seen in tauopathies.

The Rainwater Prize Program aims to “foster scientific discovery by elevating awareness of the gaps in neurodegenerative research, bringing new researchers into the tauopathy field, and awarding scientific achievements that could lead to innovative, effective treatments.” Dr. Goate received her prize of $250,000 on Wednesday, February 23, at the virtual conference Global Tau 2022, hosted by the Rainwater Charitable Trust and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr. Goate will be honored along with Martin Kampmann, PhD, Associate Professor for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, who will receive the Rainwater Prize for Innovative Early-Career Scientist. Both were chosen by their peers and “were selected based on their research, leadership, mentorship, and positive impact within the scientific community.”

"The Rainwater Charitable Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to honor Dr. Goate and Dr. Kampmann for their groundbreaking and highly collaborative efforts in the neurodegenerative disease field," said Amy Rommel, PhD, Scientific Program Director for the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. "It is no surprise that these two world-renowned investigators happen to also be close collaborators, who have published together and are working on several ongoing important programs collectively.”

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.

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