• Press Release

Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Researcher Is the First Woman to Win Prize From Prestigious German Research Institute

Recognized for groundbreaking insights into the genetics of brain diseases

  • New York, NY
  • (July 12, 2023)

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, has been selected as the first female recipient of the Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize for her outstanding contributions to research into Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

The prize, endowed with 60,000 euros, is presented jointly by the Piepenbrock Group and DZNE (Deutsches Zentrum fur Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen) – German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases – a research institute funded by the German federal and state governments. Dr. Goate, the Founding Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease at Icahn Mount Sinai, will receive the award during a ceremony in Bonn, Germany in December. 

"I am delighted to receive the Hartwig Piepenbrock DZNE prize,” says Dr. Goate. “It is a huge honor to receive this prestigious award and to share this honor with all of the previous winners, who represent such accomplished leaders in our field. Alzheimer's disease is a huge unmet medical need. I thank DZNE and the Piepenbrock Group for their continued support of research for this truly devastating disease."

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 APPPSEN1, and MAPT are linked to some inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Mutations in these genes actually cause disease, while variants in other genes increase or decrease the risk of disease.

Dr. Goate’s research has laid important groundwork for the development of so-called anti-amyloid and anti-tau agents. Anti-amyloid drugs have recently been approved in the United States for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, while anti-tau agents are still being tested. Her lab is now using advanced cell and molecular techniques to investigate how genetic risk factors influencing microglial function or tauopathy may cause the neural damage seen in dementia.

Since 2011, the Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize has been awarded every two years for outstanding research on neurodegenerative disorders. These diseases are characterized by dysfunctions and death of neurons, which can lead to dementia, movement disorders, or other severe health problems. The prize is sponsored by the Piepenbrock Group—which has represented professional building services for more than 100 years—and awarded in remembrance of its former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Hartwig Piepenbrock, who passed away after suffering from dementia. He was committed to the arts, science, and society for many years. Prize winners are selected by an international committee, coordinated by DZNE.

“Alison Goate has been a leading authority on the genetic factors of dementia for more than thirty years,” said Pierluigi Nicotera, MD, PhD, Chairman of DZNE’s Executive Board. “Her research has provided major insights into the disease process and contributed to the development of novel treatment options.”

About the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE

(German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases)

DZNE is a research institute funded by the German federal and state governments, comprising ten sites across Germany. It is dedicated to diseases of the brain and nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, which are associated with dementia, movement disorders and other serious health impairments. To date, there are no cures for these diseases, which represent an enormous burden for countless affected individuals, their families, and the healthcare system. The aim of DZNE is to develop novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis, care, as well as treatment, and to transfer them into practice. To this end, DZNE cooperates with universities, university hospitals, research centers and other institutions in Germany and abroad. The institute is a member of the Helmholtz Association and belongs to the German Centers for Health Research. www.dzne.de/en

About the Piepenbrock Group

The Piepenbrock Group has represented professional building services for more than 100 years. Managed by the fourth generation of owners, Piepenbrock today offers a broad spectrum of services in Facility Management, Cleaning Services, Maintenance and Security. Piepenbrock is also one of Germany’s leading providers of special services, which includes clean room cleaning, winter services and park maintenance. Quality and sustainability are two important aspects that ensure the company remains at the top of its game. Website: www.piepenbrock.de/en

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 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical 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 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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